This is the story of an adolescent growing into adulthood and discovering the complexities of human relationships, even as he is initiated into love, sex and passion.
Ramaseshan comes from an ordinary middle-class family with its usual aspirations of a good education and job for their son. When he gets into engineering college, his life seems to be on the right track.
Once in college, Ramaseshan feels liberated from the rules he has so far had to obey. He has an affair with Mala, the sister of a classmate, Rao. Mala proves to be a handful and the young lovers soon part ways.
Angered by Ramaseshan's interest in Mala, her mother Mrs Rao decides to teach him a lesson. She seduces him and when he falls for it, gives him a severe scolding and humiliates him.
Another classmate, Murthy, Rao's closest friend, alerts Ramaseshan to the fact that Mrs Rao is having an affair with a film producer called VSV.
Ramaseshan then befriends another girl in the college called Prema, a relative plain Jane, from a middleclass background. Meanwhile he visits an old family friend, a contemporary of his mother, who has been deserted by her husband. A warm and genuinely loving relationship develops between her and Ramaseshan, a throwback to his childhood days, eventually assuming sexual overtones, but in the end he stops seeing her.
The novel ends with the young man moving on from the sexual curiosity of a teenager to a deeper understanding of love and responsibility. I, Ramaseshan is about the games people play and the awakening of a young mind.