Swami and Friends

Swami Character Analysis

Swami is the ten-year-old protagonist of the novel. Swami is a schoolboy living in 1930, in the fictional town of Malgudi in the South of India under British colonial rule. At the start of the novel, Swami is a typical child who seems outwardly innocent, with only trivial concerns such as homework, impressing his classmates, and avoiding disappointing his father. Swami is considered average among his friends, neither especially clever nor stupid, brave nor cowardly. He is generally good-natured and gets along well with his peers and family, although he can be arrogant or deceitful at times, and is easily swept up in the plans and enthusiasms of others. As the novel progresses, Swami becomes more aware of his own identity and political consciousness and begins to define himself more in terms of his friendships and national identity than his family relationships. Swami is also a naturally good cricket bowler and prides himself on being nicknamed “Tate,” after a famous cricket player.

Swami Quotes in Swami and Friends

The Swami and Friends quotes below are all either spoken by Swami or refer to Swami. 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 1  Quotes

Ebenezar attempted to smile. Swaminathan wished to be well out of the whole affair. He felt he would not mind if a hundred Ebenezars said a thousand times worse things about the gods.

Page Number: 10
Explanation and Analysis:
Quotes explanation long mobile

Unlock explanations and citation info for this and every other Swami and Friends quote.

Plus so much more...

Get LitCharts A+
Already a LitCharts A+ member? Sign in!
Chapter 2  Quotes

Swaminathan gasped with astonishment. In spite of his posing before Mani he admired Rajam intensely, and longed to be his friend. Now this was the happiest conclusion to all the unwanted trouble. He danced with joy. Rajam lowered his gun, and Mani dropped his club. To show his goodwill, Rajam pulled out of this pocket half a dozen biscuits.

Related Characters: Swami, Rajam, Mani
Page Number: 18
Explanation and Analysis:
Quotes explanation short mobile
Chapter 4 Quotes

This was probably Swaminathan’s first shock in life. It paralysed all his mental process. When his mind started working again, he faintly wondered if he had been dreaming. The staid Somu, the genial Somu, the uncle Somu, was it the same Somu that had talked to him a few minutes ago? What was wrong in liking and going about with Rajam? Why did it make them so angry?

Related Characters: Swami, Rajam, Somu
Page Number: 31
Explanation and Analysis:
Quotes explanation short mobile
Chapter 5 Quotes

‘You had better prepare something very nice, something fine and sweet. Rajam is coming this afternoon. Don’t make the sort of coffee that you usually give me. It must be very good and hot.’ He remembered how in Rajam’s house everything was brought to the room by the cook. ‘Mother, would you mind if I don’t come here for coffee and tiffin? Can you send it to my room?’

Related Characters: Swami (speaker), Rajam, Swami’s Mother
Page Number: 36
Explanation and Analysis:
Quotes explanation short mobile
Chapter 6 Quotes

The company was greatly impressed. Rajam then invited everyone to come forward and say that they would have no more enemies. If Sankar said it, he would get a bound notebook; if Swaminathan said it, he would get a clockwork engine; if Somu said it, he would get a belt; and if Mani said it, he would get a nice pocket-knife; and the Pea would get a marvellous little pen.

Related Characters: Swami, Rajam, Mani, Somu, Sankar, “The Pea”
Page Number: 46
Explanation and Analysis:
Quotes explanation short mobile
Chapter 7 Quotes

‘I say, Swami,’ said the Pea, ‘these things grow up soon. I have seen a baby that was just what your brother is. But you know, when I saw it again during Michaelmas I could hardly recognize it.”

Related Characters: “The Pea” (speaker), Swami, Swami’s Brother
Page Number: 49
Explanation and Analysis:
Quotes explanation short mobile
Chapter 8 Quotes

Swaminathan reflected: suppose the Pea, Mani, Rajam and Sankar deserted him and occupied Second A? His father was right. And then his father drove home the point. ‘Suppose all your juniors in the Fifth Standard become your class-mates?’ Swami sat at decimals for half an hour.

Related Characters: Swami’s Father (speaker), Swami, Rajam, Mani, Sankar, “The Pea”
Page Number: 51
Explanation and Analysis:
Quotes explanation short mobile

He nibbled his pencil and reread the list. The list was disappointing. He had never known that his wants were so few. When he first sat down to draw the list he had hoped to fill two or three imposing pages. But now the cold lines on the paper numbered only five.

Related Characters: Swami
Page Number: 56
Explanation and Analysis:
Quotes explanation short mobile
Chapter 10 Quotes

Swaminathan stood before the gods and with great piety informed them of the box and its contents, how he expected them to convert the two pebbles in to two three-paise coins, and why he needed money so urgently. He promised that if the gods helped him, he would give up biting his thumb.

Related Characters: Swami
Page Number: 69
Explanation and Analysis:
Quotes explanation short mobile

Swaminathan began to cry. Mani attempted to strangle him. A motley crowd gathered round them, urchins with prodigious bellies, women of dark aspect, and their men. Scurvy chickens cackled and ran hither and thither. The sun was unsparing. Two or three mongrels lay in the shade of a tree and snored. A general malodour of hencoop and unwashed clothes pervaded the place.

Related Characters: Swami, Mani, The Coachman, The Coachman’s Son
Page Number: 75
Explanation and Analysis:
Quotes explanation short mobile
Chapter 11 Quotes

‘Whom do you address as “boys”?’ asked Rajam menacingly. ‘Don’t you know who we are?’

‘We are the Government Police out to catch humbugs like you,’ added Swaminathan.

‘I shall shoot you if you say a word,’ said Rajam to the young driver. Though the driver was incredulous, he felt that there must be something in what they said.

Related Characters: Swami (speaker), Rajam (speaker), Mani, Karrupan
Page Number: 80-81
Explanation and Analysis:
Quotes explanation short mobile

When they came to the car, Swaminathan got in first and occupied the centre of the back seat. He was still in suspense. Father’s friend was taking time to start the car. Swaminathan was sitting all alone in the back seat, very far behind Father and his friend. Even now, the coachman’s son and his gang could easily pull him out and finish him.

Page Number: 92-93
Explanation and Analysis:
Quotes explanation short mobile
Chapter 12 Quotes

Swaminathan was watching the scene with little shivers of joy going down his spine. Somebody asked him: ‘Young man, do you want our country to remain in eternal slavery?’

‘No, no,’ Swaminathan replied.

‘But you are wearing a foreign cap.’

Swaminathan quailed with shame. ‘Oh, I didn’t notice,’ he said, and removing his cap flung it into the fire with a feeling that he was saving the country.

Related Characters: Swami (speaker)
Related Symbols: Swami’s Cap
Page Number: 96-97
Explanation and Analysis:
Quotes explanation short mobile

When he turned his head Swaminathan saw to his horror that it was Rajam’s father! Swaminathan could not help feeling sorry that it should be Rajam’s father. Rajam’s father! Rajam’s father to be at the head of those traitors!

The Deputy Superintendent of Police fixed his eyes on his wrist-watch and said, ‘I declare this assembly unlawful. I give it five minutes to disperse.’ At the end of five minutes he looked up and uttered in a hollow voice the word, ‘Charge.’

Related Characters: Rajam’s Father (speaker), Swami
Page Number: 101-102
Explanation and Analysis:
Quotes explanation short mobile
Chapter 13 Quotes

Rajam realized at this point that the starting of a cricket team was the most complicated problem on earth. He had simply expected to gather a dozen fellows on the maidan next to his compound and play, and challenge the world. But here were endless troubles, starting with the name that must be unique, Government taxes, and so on. The Government did not seem to know where it ought to interfere and where not. He had a momentary sympathy for Gandhi; no wonder he was dead against the Government.

Related Characters: Swami, Rajam
Related Symbols: Cricket
Page Number: 113-114
Explanation and Analysis:
Quotes explanation short mobile
Chapter 14 Quotes

The headmaster was sleeping with his head between his hands and his elbows resting on the table. It was a small stuffy room with only one window opening on the weather-beaten side wall of a shop; it was cluttered with dust-laden rolls of maps, globes, and geometrical squares. The headmaster’s white cane lay on the table across two ink-bottles and some pads. The sun came in a hot dusty beam and fell on the headmaster’s nose and the table. He was gently snoring. This was a possibility that Rajam had not thought of.

Related Characters: Swami, Rajam, Mission School Headmaster
Page Number: 135
Explanation and Analysis:
Quotes explanation short mobile
Chapter 15 Quotes

Another moment and that vicious snake-like cane, quivering as if with life, would have descended on Swaminathan’s palm. A flood of emotion swept him off his feet, a mixture of fear, resentment, and rage. He hardly knew what he was doing. His arm shot out, plucked the cane from the headmaster’s hand, and flung it out of the window. The he dashed to his desk, snatched his books, and ran out of the room.

Related Characters: Swami, Mission School Headmaster
Page Number: 146-147
Explanation and Analysis:
Quotes explanation short mobile
Chapter 16 Quotes

He had walked rather briskly up Hospital Road, but had turned back after staring at the tall iron gates of the hospital. He told himself that it was unnecessary to enter the hospital, but in fact knew that he lacked the courage. That very window in which a soft dim light appeared might have behind it the cot containing Swaminathan all pulped and bandaged.

Related Characters: Swami, Swami’s Father
Page Number: 157
Explanation and Analysis:
Quotes explanation short mobile
Chapter 17 Quotes

The only important thing now was home, and all the rest seemed trivial beside it. The Board School affair appeared inconsequent. He marvelled at himself for having taken it seriously and rushed into all this trouble. What a fool he had been! He wished with all his heard that he had held out his hand when the headmaster raised his cane. Even if he had not done it, he wished he had gone home and told his father everything.

Page Number: 160
Explanation and Analysis:
Quotes explanation short mobile

The demons lifted him by his ears, plucked every hair on his head, and peeled off his skin from head to foot. Now what was this, coiling round his legs, cold and slimy? He shrank in horror from a scorpion that was advancing with its sting in the air. No, this was no place for a human being.

Related Characters: Swami
Page Number: 165
Explanation and Analysis:
Quotes explanation short mobile

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:
Quotes explanation short mobile
Chapter 18 Quotes

Swaminathan had a sense of supreme well-being and security. He was flattered by the number of visitors that were coming to see him. His granny and mother were hovering round him ceaselessly, and it was with a sneaking satisfaction that he saw his little brother crowing unheeded in the cradle, for once overlooked and abandoned by everybody.

Related Symbols: Cricket
Page Number: 173
Explanation and Analysis:
Quotes explanation short mobile
Chapter 19 Quotes

Mani ran along the platform with the train and shouted over the noise of the train: ‘Goodbye, Rajam. Swami gives you this book.’ Rajam held out his hand for the book, and took it, and waved a farewell. Swaminathan waved back frantically.

Swaminathan and Mani stood as if glued where they were, and watched the train. The small red lamp of the last van could be seen for a long time, it diminished in size every minute, and disappeared around a bend. All the jarring, rattling, clinking, spurting, and hissing of the moving train softened in the distance into something that was half a sob and half a sigh.

Related Characters: Mani (speaker), Swami, Rajam
Related Symbols: The Book of Fairy Tales
Page Number: 184
Explanation and Analysis:
Quotes explanation short mobile
Get the entire Swami and Friends LitChart as a printable PDF.
Swami and friends.pdf.medium

Swami Character Timeline in Swami and Friends

The timeline below shows where the character Swami appears in Swami and Friends. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 1 
Education and Oppression Theme Icon
Innocence, Family, and Growing Up Theme Icon
A schoolboy named Swami wakes up on Monday morning, reluctant to get out of bed. He dreads facing his... (full context)
Education and Oppression Theme Icon
Swami sits in his classroom, bored throughout the first few hours of school. He can only... (full context)
The Political and the Personal Under British Colonial Rule Theme Icon
Education and Oppression Theme Icon
Innocence, Family, and Growing Up Theme Icon
...final class of the morning is scripture class, taught by Mr. Ebenezar, a religious fanatic. Swami and his classmates sometimes enjoy the colorful Bible stories they learn there, despite the fact... (full context)
The Political and the Personal Under British Colonial Rule Theme Icon
Education and Oppression Theme Icon
Innocence, Family, and Growing Up Theme Icon
Swami arrives at school the following day, feeling guilty about a letter that he carries in... (full context)
The Fluidity of Identity Theme Icon
Innocence, Family, and Growing Up Theme Icon
When Swami exits the Mission School Headmaster’s room, his classmates crowd around to find out what happened.... (full context)
The Political and the Personal Under British Colonial Rule Theme Icon
Education and Oppression Theme Icon
Innocence, Family, and Growing Up Theme Icon
Swami tells his friends about his father’s letter and all four of them approve of his... (full context)
The Political and the Personal Under British Colonial Rule Theme Icon
Education and Oppression Theme Icon
Innocence, Family, and Growing Up Theme Icon
At the end of the day, Swami is called to see the Mission School Headmaster, who has Ebenezar waiting in his office.... (full context)
Chapter 2 
The Political and the Personal Under British Colonial Rule Theme Icon
Innocence, Family, and Growing Up Theme Icon
Swami and his friend Mani are sitting on the banks of the River Sarayu, a pleasant... (full context)
The Political and the Personal Under British Colonial Rule Theme Icon
Education and Oppression Theme Icon
As the conflict between Mani and Rajam grows in the following days, Swami acts as their go-between, passing notes full of insults and challenges from one to the... (full context)
The Political and the Personal Under British Colonial Rule Theme Icon
The Fluidity of Identity Theme Icon
Innocence, Family, and Growing Up Theme Icon
...that he would also be glad to be friends, and the two drop their weapons. Swami, having secretly admired Rajam, is delighted at the turn of events, and the new friends... (full context)
Chapter 3
The Political and the Personal Under British Colonial Rule Theme Icon
Innocence, Family, and Growing Up Theme Icon
The reader learns about Swami’s grandmother, who lives with him in a passageway of his parents’ house and whom he... (full context)
The Political and the Personal Under British Colonial Rule Theme Icon
Swami becomes suspicious that his grandmother is not listening to him and that she does not... (full context)
The Political and the Personal Under British Colonial Rule Theme Icon
Innocence, Family, and Growing Up Theme Icon
Swami sits at home studying at his father’s orders, trying to understand the meaning of a... (full context)
The Political and the Personal Under British Colonial Rule Theme Icon
Innocence, Family, and Growing Up Theme Icon
Swami and Mani are impressed by Rajam’s house, which is large and tidy. Rajam comes to... (full context)
Chapter 4
The Political and the Personal Under British Colonial Rule Theme Icon
The Fluidity of Identity Theme Icon
Innocence, Family, and Growing Up Theme Icon
Between classes on a Wednesday, Swami is unable to find his friends and wanders alone around his school. He stops to... (full context)
The Fluidity of Identity Theme Icon
Innocence, Family, and Growing Up Theme Icon
This experience is Swami’s “first shock in life.” In particular, he feels unsure of who his friends are and... (full context)
The Fluidity of Identity Theme Icon
Innocence, Family, and Growing Up Theme Icon
Over the next few days, Swami gets used to being cast out by his friends but still finds himself wishing to... (full context)
Chapter 5
Innocence, Family, and Growing Up Theme Icon
On Saturday, Swami prepares excitedly to host Rajam, who has promised to come to his house that afternoon.... (full context)
The Political and the Personal Under British Colonial Rule Theme Icon
Innocence, Family, and Growing Up Theme Icon
Swami continues to prepare for Rajam’s visit, demanding that his mother make good coffee and something... (full context)
The Fluidity of Identity Theme Icon
Innocence, Family, and Growing Up Theme Icon
To Swami’s surprise, Rajam’s visit goes well, with all of Swami’s demands met except for the fact... (full context)
The Political and the Personal Under British Colonial Rule Theme Icon
Education and Oppression Theme Icon
On a subsequent school day, Swami enters class to find that “TAIL” is written on the blackboard. Swami’s whole class giggles... (full context)
Chapter 6
The Fluidity of Identity Theme Icon
Three weeks later, Swami and Mani are on their way to Rajam’s house. Rajam has invited them to his... (full context)
The Political and the Personal Under British Colonial Rule Theme Icon
Innocence, Family, and Growing Up Theme Icon
When Swami and Mani open their eyes, they discover that Somu, Sankar, and the Pea are in... (full context)
Innocence, Family, and Growing Up Theme Icon
...gets a new belt, Mani gets a new knife, Sankar receives a bound notebook, and Swami gets a green clockwork engine. (full context)
Chapter 7
The Fluidity of Identity Theme Icon
Innocence, Family, and Growing Up Theme Icon
Swami’s mother has been in bed for two days and he misses the attention that she... (full context)
Innocence, Family, and Growing Up Theme Icon
Swami sleeps in Granny’s room, listening to people moving around throughout the night and seeing a... (full context)
The Fluidity of Identity Theme Icon
Innocence, Family, and Growing Up Theme Icon
In school the next day, the class grows restless during a boring lesson. Swami sits next to the Pea and tells him about the birth of his new brother... (full context)
Chapter 8
Education and Oppression Theme Icon
The Fluidity of Identity Theme Icon
Innocence, Family, and Growing Up Theme Icon
Two weeks before his April school exams, Swami notices that his father is becoming more strict about making him study. He pesters Swami... (full context)
Education and Oppression Theme Icon
All of Swami’s classmates and friends are overwhelmed by the pressure of the upcoming exams. Mani is particularly... (full context)
The Political and the Personal Under British Colonial Rule Theme Icon
Education and Oppression Theme Icon
The Fluidity of Identity Theme Icon
Innocence, Family, and Growing Up Theme Icon
Swami arrives home feeling bored and is disappointed that his Granny doesn’t feel like talking to... (full context)
Education and Oppression Theme Icon
The Fluidity of Identity Theme Icon
Innocence, Family, and Growing Up Theme Icon
Two days before the exam, Swami makes a list of everything he will need for the exam and is disappointed that... (full context)
Chapter 9
Education and Oppression Theme Icon
Innocence, Family, and Growing Up Theme Icon
Swami exits his classroom after taking his final examination. He waits outside, worrying because he turned... (full context)
Education and Oppression Theme Icon
The Fluidity of Identity Theme Icon
Innocence, Family, and Growing Up Theme Icon
The exam ends and the rest of Swami’s class comes outside. Swami asks a classmate what he wrote for the last question, and... (full context)
The Political and the Personal Under British Colonial Rule Theme Icon
Education and Oppression Theme Icon
The rest of Swami’s friends arrive and they discuss their feelings about the exam and their excitement that school... (full context)
Education and Oppression Theme Icon
The Fluidity of Identity Theme Icon
...the boys begin tearing up paper, smashing ink bottles, and destroying whatever they can find. Swami sticks close to Mani at first, afraid of the rumor that enemies stab each other... (full context)
Chapter 10
The Fluidity of Identity Theme Icon
Innocence, Family, and Growing Up Theme Icon
Swami realizes that his friendships with Somu, Sankar, and the Pea are not meaningful to him... (full context)
The Political and the Personal Under British Colonial Rule Theme Icon
Innocence, Family, and Growing Up Theme Icon
Swami is convinced of the coachman’s plan and immediately begins trying to find six paise, which... (full context)
The Political and the Personal Under British Colonial Rule Theme Icon
Innocence, Family, and Growing Up Theme Icon
Swami departs for Mani’s house and arrives to find a large, imposing man at the door... (full context)
The Political and the Personal Under British Colonial Rule Theme Icon
Innocence, Family, and Growing Up Theme Icon
The next day, Swami and Mani go to the coachman’s house. Rajam has made a plan for Mani to... (full context)
The Fluidity of Identity Theme Icon
Innocence, Family, and Growing Up Theme Icon
Outside the house, Mani hits Swami and yells at him until a crowd gathers, including the coachman’s son. Mani tells the... (full context)
Chapter 11
Innocence, Family, and Growing Up Theme Icon
Although many people view Swami’s hometown of Malgudi as intolerably hot in the summer, Swami, Mani, and Rajam enjoy going... (full context)
The Political and the Personal Under British Colonial Rule Theme Icon
The Fluidity of Identity Theme Icon
...at him to stop the cart. The boy pleads that he has to leave, but Swami and his friends make him stay, saying that they are the Government Police and threatening... (full context)
Education and Oppression Theme Icon
Innocence, Family, and Growing Up Theme Icon
As the summer continues, Swami’s father stays home on vacation from his job at the courts. On his third day... (full context)
Innocence, Family, and Growing Up Theme Icon
Later that evening, Swami’s father feels sorry for making Swami study all afternoon and invites Swami to join him... (full context)
Innocence, Family, and Growing Up Theme Icon
Swami feels safe again when he is inside with his father in the card room, but... (full context)
Chapter 12
The Political and the Personal Under British Colonial Rule Theme Icon
Innocence, Family, and Growing Up Theme Icon
While sitting on the bank of the Sarayu one August evening, Swami and Mani encounter a large group of people protesting the arrest of a political worker. ... (full context)
The Political and the Personal Under British Colonial Rule Theme Icon
Education and Oppression Theme Icon
Innocence, Family, and Growing Up Theme Icon
The next day Swami wakes up feeling anxious and remembers that he has no cap to wear for school.... (full context)
The Political and the Personal Under British Colonial Rule Theme Icon
Education and Oppression Theme Icon
The Fluidity of Identity Theme Icon
...observed in silence. However, other students are throwing rocks at the windows of the school. Swami joins in and he is excited to be able to break the ventilator in the... (full context)
The Political and the Personal Under British Colonial Rule Theme Icon
Education and Oppression Theme Icon
Innocence, Family, and Growing Up Theme Icon
...and announces that classes are happening at the Board High School, so the crowd, including Swami, moves to that school. A representative from the crowd asks the Board School Headmaster to... (full context)
The Political and the Personal Under British Colonial Rule Theme Icon
The Fluidity of Identity Theme Icon
...the square in the center of town, where a large group of police is waiting. Swami realizes that Rajam’s father is leading these menacing men, a fact which horrifies him. Swami... (full context)
The Political and the Personal Under British Colonial Rule Theme Icon
Innocence, Family, and Growing Up Theme Icon
Swami plans to keep his experiences in the riot secret from his father, but upon arriving... (full context)
The Political and the Personal Under British Colonial Rule Theme Icon
Education and Oppression Theme Icon
Innocence, Family, and Growing Up Theme Icon
At school the next day, the Mission School Headmaster enters Swami’s class and reads a list of all the students who were missing the day before,... (full context)
Chapter 13
The Political and the Personal Under British Colonial Rule Theme Icon
Education and Oppression Theme Icon
The Fluidity of Identity Theme Icon
Six weeks pass, after which Rajam comes to Swami’s house to tell him that he forgives him for everything, from his political activities to... (full context)
The Political and the Personal Under British Colonial Rule Theme Icon
Education and Oppression Theme Icon
Rajam finds Swami trying to build a camera, and Swami explains that a boy in his new class... (full context)
The Political and the Personal Under British Colonial Rule Theme Icon
Innocence, Family, and Growing Up Theme Icon
Rajam suggests forming a cricket team, and although Swami initially feels that he’s not good enough to play, Rajam convinces him to try. Rajam... (full context)
The Political and the Personal Under British Colonial Rule Theme Icon
The Fluidity of Identity Theme Icon
Swami and Rajam go to Mani’s house to choose cricket equipment from a sporting goods catalogue.... (full context)
The Fluidity of Identity Theme Icon
Innocence, Family, and Growing Up Theme Icon
...respond. Eventually, they conclude that the letter was sent to them by mistake, even though Swami points out that it is addressed to the captain of their team. They write back... (full context)
The Political and the Personal Under British Colonial Rule Theme Icon
Innocence, Family, and Growing Up Theme Icon
Swami, Rajam, and Mani continue to believe that the cricket supplies will arrive soon, and that... (full context)
The Fluidity of Identity Theme Icon
...to continue when someone suggests using the wall as a temporary wicket. As practice starts, Swami bowls very well and is immediately given the nickname Tate, after a famous bowler. (full context)
Chapter 14
Education and Oppression Theme Icon
The Fluidity of Identity Theme Icon
Swami discovers that the workload and pressure of his new school are much greater than those... (full context)
Innocence, Family, and Growing Up Theme Icon
One day, Swami’s grandmother calls to him during the brief time that he is at home between school... (full context)
The Fluidity of Identity Theme Icon
Innocence, Family, and Growing Up Theme Icon
Later that evening, Swami arrives home feeling guilty for abandoning his grandmother earlier. He goes to see her, worrying... (full context)
The Political and the Personal Under British Colonial Rule Theme Icon
Education and Oppression Theme Icon
Rajam warns Swami that he cannot keep being late to cricket practice. Swami tells Rajam that the Board... (full context)
Education and Oppression Theme Icon
Innocence, Family, and Growing Up Theme Icon
To avoid seeing Rajam at his school, Swami pretends to be sick the next morning. His father thinks that he is well enough... (full context)
The Political and the Personal Under British Colonial Rule Theme Icon
Education and Oppression Theme Icon
Rajam leads Swami back to school and tells Mani to wait outside while they speak to the Board... (full context)
Chapter 15
The Political and the Personal Under British Colonial Rule Theme Icon
Education and Oppression Theme Icon
...Rajam believes that they are capable of doing so but he is very worried about Swami, who continues to arrive late to practice. With only a week to go until the... (full context)
Education and Oppression Theme Icon
Innocence, Family, and Growing Up Theme Icon
The next morning, Swami sneaks out of his house and goes to visit a physician named Dr. Kesavan before... (full context)
Education and Oppression Theme Icon
Innocence, Family, and Growing Up Theme Icon
Swami leaves school early and attends practice on time for the next several days, making Rajam... (full context)
The Fluidity of Identity Theme Icon
Innocence, Family, and Growing Up Theme Icon
Swami sits under a tree to think through his situation. He realizes that there are no... (full context)
The Political and the Personal Under British Colonial Rule Theme Icon
Education and Oppression Theme Icon
 Swami continues onward to his old school, the Mission School. He feels full of nostalgia and... (full context)
The Political and the Personal Under British Colonial Rule Theme Icon
Education and Oppression Theme Icon
Innocence, Family, and Growing Up Theme Icon
Swami then explains his situation to Rajam, who criticizes him for always getting in trouble. Rajam... (full context)
Chapter 17
The Fluidity of Identity Theme Icon
Innocence, Family, and Growing Up Theme Icon
Swami walks alone on a road branching off the familiar trunk road of Malgudi. He walks... (full context)
The Fluidity of Identity Theme Icon
Innocence, Family, and Growing Up Theme Icon
Swami walks toward home, thinking of the excuses he will give his parents. After some time,... (full context)
The Fluidity of Identity Theme Icon
Innocence, Family, and Growing Up Theme Icon
Swami looks forward to reaching the trunk road soon and feels “a momentary ecstasy” when he... (full context)
The Political and the Personal Under British Colonial Rule Theme Icon
The Fluidity of Identity Theme Icon
Pausing, Swami is forced to accept that he is far from home late at night, and that... (full context)
The Political and the Personal Under British Colonial Rule Theme Icon
...on an early morning journey when his bull stops unexpectedly. Ranga is surprised to find Swami sleeping in the road in front of his cart and at first thinks he is... (full context)
The Fluidity of Identity Theme Icon
Innocence, Family, and Growing Up Theme Icon
Swami regains consciousness and does not understand where he is. At first he thinks he is... (full context)
The Political and the Personal Under British Colonial Rule Theme Icon
The Fluidity of Identity Theme Icon
...turns out to be Mr. Nair, the District Forest Officer. He recalls helping to revive Swami and notes that Swami was not at first able to explain who he is, where... (full context)
Chapter 18
The Political and the Personal Under British Colonial Rule Theme Icon
The Fluidity of Identity Theme Icon
...have a good bowler. Rajam’s father interrupts the game to give him a letter about Swami, from which Rajam learns that Swami is safe. Rajam’s father plans to leave and give... (full context)
The Fluidity of Identity Theme Icon
Innocence, Family, and Growing Up Theme Icon
Back at home, Swami is content at the attention and concern that his family and other visitors feel for... (full context)
Innocence, Family, and Growing Up Theme Icon
Mani arrives to visit Swami and the two friends go into the backyard to talk. Mani has heard the story... (full context)
The Fluidity of Identity Theme Icon
Innocence, Family, and Growing Up Theme Icon
Mani explains, to Swami’s dismay, that the cricket match has already happened earlier that day, Sunday. He tells the... (full context)
Chapter 19
The Fluidity of Identity Theme Icon
Innocence, Family, and Growing Up Theme Icon
Ten days later, Swami gets up early in order to get to the train station, from which Rajam is... (full context)
The Political and the Personal Under British Colonial Rule Theme Icon
Innocence, Family, and Growing Up Theme Icon
After Mani leaves to go to Rajam’s house, Swami looks through his possessions for something to give Rajam as a going away present. He... (full context)
The Political and the Personal Under British Colonial Rule Theme Icon
Innocence, Family, and Growing Up Theme Icon
Swami arrives at the station in the dark early morning, holding the book of fairy tales.... (full context)
The Fluidity of Identity Theme Icon
Rajam gets onto the train and Swami asks for Mani’s help giving him the book. Mani runs to the window and calls... (full context)
The Fluidity of Identity Theme Icon
Innocence, Family, and Growing Up Theme Icon
Swami hands the book of fairy tales to Mani in panic, and Mani runs alongside the... (full context)