RK Narayan

RKN passed away in 2001. Last 10 yrs he had been living in Madras and the Project Office of Intimate fashions, where I used to work, was in the same building where RKN lived. He liked meeting people and I used to drop in once in a while for a chat. He looked very much his age, 84, with no traces of senility. His was a fresh mind, a hostile breeding place for senility. He spoke chaste Iyer Tamil with no signs of the years he spent in Karnataka. And of course, needless to say that he spoke immaculate English!

My daughter and nieces too joined me in one of my visits, in fact that visit was for them. We had a few of his books autographed by him. I introduced them as ardent lovers of his writings. He accepted the remark gracefully and said “Thank you, it is nice to hear that”. When I said he must have heard that a million times, his spontaneous response was” But, every time it is fresh”. I was amazed at the man whose faculties remained untouched by age.

On another occasion when I enquired how he was spending time, he told me he looks out of the window and observes, for instance, 3 butterflies that travel sothward everyday at 7am. He does’nt know when they return and what they do during the day, he could’nt help pondering though!




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