The Dark Room is another marvellous novel written by R. K. Narayan where rigid traditional values are upheld and held staunchly. There is irony and humour through the poignant pains of the leading female character Savitri. Malgudi, a fabricated town, somewhere in South India, is where the story develops and melds. Here Savitri is a submissive wife who listens to all the harsh abuses sent out to her by her husband Ramani. Ramani works for the elite Engladia Insurance Company and will do anything to satisfy his bosses.
Savitri has three children Kamala, Babu and Sumati. Savitri would flee to her dark room when she could not tolerate the pangs of intolerance and maltreatment meted out to her unfairly. She discovers sadly that her husband is having an affair with another woman. Her husband even takes her favourite bench so that he can use it to decorate the other woman's house. Her husband seems more interested in flattering and pleasing the other woman. A simpleton like Savitri has nowhere to go. She tries to drown herself but unfortunately, she gets saved. She works as a temple custodian. She can fend for herself, but she has her past life also. She cannot forget the bleak look on her children's faces when she abandoned them, much to their shock.
The Dark Room by R.K. Narayan has acute sympathetic descriptions of the characters. It is a touching story highlighting the bare truths of life of a woman who was totally dependent on her husband. This book was published Indian Thought Publication in 2007 and in paperback.
The Dark Room
R. K. Narayan