Book Review : Painter of signs — By RK Nayaran


Once a critic had commented “R.K. makes you feel, through his writings, what it is to be an Indian.” With lot of books springing from the soil of Malgudi, “The painter of Signs” is yet another book in which the author, in subtle, comic and poetic way, captures the picture of the Indian society and its interaction with social and global challenges and changes.

Raman is portrayed as a self-satisfied man in the beginning of the book who is happy living in his small, closed world. His life takes a huge toll when it intersects with Daisy’s completely different, outgoing world! Daisy is portrayed as young, bold, beautiful, passionate and hardworking woman, committed to the mission of controlling India’s unbridled population explosion.
To me the characters of Raman and Daisy, who eventually fall in love with each other and decide to get married, are suggestive of two different types of people existing in our society. With vivid description of central characters the author successfully transcends the message of present day social challenges and issues.The best component or characteristic of R.K.Narayan’s writings is that he makes serious comments in comic manner! This serio-comic style makes reading of his books a hilarious experience! The characters like stern and superstitious lawyer, the lecher bangle-seller, ever irritating Gupta, mystic saint, cow like school teacher keep reader amused throughout the book.R.K. Narayan is a kind of author who gives space to almost every flavor of thought prevalent in Indian society. The character of aunt represents the integral part of our society, family life.
Her character commands special mention as, though she is always shunned and overpowered by Raman, she is the one whom Raman badly craves for in the end of the story. Her selflessness in treating Raman is very touchy, even she has a story but that is hardly paid any attention…..her character brings somewhat poignancy to the plot of the story.
Daisy after being very close to Raman, leaves him. He feels she deserted him, she is concerned about the cause. The one who provides some stability to the story and also to the reader, aunt, has gone to pilgrimage!
Readers are as shaken as Raman might have been!!!!!!!!!!!!!
——– Dhruv Joshi

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3 thoughts on “Book Review : Painter of signs — By RK Nayaran

  1. Looks like a sad love story. I used to think this plot has become a little archaic these days, untill i saw the movie kites. But even that bombed at the box office. So does this book has the kind of freshness we saw in the older movies like QSQT and ek duje ke liye ? or is the plot on completely different lines?

  2. yes the book does have that kind of freshness, in fact it is written by the same author who wrote the novel on which SUPERHIT film Guide was based……

    according to me, what makes these books and films different is the life with which all the characters are created, handled and presented….. nothing in it seems redundant.

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