The story of a young man who is upset by the failure of his first love and his journey towards maturity.
Summary Of The Book
The Bachelor Of Arts is usually considered part of a semi-autobiographical trilogy by the author. The first book in this trilogy is Swami and Friends, this book is the second, and The English Teacher is the final book.
These are considered to be one continuous story, of the same person as a child, as an adolescent just stepping into adulthood, and the same young man in the third book, though the names of the protagonists are different in each novel.
This story is about young Chandran, who has just graduated. He has also just fallen in love. He sees a young girl, Malathi, on the beach one day, playing with her younger sister, and is at once smitten by the girl, who is all of fifteen years old.
He asks his parents to approach the girl’s parents with an alliance. Being the potential groom’s parents, and therefore superior, they do it in a roundabout way. Meanwhile the impatient Chandran is lost in his dreams about Malathi, quite sure that it is only a matter of time before they are united. He just wishes it would not be too long before it happens.
But, on matching their horoscopes, his dreams are dashed. The astrologer tells the girl’s mother that marrying Chandran would be deadly for her daughter, so she vetoes the match. Heartbroken, Chandran leaves his home and parents, deciding that the worldly pleasures are no longer for him.
He puts on the garb of a sanyasi and wanders around the country, living on alms. After a while, he gets tired of this kind of life, and decides to return back home. He is welcomed back, and his parents then convince him to marry a beautiful young girl of their choice. Thus begins the next phase of his life.
It is a humorously written story, highlighting the passions and the weakness of youth through the character of Chandran, his infatuation with Malathi, his clumsy attempts at renunciation, and the quickness with which he agrees to marry another girl on his return.
About R.K. Narayan
R.K. Narayan is one of the most popular faces of Indian literature in the world.
Other books by R.K. Narayan are Malgudi Days, The Bachelor Of Arts , The Dark Room, The English Teacher, and Mr. Sampath.
He wrote about ordinary people, about life during the pre and post-independence period. His stories always conveyed a deep sense of ethnicity and were rooted in reality.
R.K. Narayan was born in Madras (Chennai), Tamil Nadu, in 1906. He completed his B.A. degree at the Maharaja College of Mysore. He worked for a little time as a teacher, but soon decided to devote all his time to writing. His first book, Swami and Friends, after a string of rejections, was finally published thanks to the efforts of the writer, Graham Greene. Slowly, Narayan built up a fan following and soon became one of the most popular Indian writers writing in English. He created the fictional town of Malgudi and this is the setting for all his tales. He was the elder brother of the renowned cartoonist, R. K. Laxman.