This is the story of Chandran, a young man in his last year at college when the novel opens. Life, half-planned, is before him. Love, as yet half-glimpsed, like the fleeting green sari on the river bank that sends his imagination running, makes of Chandran for a long while an exile from Malgudi, from his friends, his family and from life itself. And love is the catalyst that makes him turn back to all that which he had turned his back on.
Narayan's characters are fully alive in their doubts, their affections and aspirations - concern shown with assumed carelessness, Hindu customs observed as often as they are ignored, shown with gentle and wry humour. The reader enters a subtle and rewarding world bright with the colour of difference.