A Hero by R.K. Narayan: Summary
A Hero is a beautiful short story by R.K. Narayan. This story is about a 9 year old boy named Swami. He lives in Malgudi with his parents and grandmother. He has the habit of sleeping with his grandmother. This irritates his father. This short story presents the traumatic experiences of Swami. By accident he catches one of the most notorious house breakers of his district and becomes a hero.
The story opens with Swami's father. He is reading a newspaper article about the bravery of a small boy. He calls Swami and tells the story of that boy who saves himself from the tiger. Swami is not ready to accept that story. He feels that the story is imaginary. But Swami's father tells him about the importance of courage. Swami now gets a challenge to sleep alone in his office room. Swami is scared and he does not want to accept that fearful challenge. He tries to divert the discussion. But his father is adamant. He forces him to sleep in his office. At last he has to follow the order of his father.
When Swami sleeps in his father's office, he remembers the stories of ghosts and devils. Then he goes under the bench and tries to sleep. Suddenly he listens that someone is walking down. Swami fears that his end has come. Thus mistaking him for the ghost, Swami catches the intruder's leg and cries for help. Then family members enter the room and catches the person. The police congratulates him and thus he becomes a hero.