An Astrologer's Day Notes | Questions and Answers

“An Astrologer’s Day” is a play written by Rasipuram Krishnaswami Narayan (in short R.K. Narayan) and it was first published in English in 1947 in his collection Malgudi Day. Read the summary of An Astrologer’s Day.


Questions and Answers of An Astrologer’s Day are following:

Who was Guru Nayak? Describe his relation with the astrologer. Or

 Discuss the relationship between the astrologer and Guru Nayak?

Guru Nayak was the man whom the astrologer had stabbed and thrown into an empty well. Guru Nayak was also one of the astrologer’s clients.

The relationship between the astrologer and Guru Nayak is that one is an astrologer and the other is his client, and the astrologer is also the enemy of Guru Nayak. Both the astrologer and Guru Nayak hail from the same village. But it has a twist in how they became each other’s enemies. When the astrologer was a young boy, he went to have a drink with some of his friends. Probably Guru Nayak was also there with them. When they were drinking, suddenly they started fighting for some reason. The astrologer became furious; he stabbed Guru Nayak and even tried to kill him. The astrologer thought that Guru Nayak had died, so he threw him into an empty well nearby in a field. However, Guru Nayak did not know who had stabbed and thrown him into the well. This was how they became each other’s enemies. Fortunately, Someone saved Guru Gayak.

The astrologer and Guru Nayak also met in the last part of the story. when Guru Nayak came to the astrologer to make predictions about his enemy. It was about to get dark when the astrologer and Guru Nayak met again on a coincidental day. In the beginning, they did not recognize each other. The astrologer said," You look so careworn. It will do you good to sit down for a while and chat with me". Guru Nayak replied, thrusting his palm under his nose. "You call yourself an astrologer?" The astrologer felt challenged and said, tilting the other’s palm towards the green shaft of light, "Yours is nature..." After prolonged discussion, they bet on a satisfactory answer.

The astrologer said that Guru Nayak was left for dead. Someone had been stabbed and thrown into a well. The astrologer also said that a truck had squeezed the man. Guru Nayak, hearing his incidents, believed that the astrologer had a good knowledge of astrology and palmistry.

Therefore, we can say that the relationship between the astrologer and Guru Nayak was hostile and mysterious. The most interesting thing in their relationship is that Guru Nayak does not recognize his enemy, even though he predicts his past for him. R.K. Narayan made the character of the astrologer very stunning, as the astrologer consoled his enemy without any suspicion and saved his life from him.



Give a brief description of the place where the astrologer transacted his business.

The astrologer transacted his business under the boughs of a spreading tamarind tree, which flanked a path running through Town Hall Park. This place was remarkable and suitable for his business. It has a surging crowd that is always moving up and down from morning to night. There were a variety of trades and occupations that performed all along its way, such as an auctioneer of cheap cloth, medicine sellers, magicians, and sellers of stolen hardware and junk. Next to him was a vendor of fried groundnuts who gave his ware a fancy name each day, calling it Bombay Ice-cream one day, 'Delhi Almond' the next, and 'Raja’s Delicacy' the third day.

The astrologer managed his business under the shop lights. He did not have lights of his own. The place was lit up by the lights of the shops. Besides the astrologer, there were many who had no lights of their own, and some of them had hissing gaslights, some had naked flares stuck on poles, and some were lit up by old cycle lamps. The place was a bewildering criss-cross of light rays and moving shadows. It was very well suited for the astrologer's business.


Describe the appearance of the astrologer in An Astrologer’s Day.

The appearance of the Astrologer in An Astrologer’s Day is very attractive. He wears a saffron-coloured turban around his head and a red-coloured robe over his body. His forehead is resplendent with sacred ash and vermillion and his dark whiskers are following down his cheeks. Because of his attractive appearance, most of the clients believe him and come to hear his predictions. He helps his clients by making assumptions about their past, present and future, marriage, money and many problems. He listens to the problems of his customers for at least ten minutes and he gets many clues which help him to give satisfying answers to his customers.


Why did the Astrologer leave his ancestral home? Or

Why did the Astrologer leave his village without any previous thought or plan?

The astrologer had left his native village without any previous or plan because of two main reasons:

Firstly, if he continued there he would have cried on the work of his forefathers- namely, tilling the land, living, marrying, ripening in his cornfield and ancestral home.

Secondly, when he was young he had a drink and had gambled with some of his friends. Due to some reasons, he had a fight with a man named Guru Nayak. He had stabbed him and thrown him into a well thinking that he was died. Therefore, in fear of being kept in prison he had left his village and come to Malgudi which was two hundred miles away from his village.

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What items consisted of the Astrologer’s professional equipment? Or what are the tools of trade for the astrologer?

The Astrologer’s professional equipments consisted of a dozen cowrie shells, a square piece of cloth with obscure mystic charts on it, a notebook, and a bundle of Palmyra writing.


What advice did the Astrologer give Guru Nayak?

The asstrologer advised Guru Nayak not to travel southward again. The astrologer said, “As I know all other things. Guru Nayak, listen carefully to what I have to say. Your village is two days’ journey due north of this town. Take the next train and be gone. I see once again great danger to your life if you go from home”. The astrologer took out a pinch of sacred ash and advised him to rub it over his forehead and go on.


What makes the Astrologer feel relief at the end of the play?

The Astrologer feels relief when he saves his life by telling his client that his enemy (he) was dead. The astrologer also said his client that his enemy (the astrologer himself) was died four months ago in a far-off town crushed under a lorry.


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