Introduction

“The trio” by R.K Narayan is an informative lesson revolving around the three boys named Mani, Rajam and Swaminathan studying in the same class and coming from different financial backgrounds. The major idea of the story is to throw light on the strong bonding of the friendship among these boys at the culmination of the story. Mani is presented as a school student who is poor in academics while Rajam is an outstanding student, and is unbeatable.

There were even rumours that Rajam had come from English boys school somewhere in Madras and thus he could speak English fluently. R.K Narayan begins the story by describing river Sarayu as the pride of Malgudi because it’s sandbanks were the evening resort of all the people of the town. Swaminathan and Mani sat aloof on a river-step, with their legs dangling in water. On seeing the flow of river water deep and fast, Mani decided to bring Rajam, his new and brilliant classmate, there and throw him into the water.

The enmity

Rajam used to be dressed very well and was the only boy in the class who wore socks and shoes, fur cap and tie, and a wonderful coat and knickers. Many of his class-mates could not dare to talk to him in English except Sankar, who dared to face him, though his English sounded weak before that of Rajam.

If Mani jabbed, Rajam jabbed; if Mani clouted, he clouted; if Mani kicked, he kicked. If Mani was the overload of the class, Rajam seemed to be nothing less. In addition, Rajam was a regular seventy percenter, second only to Sankar. Thus, Mani decided to solve his problem simply by throwing Rajam into the river. Swaminathan sat between Mani and Rajam to act as a cord between them.

Mani wrote on a piece of paper “Are you a man?” and gave it to Swaminathan, who pushed it across to Rajam, and as a reaction Rajam returned the same amount of offence with his reply. Few times later the teacher asked Swaminathan to stand up and asked him various questions like, What is Lisbon famous for?, What did he know about the Indian Climate etc.Not getting the proper answers,the teacher finally punished him.

Mani again began his enmity by directly asking Swaminathan “Are you a man?”, so as to pass this question to Rajam to which Rajam shouted, “Which dog doubts it?. Mani then challenged Rajam to prove his masculinity by meeting him at the river, near Nallappa’s Grove.

The trouble and it’s solution

Mani was planning to break Rajam’s head and throw his body into the river. At the sound of the creaking of boots, they turned and found that Rajam had come. He was dressed in khaki, and carried under his arm an air-gun that was given to him a couple of months ago on his birthday. He shot a fire in the air.

Rajam informed that the next shot would be going to be into his body to which Mani declared the fight as unfair.At this, Rajam asked him about the club which Mani had brought with him. Mani hanged down his head on this and informed Rajam that once he called him a sneak before someone due to which he had hatred towards Rajam.

Rajam on this cleared that he never called him a sneak and if that was the only reason for his anger,then he should forget everything and become friends. Rajam lowered his gun and Mani dropped his club. The issue was thus settled down. To show his goodwill, Rajam pulled out half a dozen of biscuits from his pocket. There was a spark and glow in the air welcoming the essence of new friendship among the three friends. Swaminathan felt at perfect peace with the word.