Waiting for the Mahatma

R. K. Narayan regarded as one of the "Big three" among the Indian novelists in English has been admired for his remarkable gift for telling stories, portraying memorable people of small oddities and eccentricities, and for his humour. He writes with grace and humor, about a fictional town Malgudi and its inhabitants; and their little lives. Narayan is a classic teller of tales; an enduring appeal springs from his canvas where common men and women of all times and places are joined in their commonality.

Narayan's novel, Waiting for the Mahatma occupies a pride of place in Indian-English Literature as one of the best novels of the Gandhian era. "It is a tale of remarkable insight into the upsurge of Indian nationalism as witnessed through the eyes and hearts of Sriram and Bharati, told with all the genius and compassion we have to expect from Narayan."It is the story of the triumphs and tragedies of a raw young zealot in the service of Gandhi, distinguished for its warmth, humour, and lack of sentimentality and the stamp of absolute truth. The novel has received both adulation and admonition in the hands of the critics with the pendulum swinging to either extreme. But the novel stands unruffled by these like a beacon light on a solid rock.