How did R.K. Narayan portray the life of the Astrologer?


R.K Narayan portrayed that the life of the Astrologer was adverse, hostile, strenuous and mysterious in his story ‘An Astrologer’s Day’. The astrologer had to leave his native village as he stabbed a man named Guru Nayak and threw him into an empty well thinking that he was died. Fortunately, Guru Nayak was saved by someone. They met again in the last of the story. Guru Nayak came to the astrologer to predict his enemy, the man once stabbed him. The astrologer recognised Guru Nayak by the criss-cross light. The astrologer said that Guru Nayak’s enemy (he) was died four months ago crushed under a lorry. He saved his life by lying and betraying his clients (his enemy, Guru Nayak).


The Astrologer’s Life Was in Danger; How He Overcame:

The life of the astrologer was perilous. Guru Nayak would kill the astrologer if recognised him. Or He would file an FIR and put him in prison. But the astrologer was clever. He did not give chance Guru Nayak to know that he was the enemy of his. When he recognised Guru Nayak, he acted friendly as he was not the culprit. In the beginning, he tried to escape by giving an excuse that the day was too late. Of course, it was too late, still Guru Nayak did not let him go. The astrologer was very afraid. He, finally, finding himself helpless decided to answer Guru Nayak’s questions. The astrologer said that Guru Nayak was left for dead. He was once stabbed and was thrown into an empty-well by someone. Guru Nayak was astonished hearing all the answers satisfactory. Further, the astrologer said that the man to whom Guru Nayak was searching had died four months ago crushed under a lorry. He said that Guru Nayak should not travel again southward because he had still more dangers in life. The astrologer took out a pinch of sacred ash and rubbed Guru Nayak’s forehead and advised him to go home quickly. This was how he saved himself from his enemy.

The astrologer had another danger when he was in his native village. He was a furious young man. Once he became angry he could not control himself. When he was a young man he had a drink and gambled with his friends and in some reasons he quarrelled with a man (Guru Nayak). He stabbed Guru Nayak and threw him into an empty well thinking that he was died. In fear of being kept in prison he ran away to the city of Malgudi, two hundred miles away from his village. Probably, he would have been in prison if he had not fled.


The Astrologer’s Life was Strenuous and Burdensome:

When he came to the city of Malgudi, he did not know any person, he did not have any income and he did not even have an immotile place to live. He was forced to become an astrologer as he did not have any source to stay alive. As he had never studied astrology in his life he did not have good knowledge about it. But his personality and attitude provided him capabilities to please and satisfy his clients. He dressed like a professional astrologer to attract the people towards him. In few days he became successful in his business. He could now earn his wages and get married.


Differences of the Life of the Astrologer When He was in His Village and When He Came to Malgudi:

Actually, the astrologer was belonged to a farming family. All his forefathers had been practised farming. R. K. Narayan says “If he had continued there he would have carried on the work of his forefathers- namely, tilling the land, living, marrying, and ripening in his corn field and ancestral home”. The life of a city and the life of a village are totally different. In city, there are many facilities like good schools, proper roads connectivity, sources of income, etc. On the other hand, in village, there are lots of lacks of facilities which are needed to live a comfort life. There is no good road connectivity to travel, no school to get good education, etc. When the astrologer was in his native village, he drank and gambled frequently eventually that compelled him to leave his village. The astrologer lived a good life in the city of Malgudi than his native village. He earned a handsome amount of money with the profession of astrologer. Someone says “a person does not die if he has the ability to use his ideas”. The astrologer had the ability to use his ideas in proper way which resulted that he got rid of his enemy, and lived a better live in city.


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