The main characters are Jagan and his son Mali. It revolves around the issues arising from the generation gap between father and son. Narayan in his superb style narrates the principledlife-story of Jagan.
Jagan, an orthodox Hindu Brahmin and owner of a sweet shop, is a simple and hard-working man. He is a follower of Gandhian principles and is proud of his role inIndia's freedom struggle during his youth. He wears hand spun cloth that signifies purity to him. In his early days Jagan loses his wife Ambika because of his belief in nature cures. He hadnever spent much time with his wife, something that causes discontent in his son Mali. Mali, without his father's permission discontinues his education, and goes to America. A few yearslater, he comes back very Westernized and brings along an American girl, Grace. He tells his father that they are already married, which causes great disappointment to Jagan. Jagan howeverdevelops an affection for his daughter-in-law and feels Mali is not giving her the attention she deserves.
Soon Mali expresses a desire to start a machine factory with some partners fromAmerica. He asks his father to invest in this factory. Jagan is unwilling, which causes friction between Jagan and Mali. Troubled by the turmoil, Jagan decides to retire from activeworking. As this is happening, Mali is caught by the police for drunkenness and deserts his wife. Jagan then asks his nephew to make sure that Mali stays in prison for some time, so that he canlearn his mistakes. Jagan also gives some amount of money to the nephew so that he can buy a plane ticket to Mali's wife so she can go back to her hometown.
The conflict between the oldand young generation, their ideals and the generation gap makes 'Vendor of Sweets' a memorable story. This novel was made as a TV serial in Hindi and subsequently dubbed into Telugu.
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