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Waiting for the Mahatma

3.85 of 5 stars 3.85  ·  rating details  ·  765 ratings  ·  45 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, 256 pages
Published October 15th 1981 by University Of Chicago Press (first published October 28th 1955)
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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
Adriano Bulla
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'
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
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
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
Rishi Prakash
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
Aruna Kumar Gadepalli
An interesting story that revolves around days of freedom movement. Climax is really interesting.
Camille Mccarthy
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
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
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.

an innocent and touching love story proffered with great humour and realism
Riku Sayuj
Of all of Narayan's books, this was my favorite.
This review will come very very soon. I promise !
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.
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
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.
A true mark of R.K.Narayan Splendid Narration
The way he carried the love story before Independence of India was mesmerizing
The Principle of M.K.Gandhi and his followers
THE QUIT INDIA PROTESTS,life in Prison before freedom was well narrated
Sriram's effection and love towards Grandmother and her lady love Bharati was closely related and mixed up with gentle emotions of human life was well described

A great little novel, set mostly in fictional Malgudi. I liked the simple, straightforward writing. I'm not sure how much I liked the main character Sriram who is very Candide-like, simple and at the mercy of events and people around him. I really enjoyed the end, when Sriram and Bharati go to Birla house to meet Gandhi. RK Narayan really managed to weave in the story of the lover within the fabric of history without tampering with or ape the latter. The personna of Gandhi is beautifully summone ...more
Easy read! I studied it while doing an Indian literature course in college!
An endearing love story set in the backdrop of the Indian freedom movement. Recommended.
My first book this year and what a book to start with...a beautiful coming-of-age romantic drama set in 1940s in Malgudi, when India is struggling for independence a young boy Sriram falls in love with a girl but not any normal girl, a girl fighting for independence with the Mahatma. And then starts his persuit for life and love. As the story is set in RK Narayan's Malgudi, so is filled with his elements of common man's humour and agony. A beautiful story, I wish Chetan Bhagat and Co. could crea ...more
Nidhi Batish
a good read....
Venkat Narayanan
Told through the POV of a spoilt brat aka young man with hell lot of distractions and worse he has a love interest and even worse he follows her into the world freedom fighting.
Honest and utterly poignant R K Narayan is the only writer whom I have never had any difficulty in reading.
The simple but accurate descriptions and most effective way of using the English language(no verbose) makes it one of the most fav novels of mine.
Sameera Qais
A well crafted story by one of my favourite writers, R.K. Narayan. Patriotism and romance are balanced effectively in this simple, yet elegant, story where Gandhi's ideals are injected in small doses. It was like viewing major historical events like the Indo-Pak partition, independence and Gandhi's assasination through the eyes of the young characters of the story. A very simple story but a good read!
Ananth Singeetham
Afterall its a waiting.. Wait till the end u will b marvelled! What a book!
RK Narayan is best known for his work based on the quaint South Indian town of Malgudi. In ‘Waiting for the Mahatma’, he manages to combine the magic of Malgudi with the heady atmosphere of the Indian freedom movement and what results is a truly novel novel (pun intended). Read the full review here:
Sriram is a young man who lives with his grandmother and keeps daydreaming about something bigger than his life. He criticises everything and everyone until he sees Bharati for the first time. She’s a follower of Gandhi, and Sriram will be involved in the history of India. The novel was written in 1955 but it’s still fresh.
Just dipping a toe into Narayan's vast oeuvre and Indian literature generally - this is at heart a boy meets girl story enmeshed in the revolutionary political events of the 1940s, leading up to the partition and Ghandi's assassination. Having Ghandi himself as a character is a bit audacious and an impressive literary accomplishment.
Sailesh Ravindran
A great book which brings you close to the Mahatma.

In this book, Mahatma is depicted not only as a leader. The book, i believe, is the only one, which showcases the Mahatma, who was also a parent, guardian & a friend to his followers. The one phenomenal quality for which the world calls him the 'Mahatma'.
Shiva Pillai
RKN is perhaps one of the finest Indian writers. In this novel, he has mixed fiction as well as non-fiction to such an extent that it becomes almost impossible to tell whether this story is true or a work of RKN's imagination.
The end will really shock you...
A very good romance novel.. worth a read.
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R. K. Narayan is among the best known and most widely read Indian novelists writing 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 there
More about R.K. Narayan...
Malgudi Days Swami and Friends The Guide The Ramayana: A Shortened Modern Prose Version of the Indian Epic The English Teacher

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