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Remembering R.K. Narayan’s Malgudi Days

Does this picture invoke strong memories in you? Chances are that you were born in India in the ’70s or ’80s. As a kid, I use to eagerly wait for R. K Narayan’s Malgudi Days to be aired on Doordarshan. The half an hour long show was a treat to watch, because it used to help a six or seven year old imagine the lives of simple folks, living in a small, fictional town called Malgudi.

A couple of months back, I came to know that all of us can watch Malgudi Days for free at the Rajshri Website. Only people who can understand Hindi can watch these episodes though. There are no subtitles, unfortunately. Needless to say, I watched each and every episode, back to back, for a couple of days. My favorite episodes still remain the same-

1. A Hero- That talks about a young boy called Swami, who’s afraid of sleeping alone. But his parents are determined to make him more courageous. Little Swami makes them proud when he not only manages to sleep alone, but also catch the burglar who tries to steal from their house. In the process, he lands up on the front pages of the local newspaper and becomes a hero.

2. Leela’s friend- Leela is filled with joy when she finds a playmate in her new house keeper, Sidda. But events take a wrong turn when Leela loses her gold chain and this incident coincides with the mysterious disappearance of Sidda.

Each episode can be downloaded for a fee of $1.99. Alternatively, you can use many of the freely available tools to download the videos illegally (Disclaimer: Please do so at your own risk. I’m not encouraging it by any means). By the way, there are a number of old movies, including Abhimaan, Amar Akbar Anthony, Anupama etc. that can be viewed for free at the Rajshri Website. Lovers of Ekta Kapoor will also find older episodes of Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi and Kahaani Ghar Ghar Ki.

How many of you have watched the Malgudi Days recently? Which is your favorite episode?

Edit: Introductory Video found on Youtube-

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53 thoughts on “Remembering R.K. Narayan’s Malgudi Days

  1. I haven’t watched Malgudi days recently but I used to watch it everyday when I was like 10 or 11. I believe. Everytime I’d hear that familiar tune on the T.V. I just couldn’t help watching it. I don’t remember any episodes actually because it’s been a long time and I’m rather forgetful. If I watch it again though, I’ll be able to tell.

  2. ohh dear…you took me a long time back to my past…that kid “Swami” was too cute…i still remember this “sleepin alone” episode… then one “cricket” episode…then he rebels in school,one episode something like that….

    i have always loved this series..
    by the way…i gotta pay to watch…nooo

  3. Oooh there are people out there who like malgudi days too! I like ishwaran the best – flunked every single year of highschool so I could totally related to that one. Narayan is really unforgiving towards religion. I love his snarkiness.

    Rajshri – Shaktiman!

  4. yes ,, still feels nostalgic..there was something about the series that took every one’s attention.
    i could even feel the word “swaaaaaamiiiiiii ” reverberate in my ear …
    good old days…
    i dont have free download so cant watch them.. :(
    if anybody could share the link for a free ebook link i would appreciate :P

  5. @Ish

    I think you were probably younger than that. If you were 10 or 11, then I must have been 16-17, which is impossible. :P I put up the introductory video after you said that you don’t remember much. Take a look!

    @Prax

    Oh they do? That’s lovely! As a kid, I used to watch some amazing shows on DD- This one, then Mahabharat (every Sunday), Vikram Betal, some cartoon shows.

    I hope you like the new look- I got a CSS upgrade.

    P.S- I would prefer if you don’t use txt spk on my blog. :) I’m trying to preserve the use of vowels.

    @Aseemkhan

    Yes, I remember that one too. You can watch all of them online for free now. :)

    @Rohan

    Yeah! So sweet, no? I think I really miss these serials where life was portrayed in such a simple and innocent manner. No frills or fancy. Hey, you don’t need to pay. I said, you can watch for FREE! But for downloading, you gotta pay $1.99. But there are lots of workarounds available-so you can even download for free using some external website. :)

    @Purnima

    Haha..Yeah! How can I forget Malgudi Days? I’ve always been a fan of his. Also, his brother was an amazing cartoonist. You watched Shaktimaan? I never saw that somehow- grew too old by then, probably. :)

    @Arvind

    Exactly! Watching those episodes all over again made me so nostalgic. I felt like I was reliving my childhood days.

    i dont have free download so cant watch them.. :(

    Hey, there are lots of software/sites that let you download stuff for free ;) Just search on the Google. If you can’t find, them let me know. I’ll look it up.

    if anybody could share the link for a free ebook link i would appreciate :P

    What kind of books are you looking for? I have lots of comic books links. :)

  6. lallopallo says:

    My generation grew up on serials such as Malgudi days and mungeri lal ke haseen sapne. Malgudi Days was marvelous. Since I have also read many RK Narayan’s novels, I sort of understand his way of looking at things. I can watch malgudi days umpteen times and still enjoy/learn every time I see it.

  7. ur quite the tech freak

    i will try, but it is difficult as i prioritize writing a comment over correct english as i read a lot of stuff n blogs and time is always in short supply.

  8. @ lallopallo:

    I have heard a lot about Mungeri Lal Ke Sapne…but never watched it. :) I’m not sure if it was aired during my childhood (Late 80s- early 90s.). I’m a big fan of RK Narayan’s novels too. I don’t know what is it about them..they’re so simple, yet so profound and somewhat saddening.

    Btw, I wrote that line in the post specially for you- that you can watch lots of old Hindi movies online at Rajshri.com. You might be already knowing this though. :)

    @Prax

    ur quite the tech freak

    So, I’m told. :) I actually was on WP.org for a couple of days, but it was taking too much of my time (designing, plugins etc.); so I came back to this blog.

    i will try

    Thanks for paying heed to my suggestion. :)

  9. I used to love all the Swami episodes.

    Mulgudi Days, with its ta-na-na theme music is part of the 80s pre-liberalization zeitgeist. The 8.40 National News with its parroting of the government lines, Buniyaad, Hum Log, the short NFDC films on unity, education etc (remember ‘Ek titli, anek titliya….’)? Ah – nostalgia.

  10. @ BongoP’o’ndit:

    Thanks for mentioning Ek Titli..anek Titli! :) Had almost forgotten about that jingle. I can still sing it in my head. You remember the opening music of the National News?

    Da-dadada-dadadadum. (Can you hear me singing it?) ;) I’ll try to locate these and put them in my Vodpod (in the sidebar).

    @Arvind

    Oh I see. :) That’s sad indeed. Very stupid rule! I don’t know what I would have done with limited bandwidth for downloading stuff.

  11. ulag says:

    What really struck me about the Malgudi days serials were its inherent simplicity. So true to the spirit of R K Narayans books. It captured very well the feel of a quintessential sleepy town where an ambassador car was a sign of luxury and a black coat and a long black umbrella a sign of babudom. All credit to the director Shankar Nag. Thanks for letting us know about tht website. Ill definetly check it out. I remember some good ones like the one about the freedom fighter, the American daughter in law, the postman, the archaeologist.
    And yeah who can forget those other iconic serials of DD…hum log,circus, buniyaad, jungle book(jungle jungle pata chala hai….chchaddi pehen ke nikal pada hai :D) ,yeh jo hai zindagi-which is incidentally the best comedy serial iv seen to date. Noone makes such realistic tv shows nowadays. A real pity that we hafta be stuck with the “K-saas-bahu” sagas on all channels.

  12. @ ulag:

    Hey welcome back :) Haven’t seen you since ages.

    Oh yes! I remember that one with the post man who goes around the small town reading letters and then doesn’t reveal that the relative has died because the daughter of the house was getting married and he didn’t want anybody to be sad.

    Even the archaeologist- He discovers a monument and thinks that it is highly valuable.

    Circus and Jungle Book were other favorites of mine too. :) Like you said, TV these days is filled with crap! Where did those days of simplicity go? None of these serials are even educational anymore. They’ve become a commercial tool that enter every household during dinner time.

    And thanks for the link :) It’s not off-topic at all. In fact, you’ll love my next post then- where I’m going to put up videos of lots of old ads and serials. I have been listening to all these songs since the past 2-3 hours. I feel really nostalgic at the moment.

  13. Pingback: Replaying Old Ads and Songs « Time and Again

  14. I’m a newbie to your blog. Wandered in from Nita’s site. As impressive as R.K. Narayan’s novel may have been, it would be incomplete without his brother R.K. Lakshman’s renditions.

    The director Shankar Nag and his ever so spot-on selection of the cast made it such a worth while watch. Hate to say it, but one of the few where I prefer the TV series better than the book. Be it Master Manjunath as Swami ; Harish Patel ; Anant Nag ; L.Vaidyanathan for the music or for that matter Agumbe as Malgudi ! He was dead on. The finesse in his direction and letting the characters and the story do the talking was so good and so Shankar. Thankfully we have not had someone do an interpretation of it. Asoka anyone ?

  15. @ Athreya:

    Hey! Thanks for stopping by :) Yes, the openings credits included so many scenes from the novel that were wonderfully illustrated by his brother. Both of them made a very successful pair.

    Asoka- if you’re talking about the movie- then it’s worth not talking about it. :) I’m not sure if there was a TV series on Asoka? I do remember watching Tipu Sultan though.

  16. lallopallo says:

    Ruhi, Mungeri Lal ke Haseen Sapne was aired first time on Doordarshan in late 80′s itself ( Sometime around 88-89 I guess)..I was also a kid then..lol…
    Regarding the rajshri website, yes, I know abt it..I dont think they have many old movies though..in any case, I guess I have seen most of the earlier hindi movies which should be seen..
    Thanks anyways..:)

    Ruhi: Oh I see! I was only 4-5 years old then. :) Even I felt that you might have already finished watching all those Hindi movies.

  17. shruti says:

    @ ruhi
    that particular story of the postman was also a part of our english syllbus. We were supposed to do an imaginery afterneath of the story and also write an essay on whether the postm,,an was right in doing what he did

  18. @Shruti

    My god! You seem to be knowing everything girl :) You should watch these online again…seriously. And btw Rajshri has lots of other old movies and serials too. Take a look at their website. It’s really nice.

  19. puneet verma says:

    Hey yaaa..everbody here…how ru..?…..
    This is puneet verma….
    Actually am having all links to download free “Malgudi days”….
    its on rapidshare…
    So if anybody wanna…plz mail me at puneet99992001@yahoo.co.in..

    okk….evryone take care…

  20. eYRa says:

    Actually i opend this blog because of my assaigment…my lecture ask to find about short story..n one of them is “A Hero”, from R.K Narayan…it touchable..

  21. i am fan of a manjunath i wnt some detail and picture of manjunath . recent photo not his childhood i wnt some young photo and some detail of real malgudi city where is . that
    thanka for all u read this massage pls send me some detail

  22. Shruti says:

    Higuys, every1 who wants to download malgudi days can download it for free from youtube site… i hope you all know how to download videos from youtube… i m also a great fan of malgudi days…

    though u can download the videos from youtube, all d episodes are nto being downloaded n i dont know y… but most of them got downloaded… it has all the 39 episodes…

    go goin man!

  23. S. RAMAMOORTHY says:

    I had watched Malgudi Days in 80s and admired the way it was directed.

    For the past several years, I had been longing to watch the episodes. Even I was prepared to spend any money to have that episodes in CDs. Fortunately, when I tried to search the serials in the website, I wondered I got all the serials. I have been watching them in the website. But, I don’t know even a single word in Hindi. Still I understand the serial and like them to watch.

    Now I have downloaded several episodes and have loaded on them into my iPod.

    Though the stories are so good, every one has to admit that the direction was so wonderful, the location, the actors chosen for every character are so good.

    I still admire on Manjunath, the child artist acted as Swamy. I really want to meet him today and congratulate him. What a wonderful actor he is? He is worth of having awarded internationally. Nobody can see a person like this any more.

    My special thanks to Mr. Shankar Nag, Mr. Girish Karnad and my lovable child, Manjunath.

    I plead every citizen of India to watch this serial and appreciate Mr. R.K. Narayanan, Mr. R.K. Laxman, Mr. Shankar Nag, Mr. Ginish Karnad and my lovable child, Manjunath.

    My gratitude to Rajshri Website.

    Thanks

    S RAMAMOORTHY,
    NO.33, KARPAGAMBAL NAGAR,
    MADANANTHAPURAM,
    PORUR,
    CHENNAI-600116.
    PH: 9282420425

  24. S. RAMAMOORTHY says:

    I AM PROUD OF LOADING ALL THE EPISODES ON TO MY IPOD AND HAVE BEEN WATCHING THEM EVERYDAY.

    WHAT A WONDERFUL SERIAL?

    FOR DOWNLOADING THE SERIALS THROUGH YOUTUBE, PLEASE CONTACT ME OVER PHONE.

    S. RAMAMOORTHY,
    NO.33, KARPAGAMBAL NAGAR, MADANANTHAPURAM, PORUR, CHENNAI – 600116.
    MOBILE: 9282420425

  25. saurabh says:

    Hi,
    please send me the link of malgudey days ebook.
    and other books of R.K.Narayan or send me ebook of malgudey days.
    thank you!!

  26. Mohit says:

    Hello everyone!!!
    I am new to this forum. I just came across this one incidentally…I think most of us share the same opinion about R.K. Narayan’s creations…..beauty in simplicity. His depiction of India and her people and their lives is so vivid that you start feeling u’ve been to Malgudi. I’ve recently read The Guide and just can’t wait to have a go at MALGUDI DAYS…….
    Can someone kindly help this frenzied fan of his by sending me the link for an e book of this novel at
    mohit18bachelor@gmail.com
    THANK YOU.

  27. Sidheart says:

    Anybody knows where to download the free ebook of the collection of stories from Malgudi days?
    I’d love to read instead :)

  28. Hello All,

    I think all you folks are privileged to have the commentary from none other than Late.Mr.RKN’s great grandson ,that is myself and of course,I don’t entertain autographs or web-mobbing

    Carrying the Legacy and best wishes and blessings to all my fans in here

    RKN (super-juniour)

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