Global tales an astrologers day summary
The place chosen for his work is generally full of people who pass by or gather there, such as customers attracted by vendors of nuts, sweetmeats, and other snacks. It is a place poorly lighted in the evening, and because the astrologer has no light of his own, he must depend on what light comes from the flickering lamps kept I turned the page once, then just once morealready, white space was signaling the finish. How could this be? I wondered. Were just getting started.
I anticipated a sketch, a vignette at best. But in spite of their signature shortness there is nothing scant about Narayans stories, no sense of having been deprived as we feel these days on airplanes, when we are handed Lilliputian meals in the name of dinner. In the course of four and a half pages, An Astrologers Day erects, complicates, and alters a life, and this is the difference between mere description and drama.
In the first sentence the title character is a faceless stranger to us; by the last, he is a man guilty of attempted murder with whom we nevertheless sympathize. The plot hinges on a suspenseful action. We hold our breath, fearing one thing only to discover another.
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The resulting effect is what novelists across the globe struggle, over the course of their lifetimes and in the space of hundreds more pages, to achieve. It is what R. Narayan quietly renders 32 times in this book. An Astrologers Day contains an image that is a perfect metaphor for Narayans artistry. The astrologer works cheek-by-jowl with a series of vendors plying their wares in relative darkness. Narayan writes, The astrologer transacted his business by the light of a flare which crackled and smoked up above the groundnut heap nearby.
Half the enchantment of the place was due to the fact that it did not have the benefit of municipal lighting. The place was lit up by shop lights. One or two had hissing gaslights, some had naked flares stuck on poles, some were lit up by old cycle lights and one or two, like the astrologers, managed without lights of their own.
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In the story, a man comes up to the astrologer and demands his fortune after the neighboring flare has been extinguished, and so the astrologer must work under even more compromised circumstances, glimpsing his subjects face in the seconds it takes to light a cheroot. The glimpse gives the astrologer enough information to proceed with his work.
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It is that sudden outburst of intense light upon a characters world that Narayan provides again and again, in narratives that die down almost as soon as they begin, but in the course of which entire lives are powerfully illuminated. He is working in a busy, unnamed city, and the author establishes that, in reality, he is a charlatan with no special powers other than the keen ability to judge character. The astrologer is about to return to his home at the end of the day when he is stopped by an unusually aggressive customer.
The customer insists that the astrologer tell him the truth about his life, and that if he does not, he should return his the customer's money, along with extra, as payment for having lied. The astrologer, realizing that he will most likely be exposed, tries to get out of the deal, but the customer is adamant. The story takes an unexpected turn, when, unbeknownst to the customer, the astrologer recognizes him and tells him about something that happened in the past. Calling the customer by name, the astrologer recounts how the customer had once been stabbed and left for dead, but had been saved by a bystander.
The astrologer tells the customer that he must stop looking for the man who stabbed him so long ago, because to do so would be dangerous, and anyway, the perpetrator is dead. The customer, not recognizing the astrologer, is impressed that he should know about his past. When the astrologer goes home, his wife asks about his day.
He tells her that he has been relieved of a great load; he had once thought that he had killed someone, but had today discovered that the victim was well and very much alive. The wfe is mystified, but the astrologer goes to bed for an untroubled night of sleep. The wife is mystified, but the astrologer goes to bed for an untroubled night of sleep.
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Jump to Page. Raman ; for them there was something ominous in the very association. As a result when the big man came on the scene it was always a quick decision one way or another. There was no scope or time for any kind of wavering or whitewashing.
English Literature Summaries: An Astrologers Day Summary
Long years of practice of this kind had bred in the doctor a certain curt truthfulness ; for that very reason his opinion was valued ; he was not a mere doctor expressing an opinion but a judge pronouncing a verdict. The patient's life hung on his words. This never unduly worried Dr. He never believed that agreeable words ever saved lives. He did not think it was any of his business to provide unnecessary dope when as a matter of course Nature would teU them the truth in a few hours. However, when he glimpsed the faintest sign of hope, he rolled up his sleeve and stepped into the arena : it might be hours or days, but he never withdrew till he wrested the prize from Tama's hands.
Today, standing over a bed, the doctor felt that he himself needed someone to tell him soothing lies.
On the bed lay his dearest friend in the world : Gopal. They had known each other for forty years now, starting with their Kinder- garten days. They could not, of course, meet as much as they wanted, each being wrapped in his own family and profession. Occasionally, on a Sunday, Gopal would walk into the consulting room, and wait patiently in a corner till the doctor was free.
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And then they would dine together, see a picture, and talk of each other's life and activities. It was a classic friendship standing over, untouched by changing times, circumstances, and activities. In his busy round of work, Dr. Raman had not noticed that Gopal had not called in for over three months now. He just remembered it when he saw GopaPs son sitting on a bench in the consulting hall, one crowded morning.
Raman could not talk to him for over an hour. When he got up and was about to pass on to the operation room, he called up the young man and asked, " What brings you here, sir? He rushed off straight from the clinic to his friend's house, in Lawley Extension. Gopal lay in bed as if in sleep. The doctor stood over him and asked Gopal's wife, " How long has he been in bed?
He comes down once in three days and gives him medicine.
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Why, why, couldn't you have sent me word earlier? There was hardly any time to be lost.