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In his usual winning, humorous style, R. K. Narayan shares his life story, beginning in his grandmother's garden in Madras with his ferocious pet peacock. As a young boy with no interest in school, he trains grasshoppers, scouts, and generally takes part in life's excitements. Against the advice of all, especially his commanding headmaster father, the dreaming Narayan takes to writing fiction, and one of his pieces is accepted by Punch magazine (his "first prestige publication"). Soon his life includes bumbling British diplomats, curious movie moguls, evasive Indian officials, eccentric journalists, and "the blind urge" to fall in love. R. K. Narayan's larger-than-life perception of the human comedy is at once acute and forgiving, and always true to it.