The short story "The Vendor of Sweets" by R.K. Narayan revolves around an intelligent man named Jagan. He is a creator and merchant who sells sweet treats. The quality of his sweets is not undermined by cheap ingredients or poor quality supplies. He uses only the best. The title represents what the vendor does and sells to make a living.
As the story progress the title becomes a representation of the sweet practices that the vendor demonstrates. He is an honest man and is a fair employer. He is also a man who uses enterprise and the laws of supply and demand to give the public what they desire, sweets."
The conflict in the story occurs between the vendor and his son Mali. Mali constantly seeks money from his father. His father reduces the price of his sweets so that he will have less money to give to Mali. This action creates problems among other vendors who are now faced with uneven market distribution as the people are purchasing more sweets from Jagan.
The book is as much about the old and the young, the old ways and the modern ways, and the need for change, as it is about finding inner peace. By ending his role as "The Vendor of Sweets" in the end of the story, the vendor finds final peace. He resolves himself to the fact that his son will gain everything he has anyway and that he can not influence his son to continue take on the role as "The Vendor of Sweets."