Saturday, 27 June 2015

The Guide by R K Narayan

The Guide is a 1958 classic by  Indian author( late) Padma Vibhushan  R K Narayan. I read this 247 pages long novel recently  , after a gap of nearly 20 years ,after the first reading .The Bollywood  movie Guide continues to be my favourite  movie.
                   Like all of us , it is about search for identity  by Raju.What is the true identity of Raju?He finds it near the end of his life .It is the identity of a spiritual adviser.How does he find it? By  self-abnegation, by  doing  something sincerely for others, Raju finds spiritual peace, and arrives at his true identity.He starts as a tourist guide , then becomes a guide to Rosie , the dancer, then  a forgerer , then a model prisoner  and finally a spiritual adviser , who sacrifices for others.In fact , having got spiritual peace on the eleventh day of fasting , he dies on the twelfth day.
                  The real issue between Rosie and her husband Marco was  about dancing.Rosie had a natural flair and passion for dance but Marco was completely against her dancing .She wanted to be a faithful wife but dance was her identity.Ultimately  she left both."Neither Marco nor I had any place in her life,which had its own sustaining vitality and which she herself had underestimated all along."(Page223).Once she  realised her true identity , she set about to live  accordingly , brooking no relationship or obstacle in the way.