Saturday, December 5, 2015

Humour - A Way of Life

That Humor can be a way of life, was a revelation for me. And I was introduced to this refreshing new world order by none other than our very own R K Narayan.

Back in the days of my early teenage years, I used to (still do) harbour very strong feelings for using all things 'Indian' or 'Swadeshi' - when our school history lessons about the British Raj and the freedom struggle were getting freshly imprinted on my mind. I even used to insist to my mother to get me atleast two sets of dresses in Khadi material every year. In the rush of such high-spiritedness, one day, I darted into the school library to pick up atleast one english book, as per my teacher's mandate.  Wandering aimlessly, I kept scanning through the book titles one after the other, when my eyes stopped on the word 'Mahatma' - "Waiting for the Mahatma" said the book title. Relieved to have found some book to do with Mahatma, I rushed off to get it entered in the library register, not bothering to check the author, or the summary of the book, or if it was fiction at all in the first place. That week's 'Library book reading for the week' assignment introduced me to the fact that even Indian authors could write really good quality fiction. As I turned page after page in this book, I not only grew addicted to the storyline, but also to the style of writing in which the whole story was laced with humour inspite of handling an out and out love story set in the era of India's freedom struggle, and yet not diluting the plot one bit.

That was the beginning of my attachment to R K Narayan and his stories set in Malgudi and surroundings. As I read more and more of his books, I realised that looking at the situation with a humourous view point made it easier to deal with life and made life all the more enjoyable. 

I am yet to complete reading all the works of R K Narayan, but the bug of writing and the bug to find something to laugh about even in the most complicated situations has bitten me forever. And reading his books taught me to appreciate the likes of George Orwell, as well.

If I ever become a writer, I would like to be in the league of R K Narayan.

Image Credit - Penguin Books, India