An ironic morality tale about an entrepreneur whose endeavours are constantly ruined by his son. Margayya (Lokesh) starts out as a moneylender sitting under a banyan tree opposite a co-operative bank, filling in forms, and offering advice to the villagers of Narayan’s fictional village of Malgudi, usually on how to circumvent the bank’s bureaucratic process of offering loans. His career as a banker is ruined when his son Balu (Sundarraj) throws away all the account books. Then Margayya publishes a sex manual with its author, a Dr Pal (Urs). The venture is very profitable and Margayya becomes wealthier than all the banks in the area. But Balu is the victim of the salacious book and starts visiting prostitutes. Dr Pal manoeuvres to keep all the profits for himself and Margayya has to start all over again under his banyan tree, with the threatening but beloved presence of his son by his side. Narayan, who had earlier disowned the Navketan production of his story Guide (1965), claimed this film to be the only ‘authentic’ screen version of his fiction.
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