Malgudi Days is an Indian television series based on the works of R.K. Narayan. The series was directed by Kannada actor and director Shankar Nag. Carnatic musician L. Vaidyanathan composed the score. R. K Narayan's brother and acclaimed cartoonist R. K. Laxman was the sketch artist. The series was made in 1986 by film producer T. S. Narasimhan with Anant Nag as the lead actor.
Thirty-nine episodes of Malgudi Days were telecast on Doordarshan. Subsequently, it was re-telecast on Doordarshan and later on Sony Entertainment Television, and MAA Television in Telugu. This series was shot mostly near Agumbe in Shimoga District, Karnataka. Some episodes were also shot at Bengaluru and Devarayanadurga in Tumakuru District, where Episode no: 22 'Nitya', was exclusively shot.
In 2004, the project was revived with film-maker Kavitha Lankesh replacing Shankar Nag as director. The new series was telecast from 26 April 2006 on Doordarshan.
Most of the stories in the series are one episode long. The stories are from the books A Horse and Two Goats, Malgudi Days, Swami and Friends and The Vendor of Sweets.
Swami and Friends revolves around the life of ten-year-old Swaminathan, or Swami as he is known. Swami portrays the growing pangs of a boy who despises school, as he makes excuses and roams around Malgudi with his friends. Swami's father works in a government office and his mother is a housewife. At home, Swami shares his adventures with his aged granny, who lovingly addresses him as "Chamy." Swami has two close friends: Mani and Rajam, the son of the police chief superintendent. Swami's character was portrayed by Manjunath, a regular actor in many of Shankar Nag's productions.
The Vendor of Sweets narrates the story of a sweet vendor, Jagan, his business and confrontation with his son who had returned from abroad. The title role was played by Kannada actor Anant Nag, and most of the actors cast in this serial were from the Kannada film industry. It was directed by Shankar Nag.
Swami is a 9-year-old boy living in Malgudi with his parents and grandmother. His father reads a newspaper article about the bravery shown by an 8-year-old boy and feels that Swami should do something similar. Swami has the habit of sleeping with his grandmother after listening to a story told by her. This irritates his father. Swami's father then challenges, or rather forces, him to sleep in his office. When Swami tells his friends of the ordeal, his friends warn him about a ghost living near the office. When Swami sleeps in his father's office he has nightmares about the ghost and wakes up with a start. At the same time, Swami spots an intruder breaking into the office. Mistaking him for the ghost, Swami grabs the intruder's leg and yells for help. The members of the house rush inside the office and catch the intruder. The police tell Swami that the intruder was a thief wanted by the police and congratulate him. The incident is published in the Malgudi Times.
Muni is a very poor man living in Malgudi with his wife. Every day, he takes his two goats to graze near an old statue of a horse outside. One day Muni's wife asks him to buy some food, but Muni doesn't have any money. He goes to the grocer only to get kicked out because he has unsettled debts. The same night, his wife tells him about a body found near the well and is afraid to go out for fear of the police. The next day, when Muni takes his goats out to graze, he spots a motor car. Out of the car comes a white man from New York who starts talking with Muni, but he does not understand a word of it. He thinks that he is a policeman who has come for the body and starts telling his suspicions about other people. The conversation carries on with neither man understanding each other. The tourist then examines the statue of the horse and makes an offer to buy it. Muni misunderstands it as an offer for his goats and is reluctant but when the American offers a hundred rupees, Muni relents. When he gets home he surprises his wife with the money and tells her that he sold off the goats. When they hear the bleating of their goats outside they find the goats in their yard with the statue gone.
Thanappa is the village mailman who knows everyone and knows everyone's business by virtue of reading the recipients their mail. Over the years he becomes good friends with Ramanujam and his family. He watches Ramanujam's daughter Kamakshi grow up and meets Ramanujam's brother. When Kamakshi comes of age, Thanappa helps the family find a suitable match by telling them about a failed matchmaking attempt involving another family in Malgudi. The young suitor and Kamakshi are compatible and the wedding is arranged for the 20th, the last day before the young man leaves for two years of training. If the wedding isn't held by that date, it won't take place at all.
Two days before the wedding, Thanappa is given an urgent letter to deliver to Ramanujam informing him of his brother's serious illness. Thanappa goes to the house, but amidst the gaiety of the wedding preparation, decides not to deliver the letter. The next day a telegram arrives informing Ramanujam of his brother's death. Thanappa again delays delivering the message. The wedding proceeds. Two days later Thanappa delivers the bad news to Ramanujam, with his sincere apologies.
Charu is the village miser who cares more about money than his own family. He never spends a rupee when he doesn't have to. One day in an indulgent mood he takes his grandson to see a movie. He won't spend money on sweets, telling the boy they are not good for him. While Gopinath finds the movie entertaining, the boy is bored and sneaks out of the theater to meet his friends to play cricket. Gopinath eventually realizes the boy is missing and goes in search of him. Suddenly his money is of no benefit, as he searches fruitlessly for the boy. He buys a packet of sweets for him and even pays homage to the gods, promising to offer a whole coconut if the boy is found. When darkness falls, he makes his way back to his daughter's house and struggles to find the words to explain the situation. Just as he is about to admit his mistake, his grandson comes bouncing into the house joyous at having won his cricket match.
Seth is a merchant and a grocer who also owns a boarding house filled with tenants who constantly complain about his tight-fisted ways. One of his tenants, an exorcist, makes a living by removing evil spells and spirits from afflicted individuals. Merchandise is disappearing from Seth's shop. While Seth suspects a thief, the trap he sets up reveals that the shop is overrun with rats. The exorcist suggests that Seth get a cat to stop the thievery. One night Seth is arou the cat and the exorcist emerge from the shop, Seth ridicules the exorcist that only a cat was in the jug. The exorcist acknowledges that a cat was in the jug, but then asks, "But what was in the cat..?"
Leela's mother Kamala works hard around the home. When she complains to her husband to find domestic help, Sidda overhears it and offers to work as their servant. Leela instantly takes a liking for Sidda and begs her parents to hire him. He works hard and becomes a favorite of Leela. One day Kamala sends Sidda to the market, and Leela begs to go along. When they return, Kamala notices that Leela's necklace is missing. She questions Sidda, who does not answer her accusations but instead leaves the home. Kamala tells her husband, who reports the incident to the police. The police locate Sidda and take him to Leela's house, where Kamala and her husband again confront him. Sidda maintains his innocence, but is taken away by the police for questioning. Later, Kamala finds the necklace in a jar in the kitchen. Leela's father decides that Leela must not be given any more jewelry to wear, and decides to let the police know about the discovery the next day. Meanwhile, the police continue to beat up Sidda to extract a confession.
The talkative man. He joins his friends at the town square and begins to talk about the local driver Daas. While everyone seems to agree that Daas is a wonderful driver and handyman, the talkative man insists that, despite this, he has a tale which will show good old Daas in a bizarre light. To prove his point he begins narrating a story of when he used to work in Kumbam - a town near Malgudi. On his way back he says he had used Daas as the driver.
He was fast asleep when Daas swerved through a mud path and almost rammed the car near an old and abandoned temple. On waking up and inquiring about the incident Daas started telling the talkative man about how he was trying to avoid hitting the old man. The talkative man found no one in sight. Just as they were about to leave the place a relatively young Daas undergoes a weird transformation. He starts to talk and walk about like an old man who he claims was the builder of the temple. He even starts to call himself Krishna Bhattar. This scares the talkative man a little but he keeps his wits about him. He continues to humor Daas (now in the old man's personality) and extracts information on how he died 500 years ago while crossing the forest one night. To get the old man's spirit out of Daas the talkative man reminds him about his wife Seeta, whom he loved dearly, and convinces him to leave Daas and go back to her. As the old man's spirit leaves Daas, the talkative man and people living nearby help Daas back.
The story ends with the talkative man trying hard to convince his listeners about how, even without a drop of alcohol on him, Daas was sounding so weird and absurd that night. Suddenly they all spot Daas walking in the distance and to test his theory the talkative man yells out 'Krishna Bhattar! O Krishna Bhattar!' to which Daas does not respond. The talkative man turns around to his listeners and says 'See?'Gopinath - Harish
W.S.Swaminathan (Swami) - Master Manjunath
Swami's father - Girish Karnad
Swami's mother - Vaishali Kasaravalli
Swami's grand mother - Suhasini Adarkar
Muniya (Muni) - Kanti Madiya
Muniya's wife - B Jayashree
Shopkeeper - Somu
American (New York tourist) - Teddy White
Nitya - Deven Bhojani
Harish Patel (Episode 53)
Anant Nag (Episodes 9-16,24,31,33,45 and 54)
Dada (Episodes 30 and 31)
Vishnuvardhan (Episode 49)
Shankar Nag (Episodes 39 and 40)
Deven Bhojani (Episode 22)