Friday, August 12, 2005

Mr. Sampath

I almost finished reading Mr. Sampath - The Printer of Malgudi by R.K.Narayan. I do want to write about it, but this is no review.

Mr. Sampath is a great novel. R.K. Narayan was one the best story tellers of recent times who wasn't recognized enough in India. Literacy is around 50% in India and less than 10% know English and of that 10, 9 won't have the habit of reading books. So, statistics prove that English authors have less chance of recognition as compared to Hindi. For that matter, a great literary person in any Indian language other than Hindi doesn't get the due recognition. I'm digressing.

Coming back to Sampath, it has everything to be made into a good movie. If someone dares to make a movie from this story, that will be ironical. But I have heard of this movie Mr. Sampath with Cho in the lead - but not sure if it is based on the novel. I'm sure they would have made a mess of it as they did with தனிக்குடித்தனம். A novel on paper gives so much freedom to the reader to visualize the situation. If it is made into a movie or a TV series, the director's visualization is what is in the movie. If it doesn't match the majority of the folks who read the novel, the movie is criticized.

The famous Nag brothers of Kannada Cinema did an excellent work when they made RKN's novels and short stories into TV series.

Coming back to Mr. Sampath, the novel has the characters that you can relate to - a silent observer, his practical and assertive wife, a greedy hypocrite old man, a brilliant problem solver and other kinds of people we get to see so often. The story is about the problem solver. The story goes through the ups and downs of the problem solver; doesn't miss out narrating any goof-ups by the problem solver.

Anyone who is over 30 years and lived most part of his life in India would have faced characters like the ones in the novel. A must read for everyone who appreciates good narrations.

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