- Astrologer: The Astrologer is a middle aged man. He says to be an Astrologer but he just pretends to, so he can get a little money for his family. He carries a secret with him. This secret is something that happened long before, when he was young, in another town. He escaped from that town and lives with his wife and child.
- Guru Nayak: The Astrologer’s client. Also, middle aged man. He is in a journey, looking for someone who did something to him once in his early times. He also escaped from his native town to look for this person. He is amazed with what the Astrologer says to him.
The story begins with a description of the Astrologer’s life, telling details about it. It says that he works in a street full of other vendors. He isn’t trained to be an astrologer and has little knowledge about astrology. One day, after work when he is about to go home, he sees a man close by and hoping to make him a client, he seduces him to start a conversation. The man says that he wants the astrologer to tell him something about his future. The astrologer tries his tricks about talking marriage or money but the man wants specific answers. He says he would give him two times what he asks for if he is satisfied with the answers. The astrologer realizes that this man which was supposed to be stranger was a man he had knew some years ago. He tries to cancel the challenge and insists him on taking his money back but the client isn’t happy with this. After a little discussion, the astrologer surrenders and starts to tell facts about this person’s past. For example, that he has been stabbed and left as dead. He also guesses his name, Guru Nayak. Guru gets amazed by his knowledge and confesses that he is looking for the person who had killed him. Before the session is over, the astrologer tells his client to travel in the opposite direction for two days, there he would be safe. He also told him that the person who stabbed him, had died crushed by a lorry. Nayak gives the astrologer some coins and feeling happy and satisfied he continues his journey. Later, the astrologer comes home and tells his wife that the man he thought he had killed, was alive.
When the Astrologer insists the stranger to sit and talk to him. He doesn’t know that this man is the one he almost killed and he is wanting to talk to him when if this person realized who the Astrologer was, he would be in big trouble. Also it is ironic when the stranger insists on that the Astrologer must prove if he really can see the truth. The Astrologer can’t guess the truth but at this part of the story he already noticed who this man was. The ironical fact is that a gambler and a murderer, who is ignorant of his own future has become an astrologer.
Setting in place (justifications- quotes)
The story is set in India. I noticed that since R. K Narayan was himself Indian and most of his stories are set in India. Also because the Astrologer wears a turban, very Indian. I noticed that because of the currency that is used there in the story, Rupee. Also, in the story appear words in italics which are in italics because they are in other language, Urdu. For example jaggery and pyol. In the Story is also described a road full of sellers and trade. That happens a lot in India, India is known for its commerce above being known for its many languages.
- Irony of fate: Since the Astrologer knows something that the client doesn’t when he is pretending to guess about his life.
- Religion and blind faith: Because since the Indians believe in this acts of fate, they are drowned into hearing and believing what the Astrologers say even though they don’t know if it is real or fake.
- Crime and guilt: This is theme is connected to the idea that the astrologer is his early times committed a crime and he felt guilty for all his life.
- Human greed of revenge: This theme has to do with the fact that the client, Guru Nayak, had been stabbed long time ago but he is still looking for the person who did this and wanted to find him and kill him. Even though a lot of time had passed.