Weekly publications of The Banner is entirely due to two dedicated Malgudi inhabitants: Srinivas edits the newspaper, while Mr.Sampath prints it. They work night and day to satisfy the increasing demands of their claimouring public. In rare moments of relaxation, Srinivas occupies his mind puzzling over the futility of human existence, while Mr. Sampath good-naturedly shoulders all the financial burdens. Without warning, The Banner suddenly folds.
Never a character to be foiled for long. Mr.Sampath becomes involved with Sunrise Productions and ropes in Srinivas to write the film scripts. Unfortunately the glamorous life goes to Mr. Sampath’s head and chaos ensues. At times amusing, unfailing perspicacious, R.K. Narayan has written a story of great distinction and charm.
“There are writers Tolstoy and Henry James to name two whom we hold in awe, writers Turgenev and Chekhov for whom we feel a personal affection, other writers whom we respect Conrad for example, but who hold us at a long arm’s length with their ‘courtly foreign grace’. Narayan ( Whom I don’t hesitate to name in such a context) more than any of them wakes in me a spring of gratitude, for he has offered me a second home. Without him I could never have known what it is like to be an Indian.” -Graham Greene.