The Painter of Signs tells us the story Raman, a young painter of signboards, a bachelor who glories in his old-fashioned independence, whose work takes him all over Malgudi, and requires him to do business with some of the city's most important, as well as its most absurd, tradesmen. Raman is polite and businesslike with everyone - but underneath the small talk he conducts a quizzical dialogue with himself about his fellow humans and the meaning of their lives. Enter Daisy - an unlikely name for the ruthless but very attractive young woman who commissions Raman, on behalf of the population clinic she runs, to paint signs advocating two-child families. Together they travel around the neighboring country villages where Daisy preaches birth control. Raman is appalled by the hard-edged zeal she brings to her work, just as he is enthralled by her beauty and mysterious independence of spirit. They are obviously made for each other. Or are they? In this sardonic bittersweet tale of love in modern India, R. K. Narayan has created two of fiction's most endearing and unique young lovers, and an unsetting story about India at its best and worst.