R.K. Narayan’s Gunas Comedy
From our reading of Narayan’s fifteen novels and novellas, it seems that Narayan’s imagination had struck early a new vein of comedy which he cultivated, not consciously, but consistently and progressively. Narayan’s interest in people, a wide range of characters, leads us to believe that we have a conceptual possibility here, of a different species of comedy, the gunas comedy. The three gunas or qualities bear the names of satva, rajas, and tamas. The terms denote three personality types: ‘sattvic’ means gentle, mild, kindly, amiable. Similarly, ‘rajasic’ denotes domineering spirit, haughty, arrogant; and ‘tamasic’ is angry and wicked. These terms have their origin in the Gita. However, there are no pure categories: there is only predominance, and, more significantly, whatever the karmic make-up evolution runs its course. There is hope for everyone, for success is inevitable. With the gunas comedy we are in an ambience of R.K. Narayan’s humanism.
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