Read The English Teacher by R.K. Narayan Online

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Krishna, an English teacher in the town of Malgudi, nagged by the feeling he's doing the wrong work, is nonetheless delighted by his domestic life, where his wife and young daughter wait for him outside the house every afternoon. Devastated by the death of his wife, Krishna comes to realise what he really wants to do, and makes a decision that will change his life forever....

Title : The English Teacher
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780099282280
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 279 Pages
Status : Available For Download
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The English Teacher Reviews

  • Petra X
    2019-05-24 00:23

    As always with Narayan, the writing is a joy to read. The prose flows smoothly, the descriptions come to life and dialogue reads as true. I liked the story too (I won't spoil it by giving it away) but the metaphysical aspects were not believable and once I reached that part of the book, it became a bit heavy-going. Some authors, especially South American ones like Gabriel Garcia Marquez and Jorge Amado, have such a touch writing magical realism that you automatically accept those aspects as credible. Narayan didn't have that ability, and, in an effort to distinguish the dialogue between the living and the dead, he over-wrote the latter's speech which that character would not have uttered when living. Of the four Narayan books that I've just read (in chronological order), this one is by far the fullest and most full of story, rather than detailing a very small episode in life. However, it is also supposed to be the most autobiographical and given the un-believability of the metaphysical aspects of the story, I can only give a slightly-amused sidelong, raised eyebrow look and say 'Really?'Read July 2009

  • Ian Laird
    2019-05-26 02:57

    Correction to an important geographical detail (thanks Parthi) and minor edits 31 March 2016.In south India, Krishnan, a young English teacher, is joined by his wife, Susila, and baby daughter Leela.They are able to set up a household together for the first time. Shortly thereafter, Susila contracts typhoid and dies. Krishnan, bereft, holds on through his love of his child, and with the help of his mother-in-law. Later, he makes contact with Susila in the spirit world and starts a new, more fulfilling job teaching children, away from the strictures of the formal syllabus.An intensely moving story, which is all the more powerful because Narayan does something quite rare – tells a love story between two people already married - in this case the cautious and somewhat inhibited Krishnan (even though he displays an early cynicism about the English authors he has to teach to his college students) and the spontaneous, practical and determined Susila, whose character brings out Krishnan’s resolve and determination. He is a good man. They enhance each other. Susila’s illness and death is ineffably sad because her young life is cut so short and her affectionate relationships with husband and daughter are dashed. At this point there is a jolting change of direction in the story (she dies at the half way mark) which means the spiritual element becomes central, but it is neither surprising nor laughable. Krishnan’s endeavours to reach his wife after death are told with matter of fact sincerity, which makes his quest quite understandable. This also allows us to get to know Susila better (as does Krishnan, after she has gone from this world).That the story is autobiographical makes it indelible - I feel we are reading Narayan’s actual diary when he recounts his state of being following her death. He wrote the story as a catharsis and thereafter maintained he had no need for an autobiography, because this was it. Three moments stand out for me: the horrendous description of the instant when an infected fly makes contact with Susila’s lip; the diary account mentioned above; and a memory of the nervous prospective bridegroom catching sight of his lovely prospective bride. The English Teacher is my favourite Narayan - I’ve read them all – and this is the one I chose to read again on my first trip to India - in 2013.***From August to December 2013, my step-daughter Zoe worked in India, the final placement of her Social Work degree from the University of New South Wales, in Sydney, where we live. Zoe worked in Chennai, Kotagiri (‘the place where blue mountains turn green’), and Kochi, in Kerala, where we caught up with her in November 2013. One of the highlights of our stay in India was a trip to Mysore, in neighbouring Karnataka, to the home of RK Narayan. Here are extracts from my journal.Tuesday 12 November 2013 – Day 5: Kochi• Started re-reading RKN’s The English Teacher - so good, so simple, beautifully structured and incredibly moving because it is autobiographical: his description of Susila’s illness and death (read RKN’s wife Rajam) is restrained and simple and full of the utmost despair.Friday 15 November 2013 – Day 8: Kochi• Finished The English Teacher, a beautifully sad, uplifting, heart-aching experience. Very different from the first time: on first reading, the main impact of the story is the sudden and awful death of Krishnan’s wife and the unexpected contact with her after death. The second reading in India brings to life all the detail of how the characters live, and gives me time to reflect more upon the differences between the principals and how they complimented each other, even though they were together for such a short time. Monday 18 November 2013 – Day 11: Mysore• A red-letter day! My best day in India and one of my best travelling days ever. An RK Narayan day of complete fulfilment, starting out full of hope and ending up far better than I dared expect. I found RKN’s house, and later a bookshop where I talked with a man who had met the author often.• Started the day feeling better than I have for some time – always a good sign. Splendid breakfast of light curries, with a family sized dosa, made to order.• Off on my own to find RKN’s house. I thought I would walk – on a temperate day, with low humidity (a relative concept). I had gone several blocks when a persistent auto rickshaw driver weakened my resistance, so I showed him my map to see if he could help. It turns out he could. At least he knew who RKN was and how to find his house on Vivekananda Road. The driver was David (really Ranesh). He stopped to pick up his friend Rajamani (the ‘guide’). Both have been in Mysore for decades. Rajamani knew a lot about RKN’s life in Mysore, or certainly the places he frequented, including a school (where RKN taught maybe, and his favourite Park, Cheluvamba Park on Kalidasa Road).• RKN's house is in Yadavgiri – a well–to–do part of Mysore. I got a lump in my throat when I first saw the familiar building for real. I thought I would take a few photos from the street, but my guides went to the gate and talked to the caretaker - a poor, old man who had not been paid for three months. He let us in and we walked around. The house is still standing, but gutted with small piles of rubble inside. Despite the bareness of the building, or perhaps because of the emptiness, the absence of furniture and belongings set up as a memorial, I felt close to my hero – understanding and appreciating the environment he wrote in, unfiltered by a museum approach. I was able to imagine RKN and his family living in this lovely spacious two-story house, with its distinctive, curved living rooms with their large windows looking out onto pleasant greenery in the garden and the street. I went upstairs to the room where RKN created so many of his stories, and imagined the man at work. I felt privileged to be there.• I took some photos and gave the caretaker some rupees.• The driver and his mate drove past Cheluvamba Park - RKN’s favourite - and took me to Malgudi Café on Kalidasa Road. Simple murals cover the walls (on all three levels!). The food looked fresh and tasty. I thought I would shout my new friends coffee, but they were pretty well organised and soon plates of food started appearing in front of them. I wondered how much this was going got cost me. I need not have worried. It turned out to be 140 (AUD2.41). So cheap. I resolved to bring the family (Aleema, Zoe and young James) back here for a meal.• Back to RKN’s house – forgot to take photos of me at the house…how lucky to find these guides.• Returned to Sandesh the Prince, then all of us went out to shop for practical things. Walked up to Sayyaraji Rao Road in search of a supermarket, along wide avenues joined by roundabouts with statues in the middle (Malgudi style). • A little further along, I discovered a beautiful little bookshop (J Nanumal & Sons) trading in the same location for 47 years and in total for four generations (back to the 1920s). Got some books: RK Laxman cartoons (RKN’s brother who published in the Times of India from the time of independence); biographies of ‘Tiger’ Pataudi and MS Dhoni and John Thieme’s book on RKN. The young man serving told us that RKN used to come to the shop. The gentleman’s father had actually met him. Later in the afternoon I returned to meet the senior bookseller who graciously spoke with me, over coffee, about RKN, the old Maharaja (who used to arrive outside the shop in his shiny black Rolls Royce and have books brought out to him for approval), and Mysore then and now. Mr Ashok Kumar is a man in his sixties I would think, who recalled RKN as a simple, humble person, coming to the shop and talking with his father and the customers. Mr Kumar also remembers visiting RKN’s house with his father in the 1960s and 1970s, for coffee, on the upstairs balcony, overlooking the street. I showed him my photographs from the morning, and he identified the spot. I asked Mr Kumar to sign my copy of The English Teacher.Tuesday 19 November 2013 – Day 12• Lunch at Malgudi Café on Kaladasi road. No westerners. Lovely South Indian vegetarian curries. Silver service and probably the best value meal we had in India. We asked one of the waiters about the locality and he could not really help us as he is from Kolkata.• Had a ramble around Cheluvamba Park then took everyone to Vivekananda Road to see Narayan’s house then home.

  • Paul Bryant
    2019-06-06 23:15

    This was like walking into a plate glass door, bang! right on the nose, didn’t see it coming at all, ouch ouch. It was also like having one of those distressing conversations with a good friend where you go - what was that you just said? You don’t seriously believe that do you? - after which things get really awkward and you have to re-evaluate everything you thought they were. I previously read three RKN novels and thought they were a joy as everyone does, hence my consternation. So, to be clear – first two thirds of this book 4 stars, last third two stars. And because of the problems of the last third, it can't be bumped up to three, sorry.This novel cannot be discussed without complete spoilers, so(view spoiler)[This is the semi-autobiographical story of Krishnan the young English teacher who has a lovely wife, Susila, and a baby girl, Leela, and life is looking good, and then she catches typhoid randomly and takes quite a while to die. After that Krishnan wakes up to the wonder that is his daughter, and looking after her becomes his salvation. All of this is pure RKN, which is to say, understated, brimming with quiet humanity, practically perfect. But then, Krishnan, beset by grief, and this is a novel about grief, encounters a medium who can speak with the dead, and who, by means of automatic writing, demonstrates this by taking dictation from the spirit of Susila, long elaborate dictations. And this becomes the whole obsession of the last third of the novel. Krishnan lives for these revelations, and then strives mightily to be able to communicate directly with his dead wife. The whole medium thing is presented quite seriously, the guy is not a chiseller, not a fake, and here’s the thing, we have to take it at face value.And oh! What drivelly banal conversations the live man and the dead woman then proceed to have. James Joyce in Ulysses had mercilessly parodied this very thing 20 years before The English Teacher :It was then queried whether there were any special desires on the part of the defunct and the reply was: We greet you, friends of earth, who are still in the body. Mind C.K. doesn't pile it on. It was ascertained that the reference was to Mr Cornelius Kelleher, manager of Messrs H.J. O'Neill's popular funeral establishment, a personal friend of the defunct, who had been responsible for the carrying out of the interment arrangements. Before departing he requested that it should be told to his dear son Patsy that the other boot which he had been looking for was at present under the commode in the return room and that the pair should be sent to Cullen's to be soled only as the heels were still good. He stated that this had greatly perturbed his peace of mind in the other region and earnestly requested that his desire should be made known.And now here is Susila’s spirit speaking to Krishnan:There are about fourteen letters…I don’t remember whether they were yours and mine, but I remember tying them up in a bundle; you will find them either in my trunk or in one of the boxes in my father’s place…. I am sure of these fourteen precisely. I counted them, I tied them up and did not give them to you because you were very busy with something or other. I can’t say how long ago. But I put them away and then I remember coming across the bundle again and again. What I can’t recollect is whether it was in my father’s house or in ours.This may be a comment on the nature of humanity – if we were to be able to communicate with the dear departed, it could be that we would fall headlong into idiotic conversations like this, you know, “You should have cut the hedge by now” “How do you know that I haven’t cut the hedge?” “We in the spirit world can see everything” “Well, I’ll get round to it on Sunday”.So let us take a pace back. What is RKN’s actual attitude to the matter of speaking with the dead which the book accepts as a flat-out fact?1 – He believes in it completely because he’s done it. You can chat with dead people, absolutely.2- well, he didn’t actually believe this literally but he kind of half believed it at one point in his life and thought his readers would and thought anyway that the whole thing was a poignant metaphor or something for the state of grieving.The limpid guileless qualities which shine through the book seem to be to favour the first possibility. Which, being a rigidly logical empirical Western type person I must say I think is bonkers.Or is it all magical realism? It surely isn’t very magical. The last part, where Krishnan is trying to become a medium himself and communicate directly with his wife, is excruciating, like overhearing a mobile phone call which is entirely about mobile phones, makes you want to smash your head against a wall:Spirit of Susila : Just as I am thinking of you, I know that you will be thinking of me. But I want this thought to be coupled with the desire to commune with me. It is this aspect I want to impress upon you as necessary for psychic development and free communication between us.Krishnan : So do you wish me to check thoughts of you at all other times?Spirit of Susila : No no no. At stated hours sit for psychic development, that is, to enable me to get into touch with you directly without the intervention of the medium; this I will make possible.Krishnan : Should I sit down with pencil and paper?Spirit of Susila: It is a secondary matter.Aargh. The abandonment of realism in this realistic novel is complete. At no point does Krishnan say – “hold on, this is big, this is huge, I’m talking to my dead wife, I really am, life after death is really true, amazing!” . The whole thing weirded me out. It left whatever ball park I'm in. And such a shame because there were glimpses of some genuinely real thing lurking inside this novel which made me perk up and wish it was a different one. Here’s Krishnan planning his letter of resignation from the school :I was going to explain why I could no longer stuff Shakespeare and Elizabethan metre and Romantic poetry for the hundredth time into young minds and feed them on the dead mutton of literary analysis and theories and histories, while what they needed was lessons in the fullest use of the mind. This education had reduced us to a nation of morons; we were strangers to our own culture and camp followers of another culture, feeding on leavings and garbage.More of that would have been good, and a whole lot less of the astral plane.(hide spoiler)]

  • Rajat Ubhaykar
    2019-06-08 20:01

    Public toilets in India always leave me breathless, with relief and also with lack of air. They also bring to mind the subtle differences between oft misused words such as available and accessibile, by virtue of being inaccessible even when they are available, which is not very often. A curious peek inside one transports the most hardened hearts and most insensitive noses to a well-stocked chemistry lab paying olfactory tribute to Messrs Haber & Bosch. On certain busy days, I'm told one can catch sight of silvery fumes of ammonia dancing the Tango around the feet of relieved gentlemen. A bold step inside one, as Voldemort will confide if you prod him hard enough, will blast your nose to smithereens if you're foolish enough to breathe while you're at it. However, they also reveal the haphazardly stacked quills of courage and mighty reservoirs of misplaced morality inside the most placid looking, puny-chested average Indian, who like a startled porcupine is ready to let go of his inhibitions and give in to the spirit of the moment by recklessly spraying around his deepest fears. Desperately seeking relief from his miserable plight, the conscientious Indian, the model citizen who otherwise has the convenient option of watering and nurturing a young sapling, is ready to prance around puddles and stand in impromptu queues holding his breath to reach that unearthly place called a much-delayed piss. The English Teacher taught me that some public toilets won't just haunt your dreams and permanently damage your sense of smell, they can kill you. Seriously. If you don't believe me, you should talk to RK Narayan. He's dead but if you really want to, The English Teacher suggests you should be able to manage it. He'll tell you he wrote a lovely, life-affirming novel after an unfortunate woman who happened to be his wife visited your typical reeking public toilet and died soon after contracting typhoid. It was called The English Teacher.

  • مروان البلوشي
    2019-06-09 04:20

    تاريخ القراءة الأصلي : ٢٠٠٢معلم هندي يدرس اللغة الإنجليزية في مدينة هندية صغيرة في أواخر عهد الإستعمار البريطاني. هنا تجد التفاعلات حافلة ومكتوبة بأسلوب حي وقريب للقلب.

  • Sandhya
    2019-06-19 23:14

    R. K. Narayan is an absolute favourite of mine and some of his works are undoubtedly masterpieces.His The English Teacher is the third part of Narayan's trilogy after Malgudi Days and The Bachelor of Arts (for review, you could check out sandyi.blogspot.com. The first part of this particular book is brilliant and extremely touching but the second part moves into very unexpected territory, leaving one a bit confused. Yet, if you are a Narayan fan, I would still go ahead and recommend this book to you.

  • Bina
    2019-05-23 01:03

    The English Teacher is set in India of the 150s and we meet Krishna, our protagonist, as he is living in a college hostel and teaching English at the school where he himself used to be a pupil. Despite living in this enclosed environment, he is married and has a young child. We see Krishna taking small steps, making preparations for his wife and child to join him and so setting off to find a good house, where they can be together as well as have a space away from each other. The discussions with his fellow teachers and Krishna’s thoughts about teaching and family were amusing and I was all in the mood for this novel to be a delightful read. Well, it was but it took a decidedly darker turn quite soon. Since these events can be found in summaries and even the goodreads description, I will not regard my thoughts here as spoilers. Nevertheless, if you truly wish to go into reading this novel blind, then please stop reading here!...The first chapters show us how Krishna deals with leaving his prolonged bachelor life in the hostel to become a family man. Although this does not leave him any more time for writing poetry than his somewhat unsatisfying job, he reaches a stage of contented domesticity. Up until this point, I was utterly enthralled reading about such ordinary things as the family’s domestic happiness, written with a humorous touch in Narayan’s skilled prose. And then Krishna’s wife Sushila became ill and died. It was such a shocking twist and I was not at all prepared for the heartbreak and felt for Krisha and his sudden grief. It is heartbreaking to read his thoughts about learning life’s lessons:“We come together only to go apart again. It is one continuous movement. They move away from us as we move away from them. The law of life can’t be avoided. The law comes into operation the moment we detach ourselves from our mother’s womb. All struggle and misery in life is due to our attempt to arrest this law or get away from it or in allowing ourselves to be hurt by it. The fact must be recognized. A profound unmitigated loneliness is the only truth of life.”It was all the more shocking to learn about the parallels to the author’s life. The English Teacher is not autobiographical but it may as well be. And as such the sudden turn the novel took towards the spiritual made me react with compassion rather than dissatisfaction or skepticism. So even if Narayan was always trying to contact his wife in the spiritual realm, I was happy it worked out for Krishna and gave him a the possibility for closure. He also finds his place in caring for his daughter Leela and working in the nursery, learning from the way children interact with the world.Another aspect that drew me in was how Narayan would treat colonialism, especially regarding Krishna’s occupation as an  English teacher. Without making this the focus of the novel or taking a stance directly, Narayan does criticize the educational system colonialism has put into place:“This education has reduced us to a nation of morons; we were strangers to our own culture and camp followers of another culture, feeding on leavings and garbage (…) What about our own roots? (…) I am up against the system, the whole method and approach of a system of education which makes us morons, cultural morons, but efficient clerks for all your business and administration offices.”Without taking issue with English literature and the greats such as Shakespeare, this quote does seem to call for a turn towards the roots and the culture(s) of India. I know Narayan is celebrated in both India and the western world, but I don’t really have much knowledge about the stance he took on these issues and how Indian novelists writing in English are regarded nowadays. There were several critical comments made by Krishna throughout the novel and though I would have liked to explore this issue more, the way the ordinary becomes extraordinary in Narayan’s writing was a joy to discover.

  • Laysee
    2019-06-08 23:22

    A gem of a book. Elegant prose. It tells the story of Krishnan's grief over the loss of his wife and his desperate attempts to commune with her beyond the grave. On another level, it explores what gives meaning to work. Krishnan's lack lustre role as an English teacher is contrasted with the passionate commitment of the poor school master who runs a preschool for the neighborhood children. Teachers of literature would be able to identify with the exhilaration of seeking to enthuse students about great works of literature as well as the soul numbing throes of dissecting literary texts to prepare them for exams. Through the travails of Krishnan, Narayan takes us on a quest for the things in life that truly matter.

  • Deepika Ramesh
    2019-05-26 19:58

    Even before you begin to read my review, I must confess that I'm a die-hard fan of R.K. Narayan for his poignant stories bail me out of this mundane world effortlessly. While all the authors, whom I have acquainted through their books, help me escape reality, R.K. Narayan makes it hard to go back to the real world after reading his books as readers like me suffer from the inability to comfort our souls that want to live in Malgudi and refuse to accept this sphere. Yes, so, please forgive me if you find me gushing here. But I really can't help.I started reading R.K. Narayan a couple of years ago and I have read 'Malgudi Days', 'A Tiger for Malgudi', 'Swami and Friends', 'The Bachelor of Arts' and just finished reading 'The English Teacher'. Thanks to a lot of unexpected turns that my life took, I could buy a lot of time to read and I decided to rekindle my love for R.K. Narayan. I read 'Swami and Friends' last week and chose to finish the informal trilogy 'Swami and Friends', 'The Bachelor of Arts' and 'The English Teacher'. While I found 'Swami and Friends' and 'The Bachelor of Arts' heartwarming, humourous and insightful, I was moved by 'The English Teacher'. It was heartbreaking and after God-knows-when, tears rolled down my cheeks and landed on the book as I followed Krishna, the protagonist, who's an English teacher, as he suffered irreplaceable losses and struggled to make peace with his past. Although many of my friends raved about this book, it didn't occur to me to google about it for after all it was R.K. Narayan's. So I read it with an open mind and was surprised when the second part of the book travelled to metaphysical and supernatural grounds. I was certainly not shocked nor disappointed by the way the story de toured as I could closely follow Krishna in his search to gulf the abyss between the past and present. And on top of all these, it was even more harrowing to learn that 'The English Teacher' is autobiographical.R.K. Narayan's books don't fail to touch its readers' souls and with 'The English Teacher', it goes a level deeper. When Krishna smiled, I smiled. When Krishna cried, I cried. When Krishna was engulfed by loneliness, I was lonely too. Finally when he understood 'The Law of Life', he made me appreciate the law as well. And unlike R.K. Narayan's other books that leave the readers with a sense of happiness and satisfaction, 'The English Teacher' leaves the readers with a lump in their throats that doesn't go down for a few days after finishing reading and the readers can't help but mull over and make conscious efforts to disconnect themselves from the masterpiece. Not that because it's morbid, tragic and touching. But because readers can find a 'Krishna' in themselves. Krishna's conundrums, losses, searches are strikingly ours too.Here are a couple of my favourite quotes from the book:"The twists and turns of fate would cease to shock us if we knew, and expected nothing more than, the barest truths and facts of life."“I returned from the village. The house seemed unbearably dull. But I bore it. "There is no escape from loneliness and separation...." I told myself often. "Wife, child, brothers, parents, friends.... We come together only to go apart again. It is one continuous movement. They move away from us as we move away from them. The law of life can't be avoided. The law comes into operation the moment we detach ourselves from our mother's womb. All struggle and misery in life is due to our attempt to arrest this law or get away from it or in allowing ourselves to be hurt by it. The fact must be recognized. A profound unmitigated loneliness is the only truth of life. All else is false. My mother got away from her parents, my sisters from our house, I and my brother away from each other, my wife was torn away from me, my daughter is going away with my mother, my father has gone away from his father, my earliest friends - where are they? They scatter apart like the droplets of a waterspray. The law of life. No sense in battling against it...." Thus I reconciled myself to this separation with less struggle than before.”

  • Prashant
    2019-05-26 22:12

    I swear that if anyone else, any other author would have crafted the story line similar to this book, I would have hated him. Must have cursed him with all my heart and would also have made an attempt or two to leave the book midway. But no sir, not Mr. Narayan. He won't let me do it. Every time my thoughts went awry he built a new wave of ideas to bring me back. The reader is coaxed and cajoled as much as the characters to keep going and take it all head on. A little bit too literally, I must say. We are incorrigible morons if we look to Bhagats and like for inspiration when the master has already left him most precious gems behind. What is left is to find them and admire them. I wasn't able to do anything more than that. Just stand by and see the master at work. The magic of Mr. Narayan lives and with it lives my love for the one who is for the masses.

  • Mehwish Mughal
    2019-06-11 04:25

    Reading R.K.Narayan is like time-travelling to another dimension. Hypnotized and disconnected from reality. The English Teacher is no exception. It is a journey towards understanding life and death!

  • Phil Barker
    2019-06-05 01:58

    I love the way Narayan writes so that you can hear the Indian voices. Doesn't really matter what the story is, he gives you a glimpse into another world.

  • ArZo
    2019-05-30 23:19

    My beloved brother Shadman Hasan has suggested me about this precious book and posed that R.K. Narayan will take me a different universe perhaps a private realm created by his touch of ink. After going through of the book I am acceding that contemplation regarding this book is quite approvable.✎Name of the book: The English Teacher✎Author: R. K. Narayan✎Publisher: Indian Thought Publications ✎Year of Publication: 2016✎First Published: 1945 (In England)✎Genres: Novel, Autobiographical Fiction✎Number of Pages: 280The novel was the third part of Malgudi Days series written by R.K. Narayan preceded by Swami and Friends (1935) and The Bachelor of Arts (1937).This story is not about mere the intuition of an English lecturer from Albert Mission College named Krishna but the nectar of life he discovered through the candour of belief.In the hostel Krishna’s life was irksome and wearisome. He longed to have a new start or might expect himself having a new personality as an author or poet. At that time a letter from his parental house turned around the circle of his past ten years. A instruction was provided there that he had to be ready to receive his wife and newborn child and set up his family with a view to ending his forlorn bachelor life. Though he was married and already have a baby, he was scrupled as he had no experience of running domestic life.Yet his wife, Susila with the baby had arrived accompanied by his father-in-law. In course to time they set their own world not a bit unlike king, queen and the little princess. Susila waited for Krishna at the afternoon but never recognized the sense perception of waiting. Everything was going so perfect.But in an abrupt incident all the settlements of their universe was turned around. His beloved wife got Typhoid. Krishna fetched his every effort vehemently to cure her and found her smile again. But all lost in vain. Susila passed away perhaps the world created by them either. When she was placed on the pyres for funeral, burned and turned into ashes, He was wordless and quiet undecided to accept the reality.But present always echoes. Father and daughter tried to recollect the broken world again. Krishna thrilled to rear his daughter and being very rigid to observe his duty of his daughter. Though Krishna’s parents urged to take Leela with them, he was reluctant to the proposal.Krishna destroyed the belongings of Susila, thinking he was destroying her memories. But he never found a relief to forget her for a single day. But one day a boy having a cluster of papers came to meet him at college. He became baffled after having the news from the boy. The boy accompanied him to a man and a pyol beside a Shrine by whose he got her beloved wife Susila back. But how? To know you must read this illusive creation of author R.K. Narayan.Personal Opinion:Initially I wanna say I am longing for a wife and a baby after reading this book.The materialistic Susila was visualized as character not for a long time in the story, yet her personality attracts me most both as a wife and a mother. Love is not a impulse to demonstrate. If it exists, it occupies. Susila never said that but presented.Besides one character readers may find interesting. The headmaster of Leela’s school is that person who didn’t believe in so called education ongoing. So he built a school without regulation but affection for children. once Krishna was also vehemently impacted by this lunatic headmaster.Favourite Quotes:✍ “The soul loves through the eyes, it is body who laughs with lips...” ✍ “The kitchen is the deadliest arsenal a woman possesses.”

  • Surabhi Sharma
    2019-06-19 22:08

    One of the best stories by R.K Narayan. The story is completely unexpected and the suspense is thrilling. I like the second half of the book when the story took an unexpected turn and hook you to the seat.I heard a lot about this book and was very keen to read. I absolutely loved it.

  • Pushpa
    2019-05-26 21:15

    An intensely spiritual book. And an intensely human book. It has the whole myriad of experiences a normal person would have in his life. You smile along during the happy days of the couple, you get this sinking feeling when the wife falls ill, gets worse day by day. You celebrate when she shows signs of improvement. You feel the husband's utter despair when he loses his wife. You need not believe the metaphysical part in the book. Even so, you sure will appreciate what is being communicated in this part of the novel. This line hit me hard : "A profound unmitigated loneliness is the only truth of life." One knows this, but gets so caught up in the routine life that one seems to forget it. One has to face fears, failures, successes, happiness all by themselves. No one can experience them for you.A must read book in my reckoning.

  • Anushree Rastogi
    2019-06-18 04:21

    An intensely spiritual book, the transition in the narrator's life from being a bachelor to moving on to a happy married life...and the consequent death of his wife is heart touching. A particularly moving part of the story is the description of the day when his wife dies. The way he seeks to find her presence in his surroundings.. his supernatural encounters.. the innocence of his daughter... the most insignificant details are perfect and in sync with the storyline. This book is nothing short of a masterpiece... one of my all time favorites.

  • P
    2019-05-31 01:13

    I found 'English Teacher' quite different from R.K.Narayan's other works. It may be because this one is more serious and deals with the spiritual side. It is a poignant narration of how the loss of a loved one(for Krishna, the protagonist) or from constantly waiting for death to deciding to live life more fully(for the schoolmaster) changes the course of life.

  • Gorab Jain
    2019-06-18 21:11

    Didn't like the intervention of supernatural powers... otherwise 5 star stuff!!Husband wife relation is very cutely and realistically portrayed! The child is very innocent raising cute little curious questions everytime :)

  • Suhasini Srihari
    2019-05-28 03:21

    A nice read! Found the 'platonic love' between Krishna and Sushila more inspiring and the later 'spiritual love' more ecstatic! R.K.Narayan has the connection of the scenes in a nice flow and one need not look back to revise before reading further.

  • Lilian
    2019-05-27 21:01

    This was a fairly simple book to read, once I got myself into it. It is compelling and interesting, but it wasn't until I reached the final paragraph that I felt it was truly beautiful.

  • Kanagarajan iyer
    2019-05-21 02:25

    Krishna, a lecturer in Albert Mission College, Malgudi is the protagonist of the novel. He is in hostel with Rangappa, the philosophy teacher and Gopal taking mathematics. His chief is Mr Brown.His senior in college is Gajapathy, Asst. Prof. of English.His father suggests to fix up a house on rent and start his life with his wife, Sushila and the new born baby.House has been fixed. His wife and mother arrive. He is very fond of his wife. Both daughter-in-law and mother-in-law are in good terms. His mother leaves for her house to join her ailing husband after a week's stay.Krishna is quite happy with his present life, with wife and child around him.His fahter suggests to buy a new house. Both Krishna and Sushila are searching for a lot of houses. They are fixing up one house. When everything goes well, by a sudden quirk of fate, his wife, Susila falls I'll and despite medical attention, she succumbs to the fever leaving the child motherless.He struggles now in his work and also in taking care of his daughter. An old lady is sent by his father to his house. She is taking good care of his daughter and also the cooking and maintaining the house also. Krishna is somewhat relieved and he is back in his teacher's job.Something is nagging him. He is longing for his wife. His nights are disturbed. He meets an old man who consoles him and also finds a way to 'talk' to his dead wife by a mind focusing activity.Krishna succeeds in 'talking' to his wife and is impressed with the surroundings of his new friend. His daughter is slowly getting away from him, as he is not finding time to play with her. She finds happiness by playing with another child of the same age living next door. The old lady is also neatly maintaining the house-hold activities. His mother is coming to his house and after a week's stay takes the child with her to her village. The obsession with his wife is too much and his concentration is getting affected quite often. He runs into a Headmaster of a children's school. He is very kind towards the children. When his daughter returns from her granny's house, she is admitted in that school.The head master's life is very miserable. His wife and his children are living a pitiable life. His wife always snaps at him. So he spends most of his time in the school itself.Unable to concentrate on his job, Krishna resigns and joins the children's school, deciding to spend his remaining part of the life with the children.The emotions have been beautifully expressed by Narayan. A simple story but told with an artful form.I enjoyed.One English author has described thus:"The hardest of all things for a novelist to communicate is the extra-ordinary ordinariness of human happiness. Jane Austen, Soseki, Chekov: a bring it off. Narayan is one among them"

  • Margaret
    2019-05-27 03:07

    R.K. Narayan does not write in a particularly complicated way. He was fluent in English and was one of the founders of English language Indian literature (or so the Internet tells me), and the simplicity of writing is deceptive. The focus instead is on the lives of the characters, their inner thoughts and emotions, and their way of life. The English Teacher is about an English teacher, who has been working away from his young family for a while at a university in the Malgudi universe, the setting of many of Narayan's other works. He has been reluctant to assume familial responsibilities as he has been enjoying the equivalent of student housing on his own. However, his wife and young daughter soon move in to a rental house Krishna must find on his time off from teaching. This young family is very middle class, working hard at finding a suitable house and making sure that Krishna, the title character, is bonding with his daughter. They are just starting out when disaster strikes. When shopping for an new home, Krishna's wife goes into a traumatizingly dirty bathroom and a fly lands on her lips. Possibly just another case of a woman freaking out at a mess, right? Wrong. This incident is the best explanation for where she catches typhoid, a major turning point in all of their lives. The illness of Krishna's wife and how he deals with it touches upon the simple but truthful elements that Narayan always includes in his novels. How Narayan is able to capture such universal and relatable feelings with a minimum of words and with characters from one particular corner of the world is incredible, and this is probably my favorite of his novels now.

  • Akshay Dasgupta
    2019-06-20 01:23

    They say time is the best healer but time never heals. It may blur memories or emotions but its NEVER heals. When we suffer the tragic loss of a near and dear one, it is impossible to forget that person, no matter how many years pass by. Thats why i say time never heals but it helps us to put memories and emotions into a small box at the back of our mind. As time passes we open that box sometimes and rummage through the memories and emotions. I guess that's just how the human mind works and copes with loss. Similar is the plight of the protagonist of this book. The story starts off with the wonderful bliss of marital life and then mid-way turns tragic when he loses his wife to a certain ailment. Desperate to connect to his wife, he try means and methods which we would often laugh off under normal circumstances. This is indeed a well written book, the language is smooth and flawless and there are moments of slight humor throughout the book. This is my first R. K Narayan books and certainly not the last. Hope to read more of his work soon.

  • Jay
    2019-06-18 03:23

    I found here wonderful writing. I had not previously read Narayan but will read more. What made this wonderful was the way he wrote, feeling like I expect India feels. The characters were vivid and were exotic to me, but seemed to be of the place. The English teacher himself was cocky and in love and it showed. I also liked the contemporary feel despite the book having been published in 1945. I felt a timelessness here, as if it could have happened this year. The part that I found out of kilter was the focus in the second half of the book on what I took to be magic realism. Here the writing changed – our English teacher moves beyond modern thought and practices without a second thought. This seems wildly out of character at first blush, but I can see the point Narayan may have been making. Or I could be over-interpreting. I could see this as an analogy for dealing with grief, but this dissects the book more than is called for for a short book that is very easily read for enjoyment.

  • Annette mathews
    2019-05-27 21:17

    A different take on Spirituality. While i was reading this book, i got typhoid, which was really strange(not sure if that is the right word to use here) since the teacher's wife in the novel was down with typhoid too and she dies. I gave up reading this book right away after getting to know that i was down with typhoid.Part of me giving such low ratings is due to this. Its too much of coincidence. I dont know what made me to take up the book again.Well, i have finished it . It was a light read. I expected more though.

  • Balaji Sankara Moorthy
    2019-06-09 21:13

    "The English Teacher" is all about life and its reflections. At times, the life will take us by storm and throw us in abyss. Yet we may have to find happiness for one or other reasons. Likewise, Krishnan, the protagonist in this novel loses his beloved wife and starts living solely for his young daughter. Despite several frets and frustrations he finds a way to lead a contented life. The second half of the story may be quite dragging but at the end the story will leave the reader very much satisfied. The author has penned the story in a very beautiful way. R.K. Narayanan's fans will certainly love this work. For others, "patient reading" is what it takes to adore this beautiful novel.

  • Lucynell
    2019-05-31 01:55

    Disappointing. One of the most annoying kinds of disappointing actually. The one where it starts off great and then goes nowhere at all. So the beginning was cool, reminded me of Rohinton Mistry and his glorious A Fine Balance with its colors and sounds and all. A bit Dickensian. Then it loses it and becomes blunt. Dull. The man published a gazillion books so maybe there's treasures to be enjoyed elsewhere but it's not here.

  • Ike Khan
    2019-06-19 21:25

    I had not previously read this book nor was I familiar with the work of R K Narayan until I was asked to narrate it as an audio-book for Listening Books. Krishna, an English teacher in the town of Malgudi, nagged by the feeling he's doing the wrong work, is nonetheless delighted by his domestic life, where his wife and young daughter wait for him outside the house every afternoon. Devastated by the death of his wife, Krishna comes to realise what he really wants to do, and makes a decision that will change his life forever.The book is one of two halves and the first half, which culminates in the death and cremation of Krishna's beloved wife, is dripping with delightfully illustrative prose which magically transports you to the places in the author's mind. Then comes part two - I suppose most readers' perceptions of this will rest very much on their life perspective and beliefs. Although written with much the same illustrative eloquence as the first part, it has such conviction in what many western reader's will find alien to their own belief system that it seems to be another book entirely. I do not personally feel that is actually the case and urge readers not to judge the work upon the basis of their personal convictions. Now that I have read this I will be certain to read Narayan's other works.

  • Rishi Prakash
    2019-06-04 03:56

    This book was written by the great man in 1945 and is considered to be the third and final part in the series, preceded by Swami and Friends (1935) and The Bachelor of Arts (1937). This novel, dedicated to Narayan's wife Rajam is not only autobiographical but also poignant in its intensity of feeling. Rajam died of typhoid in 1939. It is said that her death affected Narayan deeply and he remained depressed for a long time; he was also concerned for their daughter Hema, who was only three years old that time. People who knew him well say that this incident and the experience brought about a significant change in his life and was the inspiration behind this novel, The English Teacher. This book, like his first two books, is autobiographical, but more so, and completes an unintentional thematic trilogy following Swami and Friends and The Bachelor of Arts.Even though I had loved his other 2 books, this one will always hold a special place in my heart as it displays love in its purest form. The love that binds all the three characters here is simply selfless and divine. So pure is their love, that even mortality fails to set them apart. Read it to see how love can cross the realms of reality..

  • Sachin
    2019-06-07 21:57

    The novel which records the personal experiences of the Author after the death of his wife. Extremely disappointed after the death of his wife, due to a minor fever which took larger proportions, the protagonist is unable to come to terms with life, until one day, when a boy comes and delivers him the message from his dead wife. Krishna confused by the message, decided to follow the boy at once, and is taken to a person who claims to commune with the souls of the dead.Krishna then often visits the man who arranges his meeting with the soul of his dead wife. Chasing Solace, Krishna resigns from his cosy job, and in the end is seen united with the soul of his wife.The novel is published with the title, "Grateful to life and death" in USA.ALthough strage, but this novel is autobiographical. The novel marks the beginning of much matured writings from the Author, who, after having the miraculous vision and indepth understanding of the life, came up with his marvellous masterpieces to follow, like 'Guide', 'Waiting for the Mahatma', 'The Man-eater of Malgudi', 'The Financial Expert', and much more....