||This article describes a work or element of fiction in a primarily in-universe style. (April 2011)|
First US edition
|Author||R. K. Narayan|
|Publisher||Viking Press (US)
|Media type||Print (Hardcover & Paperback)|
|ISBN||0-670-35668-9 (First American edition)|
The Guide is a 1958 novel written in English by the Indian author R. K. Narayan. Like most of his works the novel is based on Malgudi, the fictional town in South India. The novel describes the transformation of the protagonist, Raju, from a tour guide to a spiritual guide and then one of the greatest holy men of India.
Railway Raju (nicknamed) is a disarmingly corrupt guide who falls in love with a beautiful dancer, Rosie, the neglected wife of archaeologist Marco. Marco doesn't approve of Rosie's passion for dancing. Rosie, encouraged by Raju, decides to follow her dreams and start a dancing career. They start living together and Raju's mother, as she does not approve of their relationship, leaves them. Raju becomes Rosie's stage manager and soon, with the help of Raju's marketing tactics, Rosie becomes a successful dancer. Raju, however, develops an inflated sense of self-importance and tries to control her. Raju gets involved in a case of forgery and gets a two-year sentence. After completing the sentence, Raju passes through a village where he is mistaken for a sadhu (a spiritual guide). Reluctantly, as he does not want to return in disgrace to Malgudi, he stays in an abandoned temple. There is a famine in the village and Raju is expected to keep a fast in order to make it rain. Raju confesses the entire truth about his past to Velan, who had mistaken Raju as a sadhu. With media publicizing his fast, a huge crowd gathers (much to Raju's resentment) to watch him fast. After fasting for several days, he goes to the riverside one morning as part of his daily ritual, where his legs sag down as he feels that the rain is falling in the hills. The ending of the novel leaves unanswered the question of whether he died, and whether the drought has really ended.
The film Guide was released in 1965, based on the novel. It starred Dev Anand as Raju, Waheeda Rehman as Rosie, Kishore Sahu (cameo), and Leela Chitnis in the lead roles. The film's score was composed by S.D.Burman.
The novel was also adapted into a play in 1968.