Malgudi Days

Summary Of Story

The short story "An Astrologer's Day" begins with a general description of an astrologer. He is working in a busy, unnamed city, and the author establishes that, in reality, he is a con artist.with no special powers other than his ability to judge character. The astrologer is about to return to his home at the end of the day when he is stopped by an unusually aggressive customer. The customer insists that the astrologer tell him the truth about his life, and that if he does not, he should return his (the customer's) money, along with extra, as payment for having lied. The astrologer, realizing that he will most likely be exposed, tries to get out of the deal, but the customer is determined. The story takes an unexpected turn, when the astrologer recognizes him and tells him about something that happened in the past. Calling the customer by name, the astrologer recounts how the customer had once been stabbed and left for dead, but had been saved by a bystander. The astrologer tells the customer that he must stop looking for the man who stabbed him so long ago, because to do so would be dangerous, and anyway, the perpetrator is dead. The customer, not recognizing the astrologer, is impressed that he should know about his past. When the astrologer goes home, his wife asks about his day. He tells her that he has been relieved of a great load; he had once thought that he had killed someone, but had today discovered that the victim was well and very much alive. The wife is mystified, but the astrologer goes to bed for an untroubled night of sleep.


The moral of the story is that what goes around comes around, and since this story is based on Indian Culture, the belief in reincarnation is prevalent. Reincarnation means in this case, if you do noble things in one life, the next life you will be rewarded for your noble actions. However, if you do unjust actions, in your next life, you will be punished.


“ ‘When shall I get at him?’ he asked, clenching his fist. ‘In the next world,’ answered the astrologer.”(12.) -reference to reincarnation

This quote makes a reference to karma. What goes around comes around. Which is the moral of this story. However, this quote is referencing more to the idea of reincarnation. Which is like karma, but on a much bigger scale.

“ a surging crowd was always moving up and down this narrow road morning till night. A variety of trades and occupations was represented all along its way.”(9.) -shows indian culture in the sense of their marketplaces

This quote gives insight to the Indian culture. It displays their marketplaces which is a huge part of the Indian culture. It shows their general crowdedness and the plethora of trades that can be in one market.

“ ‘The swine has cheated me! He promised me a rupee,’ ”(13.) -idea of karma, astrologer cheats people, astrologer gets cheated

This quote gives more support to the idea of karma. The astrologer was normally the one who cheated people for their money. However, this time he was cheated. The man had been satisfied by the astrologer’s information(whether or not it was the truth), but didn’t have to pay nearly as much money as they negotiated.