Exploring Malgudi at RK Narayan’s Home in Mysore
The 90’s kids can relate to the TV show Malgudi Days on Doordarshan. The series was based on a book of the same name by Rasipuram Krishnaswamy Narayan. Many believe that the iconic town of Malgudi in the book Malgudi Days is somewhere near Mysore. This is because Narayan spent close to two decades at a house in an upper-middle-class neighbourhood of Yadavagiri in Mysore.
For a long time, this house was in a dilapidated condition after his death, but today it has been restored and turned into a museum and declared a heritage building by Mysore Urban Development Authority (MUDA). Today, the house is surrounded by lush green plants with a huge Neem tree on the front yard.
Narayan’s delightful stories have been an integral part of our lives and he penned most of them in this house. Many can easily relate to the characters in his laidback but rich tales dripping with steadfast Indian individualities and motifs. Narayan fanatics have speculated about the place that inspired Malgudi. Even if Mysore played only a minor role for Narayan’s fictional world, the heritage city offered Narayan the right atmosphere for writing. At this house, Narayan contemplated and observed the world and wrote his incredible stories that touched millions of readers.
When the grandkids of Narayan decided to redevelop the house, the developer assigned with this task started to tear the house down step-by-step. When the local authorities became aware of this situation, they stepped in immediately and stopped the renovation. Today when you enter this house, it will take you on a nostalgic ride as every aspect of it has been restored in a way it was when Narayan lived here.
Why this House Holds a Huge Significance?
All die-hard fans of Narayan must visit this house that does a great job of showcasing many souvenirs from his personal and creative life as well as his awards and achievements such as the Padma Vibhushan and Padma Bhushan along with his clothes. Also, the walls are adorned with old pictures of Narayan’s childhood with his family. The wall-mounted shelves are stacked with an extensive collection of books.
In another room, you will find tributes paid to the writer by eminent personalities from all walks of life such as N Ram and Khushwant Singh.
More ventures like these need to be encouraged as it helps readers trace the initial steps into the world of a writer, his/her political and ideological space as well as the issues raised and praised beyond the words on the pages. Let us hope that this house develops into an academic research centre in the future, serving as a guide to several literary aficionados.
There is a unique aura associated with this place which might rub off on the people who visit this house. Even if Malgudi cannot be confined to just a structure, this house will surely feed the romantic appetite of a reader’s search for Narayan’s worldly presence and belongings.