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Malgudi Village


I know the Tamil and Kannada speaking people most. I know their background. I know how their minds work and almost as if it is happening to me, I know exactly what will happen to them in certain circumstances. And I know how they will react." The exact location, however, is a matter of speculation. Many are of the opinion that it may be Coimbatore, with a river on one side, forest on the other, and many similar buildings and lanes as Malgudi. It is also speculated that it may be Lalgudi on the river Kaveri, or Yadavgiri in the erstwhile state of Mysore. Agumbe, a small village on the western ghats served the screening of most of the episodes of Malgudi Days, a TV serial based on Narayan's works. The movie Guide, based on Narayan's novel of the same name, was filmed in Rajasthan, instead of South India, a fact that Narayan was not very happy about.

Localities and Landmarks

The Sarayu River Malgudi is located on the banks of the river Sarayu. Swami, Mani and Rajam spend most of their evenings playing or chatting by the river. It is on the banks of the dry river Sarayu where Raju the Guide fasts, praying for the rains to come. When Mahatma Gandhi visits Malgudi, the meetings and speeches are held right on the banks. [edit] Streets and Neighborhoods Market Street is the central street of Malgudi, the location of several big shops including Bombay Anand Bhavan and Truth Printing Works. Kabir Street is the residence of the elite of Malgudi, while Lawley Extension is a new upcoming lane housing the rich and the influential. Ellmen Street, home to the oil-mongers, is the last street and beyond it lies the river Sarayu. Other streets include Grove Street and Kalighat Lane. Between Ellmen Street and the river lie Nallappa's Grove and the cremation ground.


The Untouchables and sweepers live on the lower banks of the river.  Buildings Palace Talkies was built in 1935 to replace the old Variety Hall. Albert Mission School and Albert Mission College are the more popular educational institutions. There is also the board school and the town elementary schools. [edit] Other Landmarks Malgudi has a small railway station. The statue of Mr Lawley, seated on a horse, forms another major landmark. Another important place is 'The Boardless', a small restaurant without any board. Boardless is a centre of discussion for current events in Malgudi.


While describing how he conceptualised Malgudi, Narayan says, "Malgudi was an earth-shaking discovery for me, because I had no mind for facts and things like that, which would be necessary in writing about Malgudi or any real place.


I first pictured not my town but just the railway station, which was a small platform with a banyan tree, a station master, and two trains a day, one coming and one going. On Vijayadasami I sat down and wrote the first sentence about my town: The train had just arrived in Malgudi Station." Various critics compare Narayan's Malgudi with Thomas Hardy's Wessex or William Faulkner's Yoknapatawpha. It was a town created from his own experiences, his childhood, his upbringing. The people in it were people he met everyday. He thus created a place which every Indian could relate to. A place, where, in the words of Graham Greene (from the introduction to The Financial Expert), you could go "into those loved and shabby streets and see with excitement and a certainty of pleasure a stranger approaching past the bank, the cinema, the haircutting saloon, a stranger who will greet us, we know, with some unexpected and revealing phrase that will open the door to yet another human existence."


Today's Malgudi

The concept of Malgudi as an "idyllic spot located in South India" seems to have taken root in popular imagination. Some restaurants offering South Indian fare go by the name or extensions of "Malgudi." The Shyam Group operates Malgudi restaurants in Chennai, Bangalore and Hyderabad,. A restaurant named "Malgudi Junction" is located in Kolkata India

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