The fictional town of Malgudi represents India in miniature. Like the country of which it is a part, Malgudi undergoes tremendous changes, including the arrival of industrialization and modernization, as symbolized by the railway line that is newly built there. Furthermore, it is a microcosm of the society at large, as it is home to people who occupy various social and economic positions. The Sait, for instance, is clearly wealthier than Raju and his family, while the poor people who occupy the huts outside of town, where Raju takes Rosie to meet the snake charmer, are much poorer, and most likely of low caste. Malgudi’s geography also reflects the wider country: the town itself, with its condensed population, recalls the large urban centers of India, while the beautiful wild landscape that surrounds it, such as that found at Mempi Hills, where Raju takes Marco and Rosie to look at cave paintings, suggests the country’s extravagant natural scenery.
Malgudi Quotes in The Guide
One fine day, beyond the tamarind tree the station building was ready. The steel tracks gleamed in the sun; the signal posts stood with their red and green stripes and their colorful lamps; and our world was neatly divided into this side of the railway line and that side.
I pointed out to him something as the greatest, the highest, the only one in the world. I gave statistics out of my head. I mentioned a relic as belonging to the thirteenth century before Christ or the thirteenth century after Christ, according to the mood of the hour.
I was accepted by Marco as a member of the family. From guiding tourists I seemed to have come to a sort of concentrated guiding of a single family.
Rosie was lying on her bed with eyes shut. (Was she in a faint? I wondered for a second.) I had never seen her in such a miserable condition before. He was sitting in his chair, elbow on the table, his chin on his fist. I had never seen him so vacant before.
“[…] I followed him, day after day, like a dog—waiting on his grace. He ignored me totally. I could never have imagined that one human being could ignore the presence of another human being so completely.”