Retrospective Series : Part 9 : Malgudi Days - Swami and his friends

This weekend, we were watching a DVD rented from NetFlix called "Malgudi Days". Yes ! Yes ! the same Malgudi days... remember the Shankar Nag directed saga that derived its inspiration and stories from R. K. Narayan's collection of writings about a fictional town in Karnataka called 'Malgudi'. It frankly brought back some very fond memories of childhood. I would be riveted to the screen watching episodes of this series as they aired once a week. I don't remember the exact day of the week on which they aired, but Swami and his friends were a real thing those days.... its amazing how the human mind tries to find comparisons to its own real life surroundings when a good story is read or narrated. I would imagine myself with my buddies as we practised cricket in the open yard of my neigbour's home. The two neem trees in their courtyard were as scary as the banyan tree in front of swami's house. Girish karnad who in later episodes went on to portray Swami's dad was the epitome of strictness around school talk circles.

The real drive to watch all this came from a class that my mom took one day when I was in 7th or 8th grade. It was a lesson from our English text book and it was a short story excerpted from R. K. Narayan's book. It was called 'Swami and his friends' . The story was about how swami's dad chastises him for just playing cricket the whole of the summer without opening a single text book. He makes him clean the dust caked books and the story goes on about swami grumbling about all that...I forget the whole story, but that was so close to reality..because come on let's be real many of us have really opened any text book during our summer vacation. I would open books...but they would be strictly limited to novels and short stories, if not comics. So the story couldn't be any more closer to home.

Anyways, I sincerely believe that this series by Shankar Nag was one of the most important milestones in the history of Indian television. It probably can be equated to some milestones like MASH airing on American television. The theme song is probably ingrained in the mind of every person of my generation. Even after so many years they bring back goose bumps when I watch it.

That's my two cents for the weekend.



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