Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Aspettando il Mahatma ” as Want to Read:
Aspettando il Mahatma
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Aspettando il Mahatma

3.83  ·  Rating Details ·  1,088 Ratings  ·  61 Reviews
Sriram is twenty. As a mark of his coming of age his grandmother allows his the pass-book to his savigns in the local bank, but Sriram is growing up in other ways, too, and an enchanting and unpredictable girl leads him into the entourage of Mahatma Gandhi.

These are the opening events in R K Narayan's novel. It is the finest thing he has yet achieved, and his story of the
Paperback, 288 pages
Published 1993 by Giunti (first published October 28th 1955)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Aspettando il Mahatma, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Aspettando il Mahatma

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Feb 16, 2016 Versha rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I make it a point to start my year by reading a book by an Indian author and i couldn’t have asked for a better book than ‘Waiting For The Mahatma’ by R.K. Narayan. I have always enjoyed his satiric writing.

Set in the same place ‘Malgudi’, this book revolves around Sriram a young aimless boy, who is smitten by a girl named Bharthi and goes after her blindly leaving his granny and finds out that she is one of the volunteer who works for Mahatma. Sriram joins the group in a jest to impress Bharth
Adriano Bulla
Jul 30, 2014 Adriano Bulla rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Not a review, this one, my little homage to a novel I found original and beautiful.

I remember I read it when I was in my mid twenties, on a train from Milan to that wonderful city that us Copenhagen.
Although this novel appears to be, at first sight, realistic, there is 'magic' in it. I say it in inverted commas because what I mean by it is not any sorcery, but that this novel, I strongly believe, has a soul. It breathes, it has an energy going through it, in waves, from beginning to end. I can'
Oct 17, 2012 Prashant rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shashi Tharoor in his book Bookless in Baghdad wrote about the simplicity of Narayan's writing.

On the death of R.K., he said he had a mixed feeling because he always found Narayan's English too bland and 'grammatically incorrect' for anyone's taste. He called R.K. a man who never wanted to learn and lived a negligent life.

Narayan would have himself partially agreed with Tharoor. He never wanted to influence his writing from anyone else's and thus never read any other author's work(strange in i
Nov 09, 2011 Mel rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2011
I think it took a great deal of real courage to write and publish Waiting for Mahatma in 1955. The novel, set largely in his fictional city of Malgudi India, begins around 1939 and ends in 1947, just before the partitioning of India.

Waiting for Mahatma centers on a young man named Sriram who lives with his grandmother. He is in love with and wants to marry a young woman who is involved with Mahatma Gandhi's movement to achieve Indian independence and this draws him into becoming active himself
Mar 30, 2014 Vaidya rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Easily among RKN's best works, right up there with Swami and Friends and The Painter of Signs. RKN has always specialized in absurdity, the very commonality of the common man that shines through in the most profound or historic of moments. And when that gets applied to something as 'serious' as the freedom struggle, what you get is a masterpiece.

Given the task of painting 'Quit India' on village walls, he obsesses that the "Q" takes more paint, reducing the tail, ending up with Ouit India.
The v
Jun 17, 2014 Vishaal rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned, fiction
A compassionate, simple love story set during the times of the Indian independence.

A refreshing and quick read, Waiting for the Mahatma kept me smiling with many things I could relate - especially about 'Granny' and 'Bhrathi'. R.K. Narayan's writing and sense of style may not delight many, but there is some unexplainable magnetic pull about the book that wants you to go on.

Some parts do feel a tad childish, and cry out for better story-telling, but the book is an overall good read.
Cristina Chaparro
I have really enjoyed the book.

I have to admit that at the beginning I did not know very well where it was leading, but I ended up enjoying it a lot. However, it may be difficult to understand or enjoy if you expect a typical plot with an introduction phase, a conflict, development and resolution. It is not that the book lacks it, it is that, under my point of view, it is more focused on characters's feelings and in historical events rather than in the plot itself. The plot, in fact, is a quite
Sep 15, 2014 Somdutta rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: uc-davis-library
R.K Narayan takes us to a place called Malgudi which is a fictional town, familiar to readers of his stories.This is a love story which takes place at the time when Mahatma Gandhi was one of the key players in leading India's struggle for freedom. Sriram, gets in to India's freedom struggle because he wants to be around Bharati and less because of his love for his country. Before meeting Bharati he led an idle life, without any aims, taken care by his grandmother. He decides to leave his grandmo ...more
Third person limited narrator, following one Sriram, born in a town and educated pretty well, could have gone to college but apparently did not because he was too stubbornly unwilling to study or follow direction. He is terribly innocent. When he came of age at the beginning of the book and his grandmother turned over his savings account to him, I thought he was going to lose it all to his neighbor Kanni or other unscrupulous people quite soon. But there I was mistaken. It turns out that Kanni w ...more
Rishi Prakash
Aug 21, 2013 Rishi Prakash rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another super story by the great man. "Waiting for the Mahatma" is another realistic novel set during the freedom struggle days. He comes out with a story which depicts another side of our freedom struggle movement and its impact on the lives of numerous Indian people.

The best aspect of this novel is the simplicity of we the Indians prior to gaining independence. The long and hard fought freedom struggle which alters the lives of different people like Sriram(main protagonist) makes one feel abou
Sep 08, 2011 David rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
While I enjoyed this book, and appreciate the concept of an Indian story told in English, I wasn't moved that much. The story centers on a boy named Sriram, who has fallen in love with a girl, Bharati. But she won't agree to be with him until they receive Mahatma Ghandi's blessing. When the story begins, he is living with his grandmother in relative luxury. Then Ghandi comes to town, bringing with him a group of "volunteers," including Bharati. Sriram is quickly taken by her, and agrees to join ...more
Biswajit Roy
Jun 06, 2015 Biswajit Roy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is one of those book that one can cherish all there life once he or she has read it.The emotions in this book are so grounded in a period of time,so honest and innocent that you feel like transported to that era,those events.
Aruna Kumar Gadepalli
An interesting story that revolves around days of freedom movement. Climax is really interesting.
Ashita Thakur
May 30, 2015 Ashita Thakur rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: indian-lit
Waiting for the Mahatma was in some words, a gamble. But then again, Narayan has often chosen difficult subjects, what with infidelity in the Guide and misplaced patriotism in this particular novel.

You can almost imagine Sri Ram as a walking talking entity in today's political scenario. Sri Ram would be a man-boy who is busy updating his status on Facebook from 'At the movies' to 'having lunch at KFC with mah buddiez' and wondering whether he should buy an iPhone 6 or the latest Nexus. Everyth
Camille McCarthy
Aug 06, 2014 Camille McCarthy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I found this book very enjoyable. It reminded me a bit of "the Stranger" since the main character, Sriram, is a bit clueless. However instead of being apathetic about everything the main character cares more for Bharati than for anything else; he finally has found some direction in his life in the form of following Bharati in whatever she is doing, which just happens to be doing the work of Gandhi and spreading the non-violent freedom movement. The book was subtle and a bit silly at times, in a ...more
Nov 19, 2012 Ashwin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Definitely one of my favorite books. Simple prose and subtle humor. A book that is as likely to induce a gentle smile as a silent tear.

Jun 16, 2010 Sachin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
an innocent and touching love story proffered with great humour and realism
Riku Sayuj
Sep 09, 2013 Riku Sayuj rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Of all of Narayan's books, this was my favorite.
Sep 28, 2012 Prashant rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: worth-reading
This review will come very very soon. I promise !
Joe Rodeck
The setting is India just before WWII with Mahatma Gandhi leading a passive rebellion against the British Empire.

A novel that has Gandhi as a player can't be all bad, but this was a meandering bore. The author does manage to illustrate what a charismatic and awe-inspiring figure Gandhi was. The main character's only salient feature is his hero worship.

Reading level: easy.
Sam Marlowe
Jan 29, 2015 Sam Marlowe rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A simple idyllic romance unfurling in the midst of a momentous political scene. Possibly the most nationalistic of R.K. Narayan's works. The author has set the conflict of emotions, which is a recurring motif in his works, against the backdrop of the Indian struggle for freedom. The character of Mahatma in the novel can easily be seen as the very human conscience, whose guidance we continuously refuse.
Feb 12, 2016 Marva rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Highly humorous and hilarious. The book treats "Mahatma" very much differently from the contemporary novels, as "character" not a symbol. The life of the lazy, wealthy Sriram is interesting in the sense, he is a rare choice for being a protagonist - Gandhi Follower(?) in a novel of the times. One among the best of RK Narayan.
Tamanjit Bindra
Dec 24, 2014 Tamanjit Bindra rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: indian-fiction
Very creative story. If you are a history buff you would realise what i mean. The ending was kind of predictable but i guess it doesn't need to be unpredictable. The plot overall is very unpredictable and dynamic. but in the end i guess it's just a love story trapped in history. must read.
Aug 24, 2016 Simon rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
We all know the outcome but how many of us know the whole story of India's independence. I feel a good deal closer after reading this. And a good deal closer to understanding many more of the world's great conflicts.

A great novel. Sometimes the novelist has the edge over the historian.
Shashi Khanka
I just love RK Narayan books. And this one is no exception. Having finished reading it I have a feeling of great satisfaction and a memory of those struggle days for Independence and after independence chaos as if I have lived it.
Damini Singh
Apr 08, 2016 Damini Singh rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I believe the plot was very interesting, and I was shown the inequality of the Indian society at the time. This story also showed me how love is a powerful source of motivation and how wealth can blind you from reality.
An interesting read, although I found it a bit sad the main character was so easily led into things he didn't really understand just because he had fallen in love with a girl, which also led to him neglecting his grandmother who had raised him.
Aug 28, 2016 Sathish rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
what is truth is not known, what is virtual is well known, who fought for us is a rhetorical question, who lost the land is a hypothetical answer. Is chasing out British and doing what we didn't do when they are her is true Independence! whatever, I loved Bharati and her truthfulness towards Bapu and Sriram (our protagonist). Only respected R.K. Narayanan could nail such a story.
Abinav Athreya
Jul 04, 2016 Abinav Athreya rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
The book was very much unlike the author of The Guide, Malgudi Days etc. It was very boring from start and nothing changed much throughout the book. The obsession towards the female protagonist from the protagonist and easy swaying of opinions.
Aditya Sanehi
An ok-ok read. But certain moments in the book are worth reading as they contain a lot of value.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • The Voyeur
  • The Home and the World
  • The Cairo Trilogy: Palace Walk / Palace of Desire / Sugar Street (The Cairo Trilogy #1-3)
  • It Rained All Night
  • Bitter Fruit: The Very Best of Saadat Hasan Manto
  • Lunatic In My Head
  • Cider With Rosie
  • Panther's Moon and Other Stories (Puffin Books)
  • Beastly Tales from Here and There
  • Wise Enough to be Foolish
  • Vikalang Shraddha Ka Daur (विकलांग श्रद्धा का दौर)
  • चंद्रकांता (Chandrakanta, #1)
  • The Dream of the Red Chamber
  • Amul's India: Based On 50 Years of Amul Advertising
  • A Certain Ambiguity: A Mathematical Novel
  • The Treasure of Kafur
  • The Heat and Dust Project: The Broke Couple's Guide to Bharat
  • Untouchable
R. K. Narayan is among the best known and most widely read Indian novelists who wrote in English.

R.K. Narayan was born in Madras, South India, in 1906, and educated there and at Maharaja's College in Mysore. His first novel, Swami and Friends and its successor, The Bachelor of Arts, are both set in the enchanting fictional territory of Malgudi and are only two out of the twelve novels he based the
More about R.K. Narayan...

Share This Book