For a generation which grew up on doordarshan, Malgudi days was equivalent to an epic, no less important than the Mahabratha or the
Ramyana. Shankar Nag’s Small Screen adaptation of RK Narayans writing was a very fitting tribute to one of the greatest Work of English Literature from India. Complete with S Vaidyanthans beautiful background score, RK Laxman’s Carrigraphs or master Manjunath’s depiction of the mischievous Swanithan. But Nag achieved artistic perfection by bringing Malgudi to life, which quite arguably would have been very close to Narayan’s Imaginations.
Malgudi could have been any small town in south India, but Shankar Nag’s imagination choice was a tiny hamlet named Agumbe in the Shimoga district of Karnataka. Situated in the western Ghats and with one of the highest rainfall in India, second only to Cherapunji, Agumbe still remains a nature lovers paradise. It was in this small village that Malgudi came alive, The Town square, Swami’s School and much of Malgudi was shot here. The tile roof building and lush country side must have made it a very ideal candidate. The televised images of the ‘Name less’ and lawleys statute is soldered into us as if it was exactly as in Narayan’s head. Such is the power of Television , that it paints a beautiful graffiti but leaves little to our imaginations.
The reason to not only see it but also experience it is what made me go to Kasturi Akkas, Doddamane in the center of Agumbe. This and the Agumbe center square is the only thing that remains of Nag’s Malgudi. The house is currently converted into a home stay for flashy tourists like me and the hosts were more than welcome for any random stranger to go check out their house. Although I was out rightly violating thier privacy they were more proud of their heritage than irritated. An old Man sitting in the veranda proudly explained me how the house has been used for shooting not only TV shows up also Movies more than a couple of times. Hearing the Man I continued on my journey experiencing a piece of Malgudi.