ANNIVERSARY OF THE DEATH OF RK NARAYAN: Best known for his Malgudi Days stories, RK Narayan, considered one of India’s greatest writers in English, has written 15 novels and several short stories. His vivid depictions of life in Malgudi and its people inspired filmmakers and producers who eventually adapted his writings for film and television. On his death anniversary, we take a look at these adaptations of his works below.

  1. Miss Malini (1947)
    Miss Malini was the first and only film for which RK Narayan officially wrote the story. The screenplay for this cult film was written by Tamil author and filmmaker Kothamangalam Subbu, who also directed the film. The film tells the story of a woman named Malini who joins a theater troupe to help her family financially, but is seduced by success and experiences a downfall after falling under the spell of a quack.
  2. Mr. Sampat (1952)
    RK Narayan’s 1949 novel, Mr. Sampath – The Printer of Malgudi, as well as the film, Miss Malini, served as the basis for the story of this Hindi satirical film, by director SS Vasan. Here we have a con artist who uses his charms and cunning to exploit a theater actress and a ghee dealer for money. In 1972, another movie named Mr. Sampath was made based on the same novel by Narayan.
  3. Guide (1965)
    Guide by director Vijay Anand, starring Dev Anand and Waheeda Rehman, Guide has become a cult film that has won numerous awards. The film traces one man’s journey from being a corrupt tour guide to a man who eventually finds enlightenment. Narayan received a Filmfare Award for Best Story.
  4. Banker Margayya (1983)
    This nationally-awarded Kannada-language film was based on Narayan’s novel The Financial Expert (1952). Directed by TS Nagabharana, Banker Margayya is about a money lender who faces a series of unfortunate financial and social misadventures that teach him valuable life lessons.
  5. Malgudi Days (1986-88)
    The most famous adaptation of RK Narayan’s work is of course Malgudi Days on Doordarshan. The TV series was directed by Shankar Nag while RK Laxman, Narayan’s younger brother, did the sketches. The series documented the life of the people of Malgudi.

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