Great world writers have always been disposed to different forms of quest in their works as one of their main preoccupations is with the nature and the creation of the Self. Quests recover essential things to human life in encounters between cultures, with alien surroundings, people, animals, nature, or the Other; namely, the waking of individual in the knowledge of himself, knowledge about others, the world, and the meaning of life. Considered a born storyteller with a fine sense of the tragicomic, Narayan has sometimes been compared to Anton Chekhov by virtue of his underlying sense of beauty and sadness.
His writing is wholly Indian, however, in its assumptions, attitudes, and form, in that its protagonists are always circumscribed by an Indian society permeated by a sense of dharma, or duty. Jagan is a Gandhian and a spiritualist. He led a very simple life. His dress, foot-wear, food were simple to the core. But later in the novel a transformation ensues in Jagan which too results from the dialectic of his being and his becoming. Earlier in the novel, Jaganâ€Ÿs sense of judgement has been clouded by his blind love for his son, but now the torch of reason dawns upon him. He undergoes great psychological and spiritual transformation. He realizes that his purpose of life has been completed and he feels himself to be entering into a new phase of life, â€œI have probably outlived my purpose in this houseâ€¦ At sixty, one is reborn and enters a new janmaâ€ (143).
Keywords: Quest, self, optimist, spiritual balance, self-purification