The Gateman’s Gift | R K Narayan | Fiction | Story Review

Why I Picked The Book?

Reading books is my hobby and passion both. I am a thriller and horror genre lover. Also I love to read Indian classic authors. Only because of this reason started reading R K Narayan. I have already read his other classics, thus I picked this story, “The Gateman’s Gift” also to give it a try.    

From Where I Bought this Book?

    I bought the book from Flipkart, an online shopping platform. You would not find this book in a second hand book market or local book stalls.

Author Introduction

    The Gateman’s Gift was written by R K Narayan which was published in Malgudi Days. He is a leading Indian author and was founder of Indian Thought Publications. His many works include Swami and Friends, The Guide and The Bachelor of Arts. The writer has set the plot in the most famous Malgudi Village.


Govind Singh, a retired military man is now working as a gateman in an office. He leads a simple life. He is always vigilant in his duties and served for 25 years. After retirement, he founds a new musing in the form of clay dolls. He decides to present a clay masterpiece to his office chief.   Everytime whenever he went for his pension, he used to present clay dolls to his former chief.  

Everything was going well, until he receives a registered letter as a gift from his office. He asked the postman about the contents of the letter but he refused to read it. Time passes by but he was not able to gather courage to open the letter as he thought that may be his former chief did not like his clay dolls.

Slowly and slowly, this incident bore a psychological trauma on him and he started to act like a madman.   He stopped making his dolls and destroyed his very creations. People in his surroundings also started to call him a madman.  

One day, when Govind was roaming on the streets with the letter and encountered with his old office accountant. Govind’s condition was beyond recognition and the accountant was surprised to see him in this condition. He saw that Govind was holding the letter unopened.   He asked him that why didn’t he opened the letter. In return, he said that he did not have courage to open it because whatever the letter contains may hit his pride and honour.  

What was in the letter? What happens when he saw the contents of the letter?  

Characters Portrayal

  The writer has not much emphasized on the description of all the characters. He only focused the limelight on Govind, a gateman only. But the writer has spent a considerable time in explaining the mental condition of Govind in the story, “The Gateman’s Gift”.

My Opinion

  I would recommend it to read only if you are a fan of R K Narayan’s works. This is just another entertaining story, “The Gateman’s Gift” from his book Malgudi days. A person who is so much sensitive for his pride and honor and due to a simple confusion he turns into a madman has been created in a well manner.    

Narrative Style

  The narrative just represents R K Narayan’s own style of writing. Emotions and its effect on mental state has been more focussed on in very simple words in the story “The Gateman’s Gift”.


  • Plot  –   3/5
  • Characters  –   5/5
  • Climax   –   5/5
  • Recommendation  –   3/5
  • Writing Style   –   5/5

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