Waiting for the Mahatma- R.K. Narayan – Book Review

Hello, so here’s yet another piece of great merit and a valuable insight of Indian freedom struggle for all the Indians. I welcome you all to read this book ” WAITING FOR THE MAHATMA” , a ‘love’ story contemporaneous during the times of Indian Independence.

This book grabs and takes you .. transports and makes you to live visually in the times of Indian freedom struggle. I couldn’t have asked for more . It tells a story that seems to feel like truth even if it didn’t actually happen.

The story centers on a guy ” Sriram” and a girl “Bharathi”. Malgudi ,a fictional place is said to be the native of “Sriram”, an aimless individual. He lives a laidback life and his conventional grandmother hopes to foster him strongly with her orthodox ideologies. One day, he meets ” Bharathi ” a pretty girl. He falls in love with her the very minute and tries to pursue her .

Bharathi is a slender yet diligent woman who is part of Mahatma Gandhi ‘s freedom movement. Sriram joins her in trying to impress her and works alongside her in quit India movement, visits various villages and protest by non violence means. He is too possessed with thoughts of marrying Bharathi rather being patriotic or showing passion for country. However, Bharathi an ardent patriot affirms that she would marry him only if Mahatma agrees and gives his consent for marriage. Frustrated upon her terms, Sriram turns vile and joins Jagdish a follower of Nethaji Subash Chandrabose. Meanwhile, Bharathi surrenders herself to the police in order to stop British plans as an act of non violence and goes to jail. She also insists Sriram to follow it . While Sriram is misled by Jagdish and gets into violent plans against the British government. He gets arrested for his acts and spends a long term jail sentence. In there, he is filled with her thoughts and longs to see her at the end of all these ordeals.

At the end of the story, the duo gets the approval from Mahatma and he cheerfully blesses them and he reveres to carry out their wedding ceremony the next day morning. He walks out to the ground to attend the prayers and all of a sudden , he stops to reassure his blessings for Bharathi and tells her not to put off wedding if he is not able to attend it. However, the happy couple only finds Gandhiji dead and to have killed by a man with a gun in a flash of seconds after their meet.

The charka, khadar and the practice of absolute truth and Non- violence and its imposing value will reach you to catch up what impending impact our antecedents have made for us through struggle, loss and sacrifice. How maddening it could have been to struggle for existence.

Mahatma Gandhi- credit : Easytries (Angel’s art corner – YouTube artist)

Of anything on my reading list, this book is something incredibly nostalgic because I borrowed this book from an estimable person and forgot to return back.

A 250 page simple fiction ,it takes you a day or two to read . “Non violence is the credible response to violence around the World , a comfort to the disturbed and disturbance to the comfortable” . It’s one thing to develop a love for the homeland while you are in love with a girl and it’s something else to have a zeal and sacrifice life for the motherland “Bharat”.

R.K. Narayan , a South Indian well known author for fiction with great courage has published the book in 1955 , all his stories have simple and realistic back setting in the fictional village “malgudi ” and is written in simple language.

Please do let me know what you feel about the book . Happy Reading .

Book Title : Waiting for the Mahatma

Author : R.K. Narayan

Genre: Fiction, Culture, India, Historical Fiction, Indian literature, classics.

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