A House for Mr Biswas

A House for Mr Biswas

A respected Tulsi brother-in-law, Hari is sickly and wise, chews his food forty times, spends inordinate amounts of time in the latrine, and spends his evenings reading Sanskrit scriptures on the verandah at Hanuman House, which lead Mr Biswas to nickname him “the constipated holy man.” Mr Biswas’s initial attempt to befriend him fails because Hari is deeply orthodox, while Mr Biswas has (briefly) adopted Aryanism, and their relationship never improves. Hari leads all the Tulsi family’s religious ceremonies and house-blessings; he falls ill and dies while the family lives at Shorthills.

Hari Quotes in A House for Mr Biswas

The A House for Mr Biswas quotes below are all either spoken by Hari or refer to Hari. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Independence vs. Belonging Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Vintage edition of A House for Mr Biswas published in 2001.
Part 1, Chapter 4 Quotes

Real calling name: Lakshmi. Signed by Mohun Biswas, father.

Related Characters: Mr Biswas, Shama, Savi, Seth, Hari
Page Number: 156
Explanation and Analysis:
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Hari Character Timeline in A House for Mr Biswas

The timeline below shows where the character Hari appears in A House for Mr Biswas. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Part 1, Chapter 3: The Tulsis
Social Status and Hierarchy Theme Icon
Education, Work, and Language Theme Icon
Gender and Family Theme Icon
Colonialism, Oppression, and Escape Theme Icon
...started to seek out friendships with his other brothers-in-law. First was the pale and sickly Hari, who spent extraordinary amounts of time eating rice and using the latrine. He looked uniquely... (full context)
Education, Work, and Language Theme Icon
Gender and Family Theme Icon
...their religion: they wanted to overturn caste and reject idols, educate women and accept converts. Hari was clearly not amused and accused Mr Biswas of “doing a lot of thinking about... (full context)
Independence vs. Belonging Theme Icon
Education, Work, and Language Theme Icon
Gender and Family Theme Icon
Although Mr Biswas intended to address Hari respectfully and expected that his brother-in-law “would welcome disputation,” Hari and his wife barely responded... (full context)
Independence vs. Belonging Theme Icon
Mr Biswas shouted “Hello, pundit!” to Hari on the verandah as he passed to the Book Room, observed the decaying religious texts... (full context)
Part 1, Chapter 4: The Chase
Gender and Family Theme Icon
...Seth, Miss Blackie, and the two gods” (Shekhar and Owad), who were busy in school. Hari donned his pundit’s dhoti, and the Tulsis barely acknowledged Mr Biswas. (full context)
Social Status and Hierarchy Theme Icon
Gender and Family Theme Icon
Mr Biswas followed outside to set the record straight as “Hari droned imperturbably on” with the house-blessing and Padma found the broken bottles inside—eight cents each,... (full context)
Gender and Family Theme Icon
...Room in the Hanuman House. His pick was “Sarojini Lakshmi Kamala Devi,” but Seth and Hari named her instead and already registered her birth under the name Basso—that was the “real... (full context)
Independence vs. Belonging Theme Icon
Gender and Family Theme Icon
...inside and implored Mr Biswas to start acting responsibly; in response, Mr Biswas asked whether Hari might be able to un-bless the house, and the children laughed before Seth reminded them... (full context)
Independence vs. Belonging Theme Icon
Social Status and Hierarchy Theme Icon
Education, Work, and Language Theme Icon
Gender and Family Theme Icon
...“too incompetent, and too intelligent,” to work with the other men and instead went with Hari to argue with pundits. (full context)
Part 1, Chapter 5: Green Vale
Independence vs. Belonging Theme Icon
Social Status and Hierarchy Theme Icon
Gender and Family Theme Icon
Colonialism, Oppression, and Escape Theme Icon
...away from them, and she accused him of throwing his money away before insisting that Hari bless the house. (full context)
Gender and Family Theme Icon
The next morning, a “constipatedly apathetic” Hari came to bless the house, “whining” his way through the prayers and offerings. Soon, “the... (full context)
Independence vs. Belonging Theme Icon
Gender and Family Theme Icon
...asphalt that fell down from the house’s roof, and he could not help remembering that “Hari blessed it.” In the next, from atop a hill, he saw a crying woman—who was... (full context)
Part 1, Chapter 6: A Departure
Independence vs. Belonging Theme Icon
Education, Work, and Language Theme Icon
Gender and Family Theme Icon
Feeling “safe and even a little adventurous,” Mr Biswas left the Blue Room and found Hari on the verandah, wondering how he became so respected among the family for his knowledge... (full context)
Part 2, Chapter 1: “Amazing Scenes”
Independence vs. Belonging Theme Icon
Social Status and Hierarchy Theme Icon
Education, Work, and Language Theme Icon
Gender and Family Theme Icon
...better than he had imagined,” although Shama worried about his suit while he ate, and Hari barely acknowledged him when they passed on the verandah. (full context)
Social Status and Hierarchy Theme Icon
Gender and Family Theme Icon
...Owad was ignored, as the family preferred to focus on dressing their children or watching Hari’s services. Then, they went to see Owad off at the wharf, swarming the ship when... (full context)
Part 2, Chapter 3: The Shorthills Adventure
Social Status and Hierarchy Theme Icon
Gender and Family Theme Icon
...for days. However everyone forgot him after W.C. Tuttle took over driving. Later, Anand found Hari and his wife sitting gloomily at the dining table and recited a poem about a... (full context)
Social Status and Hierarchy Theme Icon
Gender and Family Theme Icon
...were much quieter than they thought. Mrs Tulsi finally found them, believing them to be Hari and Padma’s departed spirits, and when they informed the family of the fire, everyone was... (full context)