GRANDMOTHER'S TALE, Narayan's latest work, is the story of his great-grandmother who lived in the later period of the East India Company. Bala, the central character, was married at the early age of seven to Viswa a boy of ten. One day, he just left bidding her good-bye, joining a group of pilgrims going to Pandaripur. Years go by and there is no trace of him. Bala, now a young woman finds life extremely difficult with the entire agraharam gossipping about her husband's fate. She leaves home, determined to find him. The arduous journey she undertakes to Poona, her success in locating Viswa and persuading him to return to the South and their long, happy life in Kumbakonam, where five children are born to them, Bala's death and eventually Viswa's death due to poisoning by his cook form rest of the narrative. The delineation of Bala from an innocent schoolgirl to a firm, determined, aggressive young woman and finally to a quiet, docile, orthodox Hindu wife is fascinating! The seasoned Narayan reader will not fail to observe the author himself in the role of "the talkative man"!
R. K. Narayan