Man eater of Malgudi – R K Narayan. I could have profitably rented out the little room in front of my press. On. Market Road, with a view of the fountain, it was. z question I allowed to die without a reply as 3 The Man-Eater of Malgudi I . It had gathered dust in a corner for decades without anyone's 6 R.K. Narayan. PDF | Susan Nirmala. S and others published A Discourse Analysis of R. K. Narayan's The Man-eater of Malgudi.

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Myths in R. K. Narayan's The Man-Eater of Malgudi and The Bachelor of Arts Muzaffar Khan * Dr. G. S. Rathore ** ABSTRACT This paper attempts to study myths. Key words: R. K. Narayanan, Myth and Irony, Man eater and Malgudi. R. K Narayan entered the world of creative Eater of Malgudi (): The Vendor of. animals and the eater of men, to his own death, v. 3 clinches the lightly drawn parable. 2. R.K. Narayan, The Man-Eater of Malgudi (, rpt. Mysore: Indian.

I watched him come and go. Two days later he brought a bedstead and a few pieces of furniture. Since I found it a nuisance to have Vasu and his minions pass up and down by the press I opened a side gate in the compound, which admitted his jeep into a litde yard from Kabir Lane and gave him direct access to the wooden stairs.

It took me another week to realize that without a word 27 The Man-Eater of Malgudi from me Vasu had established himself in the attic. Why not let him stay there until he finds a house. I had no idea where he went. Sometimes he just came and lounged in my parlour.

My other visitors always tried to run away at the sight of him, for they found it difficult to cope with his bullying talk. The poet left if he saw him coming. He had been unwittingly caught the very first day, while he was expiating on the Five-Year Plan. You have not told me his name. Why does he interfere with me when I am talking to someone? Is there no freedom of speech? Words followed Sen got up in anger, Vasu advanced threateningly. I came between them with a show of courage, dreading lest one of them should hit me.

Not here, not here. Do you threaten to hit me? He pushed me out of the way and stepped up to Vasu. I was in a panic. If I hit you with it, it will be the end of you. One has to ignore most people. If he found someone known to him, he taunted him.

You have not told me his name! For a few days Sen and the poet left the moment they heard the jeep arrive, but gradually their views underwent a change. The Man-Eater ofMalgudi case he was an adept , and I was glad to note that Vasu had too much on his mind to have the time for more than a couple of nasty, personal remarks, which the poet pretended not to hear.


But the battle never came, as on the first day, to near-blows — it always fizzled out. I left everyone alone. If they wrangled and lost their heads and voices, it was their business and not mine.

I had resigned myself to anything. If I had cared for a peaceful existence, I should have rejected Vasu on the first day.

Now it was like having a middle-aged man-eater in your office and home, with the same uncertainties, possibilities, and potentialities. This man-eater softened, snivelled and purred, and tried to be agreeable only in the presence of an official. Nataraj; he and I arc more like brothers than printer and customer or landlord and tenant. Woe to the day I had conceived the idea of cleaning it up.

Now Vasu turned to the art of flattery. I would never have guessed his potentialities in this direction. He is a very busy man, but came with me today. He is everything there. He knows and has numbered every beast, and he has no fear. If he were a coward he would never have joined this department. They gave me a third extension of my service only two weeks ago.

Can you guess his age?

How many times has he been attacked by a rogue elephant? The three-colour labels were still undelivered. I wish to bring them out in book form and distribute them to school-children, free of cost.

That is how I want to serve our country. Virtues were listed alphabetically. For instance work like our friends here — Golden Thoughts — the right place for it would be the original Heidelberg — z lovely machine. What do you say, sir? I had spent a lifetime with would-be authors and knew their vanities from A to Z. I want to send a specially bound copy to our Chief Conservator at Delhi through our chief at Madras.

I looked through the pages of the manuscript. It would be boring to be steadfastly good night and day. All the same the book contained most of the sentiments Vasu had missed in life and it would do him no harm to pick up a few for his own use. There was going to be no money in it; I was positive about that.

The whole transaction, it was patent, was going to be a sort of exchange between the two: Vasu wanted to win the others favour through my help. I had already printed stationery for Vasu, and he had shown no signs of paying for the work. I do not want you to incur any unnecessary expense later — corrections arc rather expensive, you know. All the time you can give for revision in manuscript will be worthwhile. I could sec Vasus bewilderment: He looked at my face and then at the others.

I was a seasoned printer. I knew the importance of shuffling off a manuscript without loss of time. Once the manuscript got lodged with you, you lost your freedom, and authority passed to the writer. Do you know the distance he has to come — from Peak House, where he is camping? Sixty miles away. It would not be often that he would find the time, or the conveyance, to come downhill. Narayan A week later, a brown envelope from the Forest Department arrived for Vasu.

His face lit up at the sight of it. It was embarrassing to go into the jungle without it. Now you will see what I shall do. The swine! I looked up from a proof of a wedding invitation I was correcting. The adjournment lawyer was sitting in front of me; his daughter was to be married in two weeks and he was printing a thousand invitation cards. He seemed to have picked up his American style from crime books and films.

I placed a weight on the proof and went out. Jump in. I asked him where he was going. All right. Shall I stop? You may get down and go back. My shirt was open at the chest. He cast a look at me.

Now that I was at his mercy, I thought I might as well abandon myself to the situation. I only wished I had not left the adjournment lawyer sitting in my chair. How long was he going to be there and what was to happen to the marriage of his daughter without invitation cards? A printer has his responsibilities. What has a printer to do with it? Why should you worry? I noticed that the speedometer needle was showing a steady sixty.

Lorries and buses swerved away, the drivers muttering imprecations. Vasu enjoyed their discomfiture and laughed uproariously.

He saw them and set his course to run into them, swerving away at the last moment after seeing them tumble over each other in fright. These women are hardy and enjoy a bit of fun. Even that seemed to annoy him. What are you thinking about? Still worrying about that invitation? I really do not know why people marry at all. If you like a woman, have her by all means. I had never known him so wild. He had seemed to practise few restraints when he visited me at my press, but now, in his jeep on the highway, his behaviour was breath- taking.

I wondered for a moment whether he might be drunk. If people like it, it s their business 38 R. Narayan and nobody clscs. I tried to drink whisky once, but gave it up. It tastes bad. A man who could conduct himself in this way dead sober! I shuddered at the thought. When we arrived at Mempi village I was glad to jump out. Riding in the jeep with one leg dangling out had made me sore in all my joints and my head reeled slightly with the speed of his driving. Mempi village, at the foot of the hills, consisted of a single winding street, which half a mile away disappeared into the ranges of Mempi.

A few cottages built of bamboo and coconut thatch lined the wayside; a tea-shop with bananas dangling in bunches from the ceiling was a rallying point for all buses and lorries plying on this road; a touring cinema stood in the open ground flanking the road, plastered over with the picture of a wide-eyed heroine watching the landscape.

The jungle studded the sides of the hill. A small shrine stood at the confluence of the mountain road with the highway, and the goddess presiding was offered coconut and camphor flames by every driver on the mountain road. There was a prowler last night, so they say. Not where I live, but I heard Ranga talk of it today. I had 39 The Man-Eater ofMalgudi been starving. I cast longing looks at the brown buns arranged on a shelf, although normally I would not have dared to eat anything out of a shop like this, where flies swarmed over the sugar and nothing was ever washed or covered; road dust flew up whenever a car passed and settled down on the bread, the buns, the fruit, sugar, and milk.

The shop had a constant crowd of visitors.

The Man-Eater of Malgudi

Buses and lorries halting on their way up to the coffee estates, bullock carts in caravans, pedestrians — everyone stopped here for refreshment.

Vasu did not hear me call him. I had no time for breakfast this morning. I felt slighted. Hunger had given an edge to my temper. I felt indignant that I should have been draped out so unceremoniously and treated in this way.

I called out, "Have you or have you not any loose coin on you? I was struck with a sudden fear that this man 40 R-K. Narayan was perhaps abducting me and was going to demand a ransom for releasing me from some tiger cave.

What would my wife and litde son do if they were suddenly asked to produce fifty thousand rupees for my release? She might have to sell the house and all her jewellery. I had not yet paid the final instalment on that gold necklace of hers that she fancied only because someone she knew had a similar one.

Good girl, this had been her most stubborn demand in all the years of our wedded life and how could I deny her? Luckily I had printed the Cooperative Bank Annual Report and with those earnings ' paid off half the price of the necklace.

But, but, that necklace cost in all only seven hundred rupees — how would she make up fifty thousand? We might have to sell off the treadle; it was rickety and might fetch just thirteen thousand, and then what should I do after my release, without my printing machinery? What was to happen to Sastri? If my wife appealed to him would he have the sense to go to the police and lead them to the tiger cave guarded by this frightful man with the dark halo over his head?

Suppose he mounted guard over me and the tiger returned to the cave and found him, would the beast have the guts to devour him first and'leave me alone, retching at the sight of any further food? All this flashed through my mind.

It made me swallow my temper and smile ingratiatingly at Vasu, which had a better effect than any challenge. I could hear the whining of its gears for a while. I looked down at my chest, still unbuttoned. I felt ridiculous, standing there. This was no doubt a very beautiful place — the hills and the curving village road, and the highway vanishing into the hills. The hills looked blue, no doubt, and the ranges beyond were shimmering, but that could hardly serve as an excuse for the liberties Vasu had taken with me.

I cursed myself for entertaining and encouraging Vasu, but I also felt relief that he had gone away without a word about the ransom. I explained my situation to the tea-shop man.

Can you print some notices for me. If you prefer to have your work done on a German machine, I can arrange that too. My neighbour has an original Heidelberg, and we are like brothers. I print for a wide clientele and deliver the goods by bus or train, whichever goes earlier. Then he launched on his autobiography. He was a self- made man. Leaving his home in Tirunelveli when he was twelve years of age, he had come to Mempi in search of work.

He knew no one, and he drifted on to the tea plantations in the hills and worked as an estate-labourer, picking tea-leaves, loading trucks, and in general acting as a handy-man.

In the August of , when India became independent, the estate, which had been owned by an English company, changed hands, and he came downhill to look for a new job. He established a small shop, selling betel nuts, peppermints and tobacco, and expanded it into a tea-shop. Business prospered when a new dam construction was started somewhere in a valley ten miles out; engineers, ministers, journalists, builders, and labourers moved up and down in jeeps, lorries and station- wagons, and the place buzzed with activity night and day.

His tea-shop grew to its present stature. He built a house, and then another house, very near the shop in a back street. He began to take an interest in the shrine at the confluence of the mountain and the plains. But there has not been a single accident. You know why? I rebuilt the temple with my own funds. I have 43 The Man-Eater cf Malgudi regular pujas performed there. You know we also have a temple elephant; it came years ago of its own accord from the hills straying along with a herd of cattle returned from the hills after grazing.

It was then about six months old, and was no bigger than a young buffalo. We adopted it for the temple. His name is Kumar and children and elders alike adore him and feed him with coconut and sugar-cane and rice all day. He was about to celebrate the consecration of the temple on a grand scale, carrying the Goddess in a procession with pipes and music, led by the elephant. He wanted me to print a thousand notices so that a big crowd might turn up on the day.

We shall have to discuss it at a meeting of the temple committee. I will print anything you want. Who is your baker in the town? He has given them a wonderful tint! I felt refreshed and could view my circumstances with less despair now. At the back of my mind was a worry as to whether the adjournment lawyer might still be sitting waiting for my return. Return home? Ah, there was no such prospect. I would have been wiser if I had written my will before venturing out with Vasu. Narayan printed notices.

Can you do me a favour? Could you ask one of the conductors to take me back to town and collect the fare at the other end?

The bus has to pass in front of my press, and I could just dash in. Was this man in league with Vasu? Probably they had plans to carry me to the cave at night — all kidnappers operated at night.

They were saving me up for their nocturnal activities. A wedding invitation. You know how important it is. I know him, and he is sometimes strict, as you may know. We are very close, and he knows all about this marriage invitation. The trouble is I came away without picking up my buttons or cash. When he hears about a tiger, he forgets everything else. I want the girl to marry a boy who is educated. He was so pleased with this that he gave me a third bun and another glass of tea.

Caravans of bullock carts carrying firewood and timber stopped by. I sat there and no one noticed me: Today I had resigned myself to anything — as long as I could hope for a bus-ride back to town on credit and gpod will.

It was so brown that I could hardly make out the numerals on it. Still an hour before the bus arrived and two hours since Vasu had gone. I only hoped that he would not return before the bus arrived. I prayed he would not; I reassured myself again by asking, over the babble of the tea-shop, if Muthu could tell when Vasu would be back, and he gave me the same reply as before. This was the only silver lining in the cloud that shrouded my horizon that day.

Even so my heart palpitated with apprehension lest he should suddenly appear at the tea-shop and carry out his nefarious programme for the evening. He could pick me up between his thumb and first finger and put me down where he pleased. Considering his enormous strength, it was surprising that he did not do more damage to his surroundings. I sat in a trembling suspense as men came and went, downloading tobacco, betel leaves, and cigarettes and tea and buns.

I could hardly get a word with Muthu. I sat brooding over what Vd have to face from Sastri or my wife when I got back. Get back! The very phrase sounded remote and improbable! The town, the fountain, and my home in Kabir Street seemed a faraway dream, which I had deserted years ago. The crowd at the tea-shop was gone. I sat on the bench and fell into a drowse. The hills and fields and the blindingly blue sky were lovely to watch, but I could not go on watching their beauty for ever.

I was not a poet. If my monosyllabic friend had been here, perhaps he would have enjoyed sitting and staring; but I was a business man, a busy printer. I bowed my head and shut my eyes. I felt weak: The air far off trembled with the vibration of an engine.

I wanted to do and say anything I could to please this man, whom at normal times rd have passed as just another man selling tea in unwashed tumblers. It was impossible to guess how many were seated in the bus until it stopped at the tea-shop and the passengers wriggled and jumped out as if for an invasion. They swarmed around the tea-shop, outnumbering the flies. The conductor, a very thin man, in a peaked cap and khaki shirt over half-shorts, emerged with a cash-bag across his shoulder, and the driver jumped out of his seat.

Men, women, and children clamoured for attention at the tea-shop. The driver and the conductor exchanged a few words, looked at the cash-bag, and took out some coins for themselves. He was given a seat of honour beside the owner. He called for a glass of tea and buns. He lit a cigarette. He looked at me with sour suspicion. You know how many tell me that each day?

He demonstrated with his hands the act of wringing a neck. Having always lived within the shelter of my press, I had probably grown up in complete ignorance of human nature, which seemed to be vicious, vile, vindictive and needlessly unfriendly everywhere. I know several people who are searching for one desperately.

Do you think you would care to quote a price for it? I have saved enough to download a car now. I knew at once they meant that the conductor made money by pocketing a lot of the cash collected from passengers. Otherwise, when one is old or down and out, who would give a paisa? I had taken leave of Muthu briefly but in touching terms; 50 R. K, Narayan he assured me that he would write to me for any help he might need.

I sat in the royal seat, that is, beside the driver. The Circle is expected. If another passenger occupied it, it was a matter of social courtesy to vacate it or at least move up closer to the driver and leave enough space at the end of the seat for the Circle. Once, long, long ago, a planter returning to his estate created a lot of unpleasantness by refusing to make way for the Circle, with the result that the Circle was obliged to travel in one of the ordinary seats inside the bus, with the rabble, and at the next stop he impounded the whole bus with the passengers for overcrowding.

The bus travelled for an hour. I cast a look behind once or twice to see if his jeep was following us. Coming back from tracking the tiger, he might want to embark on the bigger expedition of tracking a printer who had escaped from a tea-shop. If anyone is impatient to get out, let him get out for ever. A constable in uniform was seen coming across a maize field, sweating in the sun and bearing under his arm a vast load of papers and files.

He gesticulated from a distance to catch the eye of the driver. He arrived and placed the files on the seat next to me. I moved up to the inferior side of the seat close to the driver and cleared a space for the Circle. The constable clung to the rail, rested his feet on the step, pushed his turban back on his head, and spurned answering. The driver produced from his pocket matches and a beedi. The constable smoked: I grew tired of the policemans face, and the road ahead, and everything.

I was beginning to feel hungry, the buns having been assimilated into my system long ago. All the passengers subsided into apathetic, dull waiting. Finally the Circle turned up, a swarthy man in a khaki uniform, appearing suddenly beside the bus on a bicycle.

As soon as he jumped off, work started: For a brief while there was the disorder of people trying to clamber back to their original seats. The Circle, however, sat stiffly looking ahead; it was evident he did not want to embarrass the conductor by noticing the overcrowding.

I was overwhelmed by the proximity of this eminent person, who smelt of the sun, sweat and leather. He had a nice downward-directed short moustache. He wore dark glasses and his nose was hooked and sharp; his Adams apple also jutted out. The driver drove with great caution; he who had been swerving away from collisions for over an hour a pattern of driving which Vasu had already accustomed me to , now never exceeded twenty miles an hour, applied the brake when a piece of paper drifted across, and gently chided any villager who walked in the middle of the road.

At this rate he would not reach the town before midnight. His speed depended on where the Circle was getting out.

I felt it imperative to know at once his destination. Where was the harm in asking him that? There was no law against it. He talked to me about crime in his area. We have a few murders too, and a certain amount of prohibition offences around the dry-belt 53 The Man-Eater ofMalgudi areas.

The Circle got on his cycle and pedalled away. Talapur was a slightly larger town than Mempi and was regarded as an important junction. It had more shops lining the street. The conductor uttered the usual warning to the passengers and vanished into the tea-shop. Most of the passengers followed suit and some dispersed to various corners of the city.

I sat in the bus, nursing my hunger in silence, having no credit here. When the bus started again, it was obvious that the Circle was no longer there to impede its freedom.

It was driven recklessly and brought to a dead stop every ten minutes, to pick up a wayside passenger. After ail they are also human creatures. The bus left the highway and darted across devious side-tracks through corn- fields In search of passengers. That 54 R. K, Narayan was how a three-hour jeep ride in the morning was stretched out to eight on the return journey and it was eleven at night when the bus came to a halt in the public square beyond the market in Malgudi.

Sastri came in half an hour after I had opened the door of the press. He kept saying you promised to be back in five minutes, in five minutes, and then there were the fruit-juice labels. He was very bitter and said. I did not like the aggrieved tone he was adopting. Why should I be expected to give an explanation to everyone?

If he can find any other printer to bring out his magenta shade in the whole of South India. Sastri did not wait for me to finish my sentence but passed into the press, as it seemed to me, haughtily. I sat correcting the proof: I never cease to marvel at the extraordinary devils that dance their way into a first proof. I was light-headed. I would not have to beg at a tea-shop and starve or go about without a button to my shirt.

Life on Market Road went on normally.

It was good to watch again the jutkas and cycles going round the fountain and the idlers of our town sitting on its parapet and spitting into it. It produced in me a great feeling of security and stability. But that lasted only for a few minutes. The adjournment lawyer, looking unshaven as ever, his shoulders draped in a spotted khadi shawl, a dhoti above his knee, and an umbrella dangling from his arm, stepped in, his face set in a frown.

This is a free country, you are a free man. Our constitution gives us fundamental rights. How can I compel you or anyone to do what you may not want to do? Anyway it was not my 56 R,K. This gave everyone time to cool. The lawyer edged a step nearer the chair. Mr Sastri should be with us in a minute.

I hope she will have no trouble from her mother-in-law! I pay her music master fifteen rupees a month, her school fees amount to fifteen rupees, and I pay ten rupees for her school bus. After all we must give him time to print elsewhere. I will never say no to anyone. It was past eight and the traffic in the street was thin. Vasu looked at me from his driving scat. His hair was covered with dust and stood up more like a halo than ever.

He beckoned to me from, his seat. He had acquired so much confidence in me that he did not feel the need to sit up with me, and had gone home. I want you to sec what I have here.

Characterization in R. K. Narayan's The man- eater of malgudi

There was dust and grime on his face, but also a triumphant smile exposing his teeth; his eyes had widened, showing the whites. I edged cautiously to the jeep. I only hoped that he would not thrust out his arm, grab me and drive off.

He took a flashlight and threw the beam on to the back seat, where lay the enormous head of a tiger. A couple of curious passers-by slowed their pace. I went back to my seat and continued my work. When the breeze blew in from his direction, there was already a stench of flesh — it might have been my imagination.

The curtain parted; he came in and took a seat. Ten and a half tip to tip; the head is almost eighteen inches wide! I got him finally in the block, you sec; they will have a surprise when they next check the tiger population in their block. He had to wander nearly six miles within the jungle, and finally got it at a water-hole, at about two in the morning.

He showed me the bleeding scratches on his feet from having to push his way through thickets; at any moment it might have sprung on him from some unsuspected quarter. It was evident that he was not going to wait for others- to pay him compliments. He showered handfuls of them on himself. Little known to Nataraj, Vasu sees the place very suitable for his activities as a taxidermist plans otherwise. Vasu is a 'pehelwan' muscleman , proud of his strength. As the story continues, Vasu encroaches on Nataraj's life, every now and then bullies away his friends, his customers, shoots someone's pet dog and many other animals and birds near the dwelling place, poaches wildlife from Mempi hills, creates stench in the neighborhood through his activities as a taxidermist.

When Nataraj questions this, Vasu files a complaint with the Rent Control authority on Nataraj as a self declared tenant, entertaining women in the attic, disturbs the peace of Malgudi, whom the narrator refers to as "the man eater of Malgudi" As in Talkative Man , the end comes with the commemoration of a function. This time, it is for the release of a poetry book on Krishna by his poet friend. Rangi informs Nataraj that Vasu wants to kill Kumar, the elephant, which Nataraj had brought down from Mempi Hills to treat an ailment as a favour to one of his friends.

Muthu, the tea shop owner helps Nataraj, when Nataraj happens to meet him under unexpected circumstances, owing to Vasu's adventures. Now Nataraj comes to know of the plans of Vasu to shoot Kumar, the temple elephant, for his collection and business. The protagonists frantically try to stop him, but in vain. As Nataraj decides to talk to Vasu for once and for all, he finds Vasu sleeping, but the next morning he discovers that Vasu is dead.

The autopsy takes place with the verdict being that he was not poisoned and that he was attacked on the head by a blunt weapon. The case is closed, but the reputation of Nataraj's press is ruined and his friends and other people start avoiding him.

Myths and legends, which are an integral part of Indian cultural heritage, contain the basic ideas that govern the entire culture of India or Indianness. He expresses his views and vision of life through these.

He does not modify them but through their symbolic representation tries to reveal their timeless relevance.

He created a mini-India, viz. In it he portrayed India of his time and its customs, traditions, myths, legends, magic, epics, and fairy tales.

If we talk about religion in his context, it also plays an important role in his novels. He pictures South Indian families especially the Tamil Brahmin community and its religion and customs. Hindu religion and myths go hand in hand. Hinduism and Hindu tradition and customs play a dominant role.

Indian astrology also plays an important role. His mother every morning offers flowers to gods and goddesses.

Hindu marriage customs and activities are clearly seen in this book. It can be said that Indian culture is known as the first and most important divine culture in the whole world.

Thus, undoubtedly it can be observed that his fiction is a window to Indian culture and its conflicts. The Man-Eater of Malgudi The protagonist in this novel is a printer, named Nataraj, who lives at Malgudi in the company of his two friends, viz. Sen, a poet and Sastri, a journalist. His peaceful life is disrupted by the coming of a stranger, viz. Vasu, who is a taxidermist. Nataraj rents his attic to him and it is filled with a number of dead animals eventually.

r.k.narayan’s the Man-eater of Malgudi

It is not liked by Nataraj and the neighbours. The book has the popular Indian myth of Bhasmasura. This myth is told more than once by Sastri. His name Sastri, which stands for a man of scriptures, indicates a mythical link.

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He tells Nataraj that Vasu possesses all the definitions of a rakshasa, a demoniac creature. In the ancient mythology the demon stands for an embodying force of destruction as opposed to Lord Vishnu, who is a symbol of order, stability and humility. In the novel, Vasu is introduced as an evil incarnate. He is six feet tall with large powerful eyes, bull neck, large forehead and hammer fist. His character represents evil and symbolizes the negative forces as opposed to the calm and stable personality of Nataraj.

Sastri defines Vasu as a rakshasa and says: He thinks he is invincible, beyond every law. But sooner or later something or the other will destroy him.It disturbed the neighbourhood. The Talk and the Summons Finally, gathering enough courage and composure, Nataraj sat with Vasu to discuss his stay.

There he offers prayers to the He does what he deems fit. They were half sleep and tired but could not stop the work. His humanitarian zeal means a tiger which causes death and destruction is crystal clear in his arrangements for the treatment whenever it gets an opportunity.

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