The Title of the novel The Guide by R.K Narayan.

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      R. K. Narayan master of irony and style always wished to be true to life. His comic vision of life and delightful humour raised many profound and disturbing and questions. This also holds true of the title of the novel The Guide which opt starling evocative symbolic stimulating and significant.

The theme of the quest for spiritual fulfillment explains the title of the novel, for within the Hindu cosmology the path to spiritual illumination required mentioring from a Guru or Guide.
The Guide


      The theme of the quest for spiritual fulfillment explains the title of the novel, for within the Hindu cosmology the path to spiritual illumination required mentioring from a Guru or Guide. There are multiple puns on the word guide. Raju goes from being tourist guide, to Rose's mentor or guide, to the spiritual guide of the villagers of Mangal. He is a born leader and people seek him out "it is written on the brow of some that they shell not me he left alone, I am one such, I think". Although I never looked for acquaintance they somehow come looking for me.

      Raju indeed, has a king of water, divines instinct for sensing what people need or want to hear. "It was in his nature to get involved in other people's interests and activities". But Raju is a travesty of a guide because he actually misguide people. He lies to his tourists, deceives Marco, exploits Rosie and cheats the trusting, villages with mork humility he convinces the gullible villagers that he is the repository of divine wisdom - "I am but and instrument accepting guidance myself". but instead of giving them the illumination they seek, he only confused them with his empty platitudes, dragging those innocent man deeper and deeper into the bag of unclear thoughts.

      The title is therefore ironic. But it is ironic in more ways than one. For instead of the guru, Raju guiding the career of his disciple Velan, it is Velan who thought his dogged devotion imposes his will on Raju's career and forces him to become some kind of yogi. Raju's "old habit of affording guidance to others" rebounds on him and he find himself forced to accept the guidance of Velan and undertake the fast.

      The novel raises disturbing questions about giving the receiving spiritual guidance in this modern world. It is Raju is at fault for exploiting the hold over people that he enjoy in his various roles as guide, the tourists and Marco and Rosie and the villages are, in a sense equally at fault for their gulitibility. The title gently ridicules the uncritical application tradition to modernity without however rejecting tradition. In the final destiny of Raju the individual, and invites us to ponder on these larger issues.

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