Sunday, March 17, 2019

Muralidhara Khajane THE HINDU  BENGALURU, MARCH 03, 2019 

The railway station in the fictional south Indian town of Malgudi around which novelist R.K. Narayan spun enchanting stories may at some point find a place on the railway map of India.

B.Y. Raghavendra, MP for Shivamogga, has sent a proposal on renaming Arasalu station in the district as Malgudi station. The small station on the Shivamogga-Talaguppa railway line is where scenes for the popular serial ‘Malgudi Days’ were shot by the late Shankar Nag.

Mr. Raghavendra told The Hindu that the proposal also includes setting up a Malgudi museum near the railway station. “I discussed the matter of renaming the station and setting up the museum with the Divisional Manager and the response was enthusiastic,” the MP said, adding that the project would have funding from the MP Local Area Development Fund as well as the Railways.

A train from Talaguppa arriving at Arasalu station in Shivamogga district. 

In 2011, the Railway Ministry named the Yeshwantpur-Mysuru Express (operating between Bengaluru and Mysuru) as Malgudi Express, thanks to the efforts of the then Union Minister for Foreign Affairs S.M. Krishna.

Interestingly, in his introduction to the short story collection Malgudi Days (1942), R.K. Narayan says about the location of Malgudi: “All I can say is that it is imaginary and cannot be found on any map (although the University of Chicago Press published a literary atlas with a map of India indicating the location of Malgudi). If I explain that Malgudi is a small town in South India, I shall only be expressing half-truth, for the characteristics of Malgudi seem to be universal.”


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