Sometime during my bachelors, we rounded-up Indian literature, within which we were given summaries of many of R.K. Narayan’s early English literature. Totally satiated with his stories (which sounded very bland and boring even in summaries), I stayed away from his literature. The only Narayan literature I was familiar with was Malgudi Days on the TV. When a friend gave me his My Dateless Diary – An American Journey, I decided to read it only because it was thin and readable in a few days. I read it quickly, but there wasn’t really anything drawing me to the book.
I am not a fan of travelogues, but I thought this book American-ness would interest me, being a newbie to the country myself. The datedness of his observations are definitely a drawback, because today’s Star TV generation knows more about America than any traveler possibly might. Narayan’s humor is dry and mildly entertaining, but not enough to save the boredom the book contains. The observations could have been more engrossing were they about his travels rather than about his own self in an alien country. I also felt as if Narayan too often revels in self-praise, which also gets tiresome after sometime.
There is very little this book had to offer, and I wouldn’t read it unless I was on a deserted island with nothing else to do.