I have been reading RKN all along my readerlylife 🙂 and will still keep doing so. The latest book that I came across is “Writerly Life” – selected non-fiction of R.K.Narayan. It included “My Dateless dairy” in toto, Collected essays from “reluctant guru”, “writer’s nightmare”,”story teller’s world” etc. As usual, it is a reader’s delight and a fan’s delight square. Looking at the diversity in the topics make me wonder at the sheer brilliance in observational skills of RKN. He seem to notice every detail of everything. And, ofcourse, with the experience of several decades (he passed away at 95), a good amount of wisdom is something that is very commonly observed if one reads his writings. Writerly life is no exception. Before I begin drown myself in the Narayan Narayan chant, let me come back on track.. and talk about the book…
Some of these essays are quite different to Narayan’s style that I knew. I always knew him as one author, who talks even about a serious issue in a tone that is laidback and very normal. But, some of the essays I read here, especially those in “The world of a writer” collection, surprised me to some extent. Somehow, I felt they were so “un-narayanish”. These essays were majorly on English rule in India, Indian writers in English, when India was a colony, the British Raj etc. Its not that Narayan never wrote about topics like this. But, its only that I felt he was more satarical and more restless in these essays….unlike the usual “common man” kind of image that he potrays in other essays, with occasional bursts of original and “right on track” humour.
His topics ranged from mundane, day to day issues like – Coffee, Walking, Gardening, crowds etc to some national issues like – emergency, elections, red-tapism, Hindi movement etc to light philosophicals to travels, food, writings etc… I can’t pick up any particular essay to be my favourite, nor can I pickup any one essay which is un-readable. This collection of essays cover a very diverse range of topics, never boring and full of simple humour and wit. This book certainly one to be purchased and kept on one’s table so that, you can pick it up anytime, anyday, read anypage and then close it and carry on with your work. It is a great stress buster, in my opinion. It is this kind of book, which serves the purpose of a perfect timepass. One kind of book, which you will love to have in your hands on a weekend, on an easy-chair. 🙂
I am adding this book to my future “home-library” when I have a home of my own 🙂