Funny Boy

Anil Jayasinghe Character Analysis

A likable, friendly Sinhalese boy who acts in The King and I with Rahda Aunty and Arjie. He starts out by shamelessly hitting on Radha, joking about pollinating flowers and offering her rides home, which annoys her to no end. But eventually she starts to enjoy Anil’s company; the problem is that both of their parents are fiercely opposed to the idea of letting their child even associate with someone outside their ethnic group. After Ammachi voices her opposition to Rahda’s apparent relationship with Anil, she actually starts to fall in love with him. Anil proposes Radha marry him instead of Rajan, but after a Sinhalese mob attacks her train from Jaffna to Colombo, Radha cannot bring herself to marry Anil and ends up marrying Rajan, as she had originally planned.

Anil Jayasinghe Quotes in Funny Boy

The Funny Boy quotes below are all either spoken by Anil Jayasinghe or refer to Anil Jayasinghe. 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:
Masculinity and Queerness Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the HarperCollins edition of Funny Boy published in 1994.
2. Radha Aunty Quotes

"Because he’s an engineer and he doesn’t have insanity in his family."

Related Characters: Arjie (speaker), Radha Aunty, Ammachi, Anil Jayasinghe, Rajan Nagendra
Page Number: 49-50
Explanation and Analysis:
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“Be careful. We Sinhalese are losing patience with you Tamils and your arrogance.”

Related Characters: Anil’s Father (speaker), Radha Aunty, Ammachi, Anil Jayasinghe
Page Number: 65
Explanation and Analysis:
Quotes explanation short mobile

Radha Aunty didn’t answer for a moment. “Until a few days ago I only thought of Rajan, but now I find myself thinking of Anil as well.”

Mala Aunty sighed. “It’ll never work.”

“But other Sinhalese and Tamil people get married.”

“I know,” Mala Aunty replied, “but they have their par­ents’ consent.

“If two people love each other, the rest is unimportant.”

“No, it isn’t. Ultimately, you have to live in the real world. And without your family you are nothing.”

Page Number: 77
Explanation and Analysis:
Quotes explanation short mobile

Sometimes I wonder if it was all worth it in the end. To have made all those sacrifices. Life is a funny thing, you know. It goes on, whatever decisions you make. Ultimately you have children or don’t have children and then you grow old. Whether you married the person you loved or not seems to become less important as time passes. Sometimes I think that if I had gone to England with them maybe I would have met somebody else….” She clicked her tongue against her teeth and laughed. “Anyway, there’s no point in thinking about that—no?”

Page Number: 79
Explanation and Analysis:
Quotes explanation short mobile
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Anil Jayasinghe Character Timeline in Funny Boy

The timeline below shows where the character Anil Jayasinghe appears in Funny Boy. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
2. Radha Aunty
Forbidden Love and Family Theme Icon
Nationalism, Ethnic Conflict, and Violence Theme Icon
...the courtyard for their turn to rehearse, Arjie watches Radha Aunty outdo a man named Anil in a suggestive argument about birds, bees, and pollination. Later, Radha Aunty is furious when... (full context)
Nationalism, Ethnic Conflict, and Violence Theme Icon
Justice, Power, and Moral Awakening Theme Icon
The second time Anil drives Radha Aunty home, Ammachi interrogates her about “this boy you’re taking lifts from.” Ammachi... (full context)
Forbidden Love and Family Theme Icon
Nationalism, Ethnic Conflict, and Violence Theme Icon
On the next spend-the-day, after play rehearsal, Janaki tells Radha Aunty that Ammachi has visited Anil’s family and told them to keep their son away from her daughter. Radha decides to... (full context)
Forbidden Love and Family Theme Icon
Nationalism, Ethnic Conflict, and Violence Theme Icon
Anil invites Radha Aunty and Arjie inside, and then Anil’s father comes in and sends Anil... (full context)
Forbidden Love and Family Theme Icon
Nationalism, Ethnic Conflict, and Violence Theme Icon
At the next rehearsal, Anil asks Radha Aunty why her mother is so anti-Sinhalese, and Radha explains that Ammachi’s father... (full context)
Forbidden Love and Family Theme Icon
Justice, Power, and Moral Awakening Theme Icon
At lunchtime, rather than ride with Anil, Radha insists on taking the bus, to Arjie’s confusion. At lunch, Radha and Arjie take... (full context)
Forbidden Love and Family Theme Icon
Justice, Power, and Moral Awakening Theme Icon
The aunts reach Anil, Radha, and Arjie’s table; Kanthi Aunty asks, “what are you doing here?” but Mala Aunty... (full context)
Forbidden Love and Family Theme Icon
Nationalism, Ethnic Conflict, and Violence Theme Icon
...Arjie listens to Radha and Mala talk. Radha admits that she was never interested in Anil until Ammachi got between them. Now, she thinks about Anil as well as Rajan. She... (full context)
Forbidden Love and Family Theme Icon
Justice, Power, and Moral Awakening Theme Icon
...So she thinks Radha should use the rehearsals to consider if she wants to marry Anil. Radha agrees to “think about it carefully.” (full context)
Forbidden Love and Family Theme Icon
...to [Radha]” and she might be kicked out of the family if she does marry Anil. Afraid of losing his only friend, Arjie holds Radha’s hand. (full context)
Forbidden Love and Family Theme Icon
Radha Aunty continues meeting with Anil in secret—even Arjie’s bathroom break at the zoo turns into a rendezvous at the “elephant-dance... (full context)
Forbidden Love and Family Theme Icon
...and alone” and does not know who to talk with. He decides to stand by Anil and soon takes a liking to him; Anil is genuinely friendly, in a “casual and... (full context)
Forbidden Love and Family Theme Icon
Nationalism, Ethnic Conflict, and Violence Theme Icon
...Radha to the train station. After rehearsal, however, Amma does not come get Arjie, and Anil gives him a ride to Ammachi and Appachi’s house, where the whole family is gathered.... (full context)
Forbidden Love and Family Theme Icon
Nationalism, Ethnic Conflict, and Violence Theme Icon
Anil shows up at the house, asking for Radha Aunty, whom Kanthi Aunty says is not... (full context)
Forbidden Love and Family Theme Icon
Nationalism, Ethnic Conflict, and Violence Theme Icon
...next week, riots spread and stop, but Colombo remains safe. At play rehearsal on Saturday, Anil asks Radha Aunty about her wounds and then explains that he chose not to visit... (full context)
Forbidden Love and Family Theme Icon
Nationalism, Ethnic Conflict, and Violence Theme Icon
After the next scene, Arjie and Anil notice that Radha Aunty is gone, and then find her crying outside the classroom. She... (full context)
5. The Best School of All
Masculinity and Queerness Theme Icon
Forbidden Love and Family Theme Icon
Justice, Power, and Moral Awakening Theme Icon
...be in terrible trouble” if anyone found out. He thinks of Radha Aunty’s love for Anil and Jegan’s fate at the hotel, both of which are similar injustices. He wonders why... (full context)