The story takes place I the small village Kiritam. More specific around the prancing horse statue by a road. In the story we meet two men, one is Indian, and one is American. The old Indian man Muni is watching his two goats, while the American stops by because of his fascination of the statue.
In their ongoing conversation they discuss two different things because they have no idea what the other one is saying.
Even though, they agree on one thing, the red-faced American is about to buy a product from the Indian man. With the fact that they don’t understand each other, the red-faced man wants to buy the horse statue while the old man wants to sell his two goats.
The story takes place in the small and unrecognized village Kiritam, in which one of the protagonists the Indian Muni lives. Furthermore, the setting is described as poor since not many houses are built of bricks but rather clay.
The poverty includes Muni, his only belongings is his two goats and a few pennies “he knew the five and ten by their colours although always in other people’s hands” (p.187 l.24). We get no information about his house situation besides a green bus should be the signal for him to start back home.
One day as Muni sits by the village’s statue, a motorist drives by. The motorist is an American man who stopped his vehicle as he saw the prancing horse statue. The moment he sees Muni they get to communicate, but since they both talk different languages, they find it problematic to fathom each other.
This leads to plenty of misunderstandings throughout the story and it keeps their conversation mostly parallel. Muni’s only way of communication is the Tamil language. As the American man asks him if he had heard of America, he thinks he is being questioned about a murder, which recently happened in the nearby village.
The narrator tells us that he is familiar with the country but since it is pronounced in a different way, he did not recognise it. This shows that the narrator is omniscient.
As time goes by the American lead the conversation to him buying the statue while the Indian keeps on talking about his respected religion. They are trapped in their discussion of two entirely different subjects.
We see the statue in stark contrast to the poor society, since the village have got it as something with value, but to Muni it means something special and religious.