Malgudi Days: Nostalgia

The stories are simple yet moving. Some of these stories do have elements of suspense thrillers and almost all of them have healthy humor and existential question marks do come out dancing at the doors of your understanding in some of the stories. These stories as a whole look like celebration of life in all its forms.There is a common theme in all these stories: A person in a unique crisis. This might be crisis of faith or existential nightmare or a peculiar event. What really makes these short stories leave an indelible mark on your memory is: Coherent and very identifiable characters who are struggling for better living or for more happiness. You find that you are in these stories, your neighbour and your friends are also there and that sexagenarian old man who used to tell you great stories of his youth but rarely used to find any audience except you is there in these stories. It seems that these are stories of the village where you used to stay in your childhood. Malgudi Days has become part of memories of great old days which make many of us nostalgic. As I watch these episodes again after a long time, I find that the characters are so intriguing and so perfectly played by some very good artists. The credit indeed goes to great stories written by R K Narayan. Without these stories it would have been impossible to create such profound impact by these episodes.
Late Kannada actor and director Shankar Nag directed this television series. Anant Nag has enacted a lot of characters in many episodes. My verdict on his performances is—he is a great method actor and he has accomplished his job with utmost of sincerity. Almost all other actors have done their due with convincing art. As for the masterly direction—it just amazes you every time you watch these episodes. There are a few goofs but they were almost inevitable and if you accept them with entirety of the comely stories, you are left with something very significant to appreciate. Carnatic Musician L. Vidyanathan composed the score for this series and this is one of those musical pieces which stay with you.  The sketches shown at the beginning of each episode were done by cartoonist R. K. Laxman.
Nothing better than Malgudi Days has ever happened to Indian TV in my opinion. Anything which came close to it was Byomkesh Bakshi. In both of the cases, stories were profound and well appreciated and artists, who chose to work on them for TV avatar, took the project with a great degree of earnestness.
You want to visit Malgudi after watching any story and want to become part of those interesting conversations. You want to hear a lot more of those gossips and rumours. You want to sit with villagers near wells and talk about everyday life. You want to witness that most uproarious but yet most linguistically and existentially significant conversation between Muni and USA tourist. You want to be amongst those villagers when that cat inside a vessel is jumping from place to place inside the store and they are scared that a ghost is making those noises.   

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