10th October marks the birth anniversary of the great Rasipuram Krishnaswami Iyer Narayanaswami’s popularly known as RK Narayan. He is India’s most famous English-language writer. He is the person who brought to life a small little delightful town called Malgudi and its varied characters to life. And one of the most memorable characters from his Malgudi tales is the boy named Swami.
Likewise, do you recollect Malgudi Days on TV and the lilting title track that opened the show? After 28 years, we followed the splendid looked at kid Manjunath Nayaker who played Swami, the Malgudi kid is grown up and now a PR specialist based in Bengaluru.
Here’s what Manjunath told leading news portal about his experience on Malgudi Days and his life after it:
Life After Films:
Talking about his life post films, Manjunath Nayaker said, “Post films, I finished my education, and like every other Bangalorian I too got into IT. But I am a people’s man, couldn’t do a 9 to 5 job so I joined another firm where I worked for 14 years. Today I am happily married and have a 5-year-old son and now I work for myself as a consultant in Public Relations.”
Further, he revealed about meeting RK Narayan and said, “I have had two very brief interactions with RK Narayan. Once was just before Malgudi Days was shot. He had just walked into the auditions to see all the kids being cast. I didn’t know who he was then. The second time was when Malgudi was a success and there was a celebratory function in Bangalore where I bumped into him and he gave me an awesome compliment, he said, 'You are exactly how I had imagined Swami to be'. This was the highlight for me. It was a much bigger award for me than many other awards I got.”
Taking about working as Swami for Malgudi Days, Manjunath said, “I had already done 23 movies in the Kannada film industry by the time Malgudi happened. I knew Mr Shankar Nag (Director of Malgudi Days) very well and I had already done some 6 to 7 films with him, so he kind of cast me as Swami. That time I probably couldn’t appreciate the quality writing of Mr Narayan. But later in my life, I realised it. I am very fortunate to have played such an important role in his series. I am very privileged to be known as Swami. I played Swami 28 years ago and after 3 decades you guys are still talking to me, I would be lying if I say I don’t enjoy it.”
R K Narayan passed away on 13th May 2001 in Chennai. He was 94. However, his works will continue to live on forever, whether through books, television series or artistes like Manjunath Nayaker who will always have stories to tell us.