Read Waiting for the Mahatma by R.K. Narayan Online


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 theSriram 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 triumphs and tragedies of a raw young zealot in the service of Gandhi is distinguished for its warmth, its humour, its lack of sentimentality and the stamp of absolute truth.Sriram's evolution into manhood is, for him, strange and bewildering process. Bharati, the girl he worship, is witty, infuriating, capable and, wonder of wonders, condescending to the moonstruck Sriram. Her first loyalty though, is to the Mahatma, a saint blessed with disconcerting common sense, a man whose tragedy is tat he is so much greater than his followers. Most of them accept his ideas enthusiastically, and without realizing it, pervert them to suit their coarser personalities. Sriram is inspired by Gandhi, but he is too easily influenced by glamorous patriots of the type of Jagadish, a terrorist.It is a tale of remarkable insight into the upsrge of Indian nationalism as witnessed through the eyes and hearts of Sriram and Bharati, and told with the all genius and compassion we have come to expect from R K Narayan....

Title : Waiting for the Mahatma
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780226568287
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 256 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Waiting for the Mahatma Reviews

  • Sidharth Vardhan
    2019-02-09 09:52

    Despite being a devoted follower of Gandhi, Sriram understands very little of Gandhi's philosophy. And it seems to be true for everyone except Gandhi's immediate circle. And there must have been little to interest a villager in national politics, leave alone abstracts concepts like independence or nonviolence. Sriram is in it mostly for his own selfish interest like most young volunteers - which in this case happens to be his love for Bharti, a young girl full of patriotism who waits on Gandhi. While everyone seems to like him, very few actually seem to understood his philosophy. His presence in novel is felt even in pages where he is absent. The very names of two main characters, Bharti and Sriram being Gandhi's two obsessions.

  • Gorab Jain
    2019-02-16 09:04

    4+The usual suspect of a very promising start. Only this time the latter half is also good.Many similarities with his other works. Its like a new dish prepared using the same ingredients :)First there is this young protagonist being idle and inheriting lots of wealth - like Talkative Man Falls for a strong female character doing social work - Raman and Daisy from Painter of SignsThe tongue in cheek dialogues and witty replies thought in head but not spoken - Nataraj from Man Eater of MalgudiHeavy influence of Gandhian philosophy - Jagan from Vendor of Sweets (future of Sriram from this book?)Like his other works, there is subtle humor scattered in the form of keen observations from a day to day life.But the differentiating factor is the profound background holding a soulful plot.Gandhiji is not just another title character in the passive, but a vital one having some deep conversations with our protagonist.Mixed with India's freedom struggle, this is the most realistic work by Narayan... throwing in a dash of Historical Fiction.Highly recommended.

  • Versha
    2019-02-16 02:57

    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 Bharthi and his meaningless life takes a different turn from then on. But even after finishing the book i am not sure whether Sriram really did find his aim in life or, what all he did and went through was it just because he had no other choice? Because he was such a fickle minded and complicated character that it was difficult to say what and how he would think in a particular situation. Sometimes he would act wisely and I would almost believe that finally there is some maturity reflecting in this character but the next moment he is the same old foolish guy, who would say or think something stupid. Having said that i really enjoyed reading this book and simultaneously got frustrated with Sriram and found myself helpless in some situation. I think that explains the beauty of R.K.Narayan’s writing. His sense of humour and his keen observation which he brings out in his simple writing is always a delight to read.

  • Adriano Bulla
    2019-02-16 02:14

    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't quite put my finger on it, unlike other styles, I have not worked out its secrets; this soul is there, yet I have never been able to find how it was created by Narayan. And what did I expect from a novel on the Great Soul. What better way to talk about Mahatmaji than by breathing a bit of his immense soul into the words of the novel? Waiting for the Mahatma may still (and probably always will) be a mystery to me, but it a mystery I love and don't wish to solve, rather I feel this mystery has been solving me ever since I read it, like being touched by the Spirit of Light. One of may favourites ever.

  • Prashant
    2019-01-29 04:08

    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 itself). He wanted his writing to be for the mango people and that's why all his stories are set in the rural. His protagonists are farmers or vendors and even idlers. His story is woven with the emotions of a man with simple desires and even simpler tastes. This is a simple story from the kitty of the Narayan. This is the one which established Narayan in my mind as an author of the masses. The characters couldn't be more identifiable with the common man. A man with an aimless life found a shred of hope which we call purpose. While pursuing that 'purpose' he encounters emotional and physical turmoils which he is too pampered and handicapped to handle. The pleasure the reader gets is in the way the man's life and characters slowly unfolds with the story. At times, one may love or hate him but will definitely root for him. That's the beauty of this story.

  • Vaidya
    2019-02-03 03:57

    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 villagers asked: 'How long ought this to be on our wall, sir?''Till it takes effect'. 'What does it say, sir?''It is "Quit"- meaning that the British must leave our country.''What will happen, sir, if they leave? Who will rule the country?''We will rule it ourselves.''Will Mahatmaji become our emperor, sir?''Why not?' he said, shaping the letters, with his back turned to them. He taught the school children to cry 'Quit India' in a chorus. They gleefully obeyed him. Their teacher came and expostulated: 'What is this you are doing, sir, you are spoiling them!''How?''By teaching them seditious behaviour. The police will be after us soon. Do you want us to end in jail?''Yes, why not? When more important persons than you are already there.' The crowd jeered at the teacher. The boys were ever ready to seize an opportunity to jeer him. But the old man was more tough than he looked. He put on his spectacles and looked Sriram up and down.The boys cried: 'Oh, the master is looking through his spectacles, oh! oh!' They laughed and cried: 'Quit India'.The teacher pushed his way through and cried: 'Add if possible one "e" before "t"; what we need in this country is not a "Quit" programme, but a "Quiet India" Why don't you write that?'Sriram finished his job writing. He had borrowed the ladder from someone. He turned and said to the teacher: 'Please do something more useful than standing there and talking, master. Please see that this ladder is returned to its owner, I forget his name, and you will have done your bit to free our country.'It is moments like these that define the narrative. When asked to go on disguise after he turns a terrorist unknown to himself, with the entire police force looking for him, he laments that his scalp would have to be shaved and remembers how difficult it was to convince his grandmother to give up his tuft and how he escaped from the greedy barber with his Dhoti intact after paying him only 6 annas, that too after much haggling. In a way, this is almost Catch-22 written on the Indian Independence movement. The humor is spot on, but tends to be dark. There is the bully in prison who threatens people to join in his Bhajans or otherwise... The same bully who killed the owner of the house he had broken into, because, the man left him no choice ('He was sitting on me, what else could I've done?!'). The terrorist who uses Sriram to get things done. 'For some reason I can't avoid obeying him.'In parallel, there is the story of his love to Bharathi and how everything he does is a way to get her. The whole absurdity of his struggle for India's freedom is built around his sole aim to end up with Bharathi, and everything he does is guided only towards that end.RKN stays clear of the politics of the time, concentrating on the common man and Sriram's struggles with himself as he's pushed to become someone else to get Bharathi. Gandhi is a prominent character who has dialogues of his own, but RKN stops short of judging him. But then, does he ever judge any of his characters? In a way, Gandhi gets Malgudi'ed, reduced to being human while being seen through the eyes of the common man - Sriram. Only at the very end RKN gives him a touch of divinity and bestows greatness on him and he does it without a grudge.Definitely a must-read this. But like Catch-22, it does drag at times in the middle.

  • Mel
    2019-01-24 03:04

    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.Big news comes to Malgudi. Ghandi is coming for a speaking engagement. The town leaders are thrown into a frenzy of planning. It is decided that Ghandi will stay in the mansion of the wealthiest man in Malgudi. When Ghandi arrives, he decides that instead he wishes to stay in the home of a street sweeper. This produces great turmoil and debate but there is no going against the word of Ghandi, at least publically. One of the very interesting things in the novel was seeing that not every one revered Ghandi even though everyone is supposed to. Sriram's grandmother saw him just as someone who would get her grandson in trouble, and she was sure right on that. Others thought he was working behind the scenes with the British to get himself made the Emperor of India. It was a bit amazing and shocking when Ghandi appears as a character in the novel. Narayan makes seem human and more than human. Just the few speeches he makes show an almost transhuman wisdom. For example he told the Indians for them to become independent with their hearts full of bitterness to each other was worse than staying under the British. Narayan lets us feel we know a little bit like what it must have felt like to be in Ghand's presence. There is just a huge amount in this novel. Reading it for sure deepened my meager understand of Indian history. Sriram ends up in prison and we endure this time with him. When he gets out of prison he does not know if WWII is over or if India has become independent (the time of his release is early 1947). Narayan ends the novel (he is brilliant at ending his fictions-not an easy thing to do) in just a shocking event that took so much sheer nerve to include in his book.This novel is beautifully written. I was interested in and liked all the central characters. Maybe the character of the girl friend of Sriham could be a bit more filled out but maybe not. The grandmother is just a marvel. You can tell she is just one step away from calling Ghadhi a pompous fraud but she always catches herself. This is a really good novel. I totally endorse it for all and see it as must reading for those into literature about the era of the British Raj and the struggle for Indian Indepence. Narayan brings cosmic events down to the streets and homes of Malgudi in a brilliant and loving fashion.

  • Somdutta
    2019-01-23 09:49

    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 grandmother without saying a word about his plans.Sriram did as told by Bharati to write Quit India on the walls of the huts and buildings in different villages, before she surrendered herself to the police and later being misled by Jagdish, to disrupt the British plans, through violent means. He loved Bharati so much that the thought that he would see her one day at the end of all these ordeals and that they would be united after receiving Bapu's blessings, made him live a solitary life and carry out disruptionist acts . Bharati reigned his mind even during the time he spent in jail . The death of Sriram's grandmother before he returns to Malgudi to visit her followed by her showing signs of life just as he set her to fire on the pyre takes the reader through a whirlwind of emotions. The story has a bitter ending with the assassination of Mahatma Gandhi and a successful ending with Sriram and Bharati having received Bapu's blessings to get married.

  • Vishaal
    2019-02-16 08:50

    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.

  • Heramb
    2019-02-17 09:54

    An amazing insight into Indian freedom movement through a tale of love. A book where you would love and hate to read the ending.

  • Cristina Chaparro
    2019-02-19 09:55

    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 simple one. Easy to follow, typical, nothing essentially original, but because the weight relies on the other points I have mentioned before.The charm of the main characters –under my point of view– is that both are complementary to one another. What one lacks the other has it; so even though you may not feel fully identified with one of them, you will inevitably feel identified with parts of each one –in my case I feel closer to Bharati.Furthermore, we learn the reality of the country, the history of India through the characters's eyes, which makes it much more appealing than reading a history book. I loved understanding a little part of Indian history and culture 'from within'.It leads me to write about the language. It is very simple and easy to follow, it is written in a very plain style, but Narayan includes a lot of Indian vocabulary mostly related to food, Indian cultural figures and untranslatable concepts –such as 'ahimsa', which I personally loved– and though it forces you to make a little research or go to the end of the book to check the glossary, I think it gives the whole work a sense of authenticity. It makes it more 'Indian-like', it is like tasting the culture with the tip of your tongue –specially when they talk about food... Yummy!However, what I loved the most was the representation of the figure of Gandhi. There are a lot of Gandhi related books but the treatment of the Mahatma is that of a historical figure usually romanticized or idealized. However, in "Waiting for the Mahatma" Gandhi is one more character. He is shown as a human being. As someone who feels and has real acquaintances and that cares for the people around and his granddaughter and everyone around him –not just as a flawless spiritual leader. I think that perceiving Gandhi as a human being rather than 'just' as a cultural figure definitely was what made me love the book in the end.To sum up: the characters, the subtle introduction of the historical context and the treatment of the figure of Gandhi made me fall in love with the book. I highly recommend 'Waiting for the Mahatma' if you are looking for –or just curious about– a light book about the independence in India and Gandhi.

  • Bertport
    2019-02-12 06:55

    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 was trustworthy and a good neighbor. (Unless he somehow absconded with the money after Granny died - the disappearance of his shop is never explained.) Sriram's innocence really is terrible. Falling into the wrong hands, he quickly turns from Gandhi's way to political intrigue and vandalism, not out of any understanding conviction, but with some apparent relish for how spicy it all is. When I'm not worrying about what will happen to Sriram, I worry about what he will do to someone else. He seems really disconnected from reality and unable to perceive others' points of view. His neglect of his grandmother saddens me. I worry about how he will treat Bharati after he marries her. Will she still be able to master him by her moral superiority? Bharati and Sriram are, of course, representative figures of India and her people. They are simply compelled to love one another, beyond all logic or sanity.

  • David
    2019-02-02 05:58

    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 Ghandi's camp and dedicate himself to a new life. Political turmoil falls upon India, as they are taken over by the English. Ghandi and his followers speak out against the British and are jailed. After several years they are released and reunite.I definitely liked this one, and will probably check out more by Narayan. Hopefully they will be a little more accessible to me.

  • Rishi Prakash
    2019-02-12 10:14

    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 about the numerous citizens who were forced to abandon their families for their country. It really makes you "Live" those difficult times where there were several emotions playing out every single day and you had to judge your priority every day which was never easy. And the magic of our "Mahatma" has been aptly captured here so read it just to get a real feel through Narayan's common man.

  • Marva
    2019-01-29 02:52

    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.

  • Biswajit Roy
    2019-02-15 04:03

    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.

  • Ashwin
    2019-02-10 09:17

    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.

  • Sachin
    2019-01-31 05:50

    an innocent and touching love story proffered with great humour and realism

  • Aruna Kumar Gadepalli
    2019-02-21 07:09

    An interesting story that revolves around days of freedom movement. Climax is really interesting.

  • Pankaj Suneja
    2019-01-23 05:06

    ‘Waiting for Mahatama’ is interesting novel that explores the human condition and one may find the humour, sad, joy anxious and principles in the journey of Sriram’s life. Most of Narayan’s novels have characters that are financially sound and whose basic needs are met. But what they lack is warmth and care. Often they are attracted by women and in pursuit find their worth, purpose and actualize their potential. It is also an assumption that person who does not have daily means to survive may not spend time in reading a book which for most is activity of leisure. The novel will probably connect with readers who seek belonging either through marriage or being part of a commune. Sriram who lives aimlessly in leisure and suddenly his life is out of control and comfort zone when he is allured to simplicity and authenticity in Bharti. He follows Gandhiji but his pursuits are self interested and the work for cause makes him feel respected and worthy.One feels the affection in Narayan’s world towards Gandhiji which he rightfully deserves. The affection with which Gandhiji speaks to another is reassuring and blessing. His compassion for another and for marginalized makes one search their own souls and ask pertinent questions in life. The hymn ‘Raghu pati Raghav Raja Ram’ is beautiful.I found the novel to be captivating.

  • Ashita Thakur
    2019-02-16 05:53

    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 andmisplaced patriotismin 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. Everything changes when he sees a girl who is the manifestation of all things amazing- working with an NGO, theatre on the side and a hot body with a pretty face to top it off. But our Sri doesn't know 2 cents about all this NGO business-- so what, he can try. Oh yes.In the book, Sri Ram is not patriotic. He is lazy, unambitious and unconcerned with the affairs of the world. He has never thought about anything more significant than what to waste his inheritance on. He is unconcerned with the freedom struggle that is sweeping the nation, until he sets his eyes on Bharati who works with Mahatma Gandhi. Who is this Mahatma dude? What does he even want? Why is my 'bae' so fond of him? Why is this skinny man clad only in a dhoti so influential and awe inspiring? Screw it, imma make a move- Yasss she wants it. Oh No, she went to jail. Oh no, I am a semi terrorist. Oh no, I am in jail. Such are his woes. R K Narayan's books are known for their humanism and realistic touch. Though this book was force....prescribed reading in college and I had to read it 3 times because I couldn't really get into it (no one likes to read books that they are forced to read. C'mon), I cannot deny the sheer simplicity and reality of this work.The unconcernedness of Sri Ram with politics, his curiosity on the weirdness of the freedom movement, his inability to actually give a rat's ass about the movement, his love (infatuation?) for Bharati, the impact of Gandhi's magnetic charm and the terrorist dude's sly words on Sri Ram are all so natural that one does not question the realism of the story. R K Narayan does make his characters as real as the sweat bead sliding down Bharati's waist. (No, this is not a real quote from the novel, but its not too far from it either)

    2019-02-08 07:01

    The young SriramThe beautiful BharatiAnd of course the great Mr. Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi known as Mahatma GandhiSriram is brought up by his grandmother and when he reaches twenty, his grandmother hands over his heritage that she was saving for him. After couple of years he meets a beautiful girl – Bharati – who is seeking for donation and trying to arrange the event for welcoming Mahatma Gandhi. Here we should know that Sriram was not Gandhi’s follower, yet for the affection that he has to Bharati and in addition to be close and around her, with lots of struggles, he finally becomes a preacher on Ahisma. Ahimsa is a multidimensional concept, inspired by the premise that all living beings have the spark of the divine spiritual energy; therefore, to hurt another being is to hurt oneself. When Mahatma is imprisoned, he gives the call of Quit India. Quit India was a national disobedience movement launched by all India congress committee headed by great Gandhi, demanding an end to British Rule of India. The responsibility of spreading this message is given to Sriram by the girl who is totally in love with.I read couple of reviews about the book. A number of reviewers mentioned that some phrases such as East-West (which stands for the conflict between religion and rationality, tradition and modernity, spirituality and materialism, equality and inequality, innovation and tradition) was clearly obvious in the book specially while discovering Sriram’s personality, well I say it is so natural to see those stuff in a book that its story is all about nineteen thirties. And many others wrote lots of critics and misunderstood the author. Instead I believe the author wanted to enlighten us about how people can change, how others can be influential in our life or decisions. How we can be a responsible citizen and what are our responsibilities?The title of the novel might give you an impression that story is all about Gandhi but no, the story is about the young Sriram who changes – or I should correct and say; grows- from materialism to a spiritualism; a man of values.

  • Camille McCarthy
    2019-01-27 04:49

    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 very humorous way. It was interesting to see how different characters in the book responded to the non-violent movement; some didn't care whether Britain left or not, some were more appalled by Gandhi's acceptance of untouchables than by anything else, and others embraced it excessively and reverted to extreme measures not sanctioned by Gandhi in order to deter the British. I also liked the depiction of Gandhi in this book, as being an easily-amused, calm, wise person who is maybe a bit child-like in his naivete but also strong of will in his ability to self-sacrifice and care for everyone, including his enemies.Highly recommended for all, I think younger readers would also enjoy this book a lot.

  • Aastha
    2019-02-16 06:16

    The book starts pretty normal with granny giving the responsibility to sriram for his money but things change when bharati enters the scene . He joins the independence movement to woo Bharati even if he himself is not motivated/interested enough. The rest of the story follows his life as he contributes his part in the independence movement however small it seems. The rural landscape somewhat romanticize the whole affair of freedom. The nation's struggles run parallel to his love story. Gandhi is pivot both for him and the country.The book is written in simple, lucid language which makes it an easy read. It was on my TBR for long time. It tends to drag in the middle yet I wish it was longer.This is a simple love story of 'one' among those thousands who thronged behind great leaders and were the ultimate force behind the success of independence movement during the turbulent times.

  • Gautam
    2019-02-12 06:56

    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 create something like this.

  • Sam Marlowe
    2019-02-02 06:09

    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.

  • Sameera Qais
    2019-01-26 10:10

    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!

  • Balu
    2019-01-23 06:08

    A true mark of R.K.Narayan Splendid NarrationThe way he carried the love story before Independence of India was mesmerizingThe Principle of M.K.Gandhi and his followersTHE QUIT INDIA PROTESTS,life in Prison before freedom was well narratedSriram'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

  • Ilaria
    2019-02-14 07:14

    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.

  • Indiabookstore
    2019-02-04 05:04

    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: