Malgudi Days is an Indian television series based on the works of R.K. Narayan. The series was directed by Kannada actor and director Shankar Nag. Carnatic musician L. Vaidyanathan composed the score. R. K Narayan’s brother and acclaimed cartoonist R. K. Laxman was the sketch artist. The series was made in 1986 by film producer T. S. Narasimhan with Anant Nag as the lead actor.
Thirty-nine episodes of Malgudi Days were telecast on Doordarshan. Subsequently, it was re-telecast on Doordarshan and later on Sony Entertainment Television, and MAA Television in Telugu. This series was shot entirely near Agumbe in Shimoga District, Karnataka.
In 2004, the project was revived with film-maker Kavitha Lankesh replacing Shankar Nag as director. The new series was telecast from 26 April 2006 on Doordarshan.
Most of the stories in the series are one episode long. The stories are from the books A Horse and Two Goats, Malgudi Days, Swami and Friends and The Vendor of Sweets.
Swami and Friends revolves around the life of ten-year-old Swaminathan, or Swami as he is known. Swami portrays the growing pangs of a boy who despises school, as he makes excuses and roams around Malgudi with his friends. Swami’s father works in a government office and his mother is a housewife. At home, Swami shares his adventures with his aged granny, who lovingly addresses him as “Chamy.” Swami has two close friends: Mani and Rajam, the son of the police chief superintendent. Swami’s character was portrayed by Manjunath, a regular actor in many of Shankar Nag’s productions.
The Vendor of Sweets narrates the story of a sweet vendor, Jagan, his business and confrontation with his son who had returned from abroad. The title role was played by Kannada actor Anant Nag, and most of the actors cast in this serial were from the Kannada film industry. It was directed by Shankar Nag.
Created by: R.K. Narayan
Directed by: Shankar Nag
Country of origin: India
Original language(s): Hindi
No. of episodes: 54
Running time: 22 minutes
Release Original network: DD National, Sony TV and TV Asia
Picture format: 480i (SDTV)
R. K. NARAYAN was born on October 10, 1906, in Madras, South India, and educated there and at Maharaja’s College in Mysore. His first novel, Swami and Friends (1935), and its successor, The Bachelor of Arts (1937), are both set in the fictional territory of Malgudi, of which John Updike wrote, “Few writers since Dickens can match the effect of colorful teeming that Narayan’s fictional city of Malgudi conveys; its population is as sharply chiseled as a temple frieze, and as endless, with always, one feels, more characters round the corner.” Narayan wrote many more novels set in Malgudi, including The English Teacher (1945), The Financial Expert (1952), and The Guide (1958), which won him the Sahitya Akademi (India’s National Academy of Letters) Award, his country’s highest honor. His collections of short fiction include A Horse and Two Goats, Malgudi Days, and Under the Banyan Tree. Graham Greene, Narayan’s friend and literary champion, said, “He has offered me a second home. Without him I could never have known what it is like to be Indian.” Narayan’s fiction earned him comparisons to the work of writers including Anton Chekhov, William Faulkner, O. Henry, and Flannery O’Connor.
Narayan also published travel books, volumes of essays, the memoir My Days, and the retold legends Gods, Demons, and Others, The Ramayana, and The Mahabharata. In 1980 he was awarded the A. C. Benson Medal by the Royal Society of Literature, and in 1981 he was made an Honorary Member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters. In 1989 he was made a member of the Rajya Sabha, the non-elective House of Parliament in India. R. K. Narayan died in Madras on May 13, 2001.
- W.S.Swaminathan (Swami) – Master Manjunath
- Swami’s father – Girish Karnad
- Swami’s mother – Vaishali Kasaravalli
- Swami’s grand mother – Suhasini Adarkar
- Muniya (Muni) – Kanti Madiya
- Muniya’s wife – B Jayashree
- Shopkeeper – Somu
- American (New York tourist) – Teddy White
- Nitya – Deven Bhojani
- Harish Patil (Episode 52)
- Anant Nag (Episodes 10 and 32-39)
- Dada (Episodes 30 and 31)
- Girish Karnad
- Vishnuvardhan (Episode 18)
- Shankar Nag (Episodes 30 and 31)
- Ramesh Bhat
- Padmini Sirish
- Deven Bhojani (Episode 13)
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