Though loveable, Nagaraj is ineffectual. He is forever planning snappy responses or forceful actions he never finds the courage to carry out. He is rattled by changes to his routine, or even just finding himself in an unfamiliar part of town. He is unable to stand up to his wife Sita, his brother Gopu, or his nephew Tim, even when Tim's wife Saroja's harmonica-playing destroys the peace of his home. And, though he eventually succeeds in finding the right stationery, his plans to write about Narada never come to much, between his own fecklessness and the uncooperativeness of the pundits he has to work with.
Mostly told through dialogue, The World of Nagaraj is a portrait of Nagaraj and the people around him, and through them of the town of Malgudi. Narayan's characters are memorable and unique, but so solidly placed in their settings that they seem almost inevitable.