एक बुक जर्नल: The Bachelor of Arts by R K Narayan

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

The Bachelor of Arts by R K Narayan

Rating : 4/5
Read Between April 15,2017 to April 17,2017

Edition Details:
Format: Paperback
page count: 166
publisher: indian thought publication
isbn:9788185986012



First Sentence:.
Chandran was just climbing the steps of the college union when Natesan, the secretary, sprang on him and said,"You are just the person i was looking for."

Chandran is in his last year of college. Life is normal for him. He knows he has to prepare for his final exams and chalks out a plan for it. But as it's said man proposes and god disposes so goes according to the plan.

Was Chandran able to execute his plan and study? What were the things that kept cropping up? How did he manage his life?

But as they say time and tide wait for no one so the final day of exam comes and Chandran manages to pass the exams. Now he has to decide what he wants to do next. He has no clue what to do with his life and so he asks his parents some time to think about it. And during this time when  he's thinking about this pertinent question he encounters a sight of her. Clad in a green sari she mesmerises him  and  he gets enamoured by her. He knows she's made for him and he would do anything to get married to the ethereal creature.

Now begins his Goliathan task of getting his parents to talk to parents of this heavenly creature  and arrange for the marriage to occur. 

But everything is not so easy. He has to find you who she is? What's her name? Where she lives ? Who are her parents ? Is she even single? 

Will Chandran get his love? What happens next?


I had already read this book during my college. I don't exactly remember which year- may be 1st or second year of college. I read most of my Narayan then and i have realised it's been 7 to 8 years since that time. So i have decided that whenever i'll go home this year, i'll read a Narayan and would continue doing so until i have finished the whole stack of his books that i have got.

Now talking about the book. The book is divided into four parts and i could relate to all the parts at different levels.

In the first part of the book we see Chandran as a student. He decides to be serious about his studies and makes a time table for each of his subjects. But the moment he does it i knew it was doomed  because during my college years i had made such time tables and had realised the moment you have decided you'll do some thing at xyz time something or other will happen and would disturb your schedule. Needless to say that's what happens with Chandarn. This part has very funny incidents and i enjoyed reading it. 

The second part of the book is where he encounters the love of his life. I could relate to the infatuation he felt for Malthi. I know there are some girls that you see and you just want to have them for yourself. Here i'm not talking about simple attraction but something far greater than that. I have felt that once in my life and in those times i used to think that if i couldn't get her i would not be able to live.  When i was a kid i used to think that's a very Indian thing because we didn't have dating culture then. But then i read the Godfather and read about thuderbolt and i knew it was ubiquitous phenomenon. If you have read the Godfather you'd know what i'm talking about and if you haven't then go and read it now. I enjoyed second part. The  detective skills Chandran employs to know about his lady love and plans he hatches to make her his own were sometimes funny, sometimes ridiculous and all the time relatable. I could see guys going through those motions. Some things i had myself done and some i had witnessed.

The third and last part of the story is one where Chandran seems to go through a lot. I could empathise with him. I know some may find the things he does initially ridiculous but then they haven't been struck by the thunderbolt. You lose your mind when you are struck and can easily go into self destruct mode. That kind of infatuation has such a hold on you. I can acknowledge during the time when i was afflicted with this i had similar thoughts and i was in 12th. But i stuck with life  and now i know you can live with it.

As far as the last part is concerned i loved the direction in which Narayan took the story. I have read most of his books and the way i remember it most of his main characters are sad at the end. I remember i used to hate the way Narayan ended his books. I used to  start caring for the characters so much that when i reached the end and find out they didn't get what they wanted or were sad, i used to hate on Narayan for being so mean. I used to think, man we couldn't get in life what we want, at least give these poor sods that things that they were striving for and they weren't even asking for that much. But that's what the beauty of Narayan is and makes me want to read his book again and again. He makes you fall in love with his characters. They are so realistic and simple you can easily connect to them and feel that you know someone like them.

Talking of characters there were few interesting characters in this book. I liked the guy who wanted to form an organisation to fight the British. I'm forgetting his name. I really wanted to know what happened to him. And then there was Kailas whom Chandran encounters in the third part. He's there in the book for a short time but he was interesting like hell. I would have liked to know a lot more about him. He had some dope advise to give to Chandran. I thought he was more like Lord Henry Wotton of Oscar Wilde's The picture of Dorian Gray. He could have taught a thing or two to Chandran if he had remained with him a little bit longer. What do you think of this comparison? Is it only me? 

In the end i would say, i loved the book and the ending. If you have read the book then do tell me what did you feel about it.

If you haven't read the book then you should give it a try.  You can get it from the following link:

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