Swami and Friends

Mr. Nair Character Analysis

Mr. Nair is the District Forest Officer who helps Swami return home after being lost. Swami initially confuses him with his own father, indicating the sense of loss and disorientation that Swami undergoes as he matures. Later, Swami feels guilty for forgetting to say goodbye to Mr. Nair and worries that he did not show appropriate gratitude for his role, again drawing a parallel between Mr. Nair and Swami’s actual father. However, Mr. Nair also lies to Swami about the day of the week, presumably to keep him calm, and causes him not to realize he is missing the cricket match until it is already over.

Mr. Nair Quotes in Swami and Friends

The Swami and Friends quotes below are all either spoken by Mr. Nair or refer to Mr. Nair. 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:
The Political and the Personal Under British Colonial Rule Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the University of Chicago Press edition of Swami and Friends published in 1980.
Chapter 17 Quotes

Swaminathan was considerably weakened by the number of problems that beset him: Who was this man? Was he Father? If he was not, why was he there? Even if he was, why was he there? Who was he? What was he saying? Why could he not utter his words louder and clearer?

Related Characters: Swami (speaker), Swami’s Father, Mr. Nair
Page Number: 168
Explanation and Analysis:
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Mr. Nair Character Timeline in Swami and Friends

The timeline below shows where the character Mr. Nair appears in Swami and Friends. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 17
The Political and the Personal Under British Colonial Rule Theme Icon
The Fluidity of Identity Theme Icon
The man turns out to be Mr. Nair , the District Forest Officer. He recalls helping to revive Swami and notes that Swami... (full context)
Chapter 18
The Fluidity of Identity Theme Icon
Innocence, Family, and Growing Up Theme Icon
...are glad to see him home safely. In the midst of the celebration, Swami remembers Mr. Nair and feels guilty for not saying goodbye to him, after he rescued him and treated... (full context)
Innocence, Family, and Growing Up Theme Icon
...story of his terrifying night, being picked up by Ranga, and then being rescued by Mr. Nair and forgetting to say goodbye. Mani recommends that Swami write him a letter of thanks... (full context)
The Fluidity of Identity Theme Icon
Innocence, Family, and Growing Up Theme Icon
...Swami’s fault for being absent. Swami is devastated and changes his mind about writing to Mr. Nair , who told him that it was only Saturday. Mani also tells Swami that Rajam... (full context)