|Name||An Astrologer’s Day|
Short Summary – An Astrologer’s Day
The short story “The Astrologer’s Day” describes a typical day in the life of a fictitious astrologer. The town of Malgudi, in South India, close to Madras, serves as the story’s backdrop. The story takes place in pre-independence periods rather than in the present.
The narrative begins at noon. The astrologer opens for business at this moment. The author explains how he starts his business. He takes away all of his tools for the job, including charts, Palmyra writing, and sea shells. To attract clients, he also dresses traditionally for an astrologer. His forehead is sparkling with vermilion and holy ash. His clients believe that he has a prophetic light in his eyes. His turban is saffron. The astrologer therefore presented himself so admirably that he became a focus of attraction for everyone.
The author explains the route through Town Hall Park where the astrologer stands to attract potential clients. On the Town Hall road, he operated his business from behind a tamarind tree. The walkway was the ideal location for him to conduct business because it was densely populated with various trades and traders, including those who sold goods such as medicine, hardware and rubbish, magicians, and clothing. A man selling fried groundnuts sat next to him, and thanks to his gas light, he could continue operating well into the evening.
The astrologer was a clever person with little background in astrology. When individuals approached him, he simply made accurate predictions. He put in a lot of effort to get his money. He had left his hometown because he didn’t want to carry on the farming tradition started by his ancestors. He never intended to go back to his hometown village. He was an expert in analysing the psychology and human psyche. His acute insight allowed him to pinpoint the precise issue facing his clients. Finally, his clients would walk satisfied.
The groundnut vendor next door blew out his light, forcing him to close his store for the day. The astrologer was packing up his things on the day mentioned in the narrative when he came across the man who was standing in front of him. The groundnut salesman had already left. He thought of him as a potential client. The astrologer issued a challenge to him and his astrological knowledge when he invited him. They have a mutual agreement. The man gave the astrologer an anna and ordered him to respond to his inquiries; if he did not, he was to return the anna with interest. In addition, he would award him eight annas if the astrologer provided acceptable answers to the questions. However, if the astrologer fails, he will pay the man double the sum, or sixteen annas. Because of this, their agreement was completed.
The astrologer made a prayer to God. The astrologer immediately rejected the challenge and asked the man to release him. He declared that he would not permit him to yield. The astrologer shivers as he is pulled tight in his grasp. The astrologer finally understood that he was stuck and had no way of getting out. It turned out that the man worked as a criminal.
The astrologer trembled and finally agreed to the task. He began to talk about a woman, but the other man interrupted him because he was unsatisfied. He was just concerned about whether he would find what he was looking for. If he was pleased with the astrologer’s responses, the man pledged, he would give him a rupee. Before responding, the astrologer recited a few incantations in prayer. In the beginning of his predictions, the astrologer told the man, “You were left for dead in the past, and a knife once passed over your chest.” Since he had actually dealt with it, the man was pleased to get this information. He was wounded and then dropped into a neighbouring well to perish. He was saved from death when a passerby noticed him and helped. The man was looking for the person who had attempted to kill him and was ready to take revenge on the person who had attacked him. The man’s main question for the astrologer was whether or not he could track down his murderer. The astrologer immediately responded that the offender had passed away in a distant town four months earlier. When he heard this, the man was disappointed.
About the Author
The short narrative “Astrologer’s Day” by author R. K. Narayan is a thriller and suspense piece. It was the lead piece in Narayan’s fourth collection of short stories, which Indian Thought Publications released in 1947 despite having previously published it.