Malgudi is a fictional village in south India whose essence is still alive in the hearts of all those who have experienced the charm of that show on Old Doordarshan in the late 80’s and early 90’s. A name which still makes us hum the famous tananana tnae tanenaasong.No matter how ahead we move in life it always takes us back to the innocence of childhood with the stories which were inspiring and refreshing in their own, giving us a valuable lesson of life in a humorous way.
After television medium became famous in India in 1970’s and 1980’s, there was a boom of TV shows and Malgudi Days is one of those serial’s names that left indelible mark on the hearts of everyone.
Aired in 1986, on Doordarshan, this serial wasproduced by T.S. Narasimhan and the direction was done by a popular Kannada actor as well as director Shankar Nag. The title track was composed by L. Vaidyanathan and the sketching was undertaken by R.K. Laxman.
There were about thirty nine episodes of “Malgudi Days” that were telecasted. Afterwards, it was re-telecasted on Doordarshan as well as later on Sony entertainment television. After which it was telecasted on Maa television in Telegu.
Malgudi days was adapted from the collection of short stories penned by acclaimed author R.K. Narayan, the serial narration focused on the trial and tribulations of a small Indian town of Malgudi. With his interesting stories of Malgudi Days, R.K. Narayan was able to bring to light and celebrate the wit and liveliness of normal life.
Stories in the serial were taken from books like,A horse and two goats, Swami and his friends, The vendor of sweets and Malgudi days. The serial was mainly based on an episode long story but few of them like “swami and his friends” and “the vendor of sweets” went on for about 7-8 episodes.
SWAMI AND HIS FRIENDS
Swami and his friends is a story of a 10 year old boy W.S. Swaminathan “Swami”who lives with his father who is a lawyer by profession, his mother, his little brother and his grandmother. He goes to Albert Mission School and is an average student.
Swami’s best friend is Mani and he is also quite close to Rajam. Mani doesn’t do anything and is supposedly good for nothing.
Swami(played by Master Manjunath) is a very beautifully woven character as he represents a normal village boy who faces day to day dilemma about things that are very relatable. The situations put in front of Swami are very genuine and almost everyone faces problems like those in their childhood.
Swami has a very childish nature and practical opinion about situations.
His father W.T. Srinivasan(played by Girish Karnad)is a lawyer by profession and a person who is very strict and wants his son to stop loitering with his friends and concentrate more on his studies. He always outwits his wife who is mostly busy in taking care of the new born brother.
Swami’s grandmotheris played by B.Jayashree. She is commonly lost in her own thoughts but ofcourse she still gives a listening ear to Swami’s stories.
Mani, Swami’s good-for-nothing best friend who loves to carry around a pair of wooden clubs is a back bencher in the class and he has no relation with studies, books or homework. But Swami considers him a very good friend.
Rajam is a new student in the class and is the son of police superintendent. He speaks very good English and wears good clothes. Swami admires him a very much and is glad to be friends with him. Although,rest of his friends hates Rajam and Swami’s friendship with him gained him the title of “Rajam’s tail”.
Swami and his friends was a very well adapted story which was also supported by good actors and their unforgettable roles. It was humorous and at the same time ironic about life. Keeping in mind that it was situated in India before independence the characters had English influence on them.
Overall, it is one of the most widely known stories from Malgudi Days, telecasted on DD.
THE VENDOR OF SWEETS (MITHAI WALA)
The vendor of sweets or mithai wala is a story based on the conflict between spirituality and materialism and the conflict between Eastern and Western culture. The story also highlighted the problems occurring due to generation gap.
The main protagonist of the story Jagan who is near his sixties is a former activist in Gandhi’s Satyagrah movement and a widower. He is now running a sweets vending business and experimenting with nature diets and cures.
Another name of character, Mali is Jangan’s son who left for America to become a writer after stealing money from his father. After few years, he returns very westernized and brings along a half Korean and half American wife, named as Grace.
Apart from the conflict between the two generations this story also highlighted the conflict a person faces with himself. Jagan is shown as a person with genuine human flaws like his one hand is on Gita and other is on the money so in a way he contradicts his own self. He also sacrificed his parenthood when his Dharma was at stake and helped Grace instead of his son.
This little but powerful details and behaviors of the characters made this story alluring and one of the most famous shows on DD.Apart from these two stories Malgudi days covered many challenges and joys of life with various other short stories. Like in the episode ‘The missing mail( Dakia)’ the postman hide the mails so that the wedding could occur in peace gave us a message that love can make a person to behave in most strangest ways which are emotionally overwhelming.
The beauty of the series Malgudi Days that was telecasted on Doordarshan lies in the simplicity of its narration and the raw material taken from the people and events around them. Malgudi Days is the serial’s name which will remain an indispensable part of this generation’s childhood.