Swami and Friends

The Pea, whose real name is Samuel, is a small boy in Swami’s class at the Mission School. Although Swami acknowledges that the Pea is ordinary in most ways, they become friends over their shared sense of humor, and Swami can laugh with the Pea in a way that he cannot with his other friends. Swami is less close with the Pea after changing schools, but the Pea still joins the cricket team founded by Rajam. The Pea is also Swami’s only Christian friend, although he does not speak up for his Christian beliefs in the conflict between Swami and Ebenezar.

“The Pea” Quotes in Swami and Friends

The Swami and Friends quotes below are all either spoken by “The Pea” or refer to “The Pea”. 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 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:
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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:
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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:
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“The Pea” Character Timeline in Swami and Friends

The timeline below shows where the character “The Pea” appears in Swami and Friends. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 1 
The Fluidity of Identity Theme Icon
Innocence, Family, and Growing Up Theme Icon
...whom Swami greatly admires. Swami’s final close friend is Samuel, who is known as “ the Pea ” because he is small and unremarkable. The Pea has “no outstanding virtue” but gets... (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
...his father about Ebenezar’s behavior, although Mani wishes he could have attacked the teacher himself. The Pea feels embarrassed because he himself is a Christian and agrees with Ebenezar, but he does... (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
...at how small and unintelligent they are. Eventually he happily runs into Sankar, Somu, and the Pea , who he had thought were not at school. However, his three friends barely acknowledge... (full context)
Chapter 5
The Political and the Personal Under British Colonial Rule Theme Icon
Education and Oppression Theme Icon
...“TAIL” is written on the blackboard. Swami’s whole class giggles at him and Swami slaps the Pea and Sankar in anger. The three begin to fight in earnest and they only stop... (full context)
Chapter 6
The Fluidity of Identity Theme Icon
...Mani muses about the ways that he’d like to inflict violence on Somu, Sankar, and the Pea . When they arrive at Rajam’s house, Rajam peeks out but then closes the door... (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 the room with Rajam. Swami is embarrassed at his behavior and Mani becomes... (full context)
Innocence, Family, and Growing Up Theme Icon
The Pea is the first to accept his gift and the other four boys soon do the... (full context)
Chapter 7
The Fluidity of Identity Theme Icon
Innocence, Family, and Growing Up Theme Icon
...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 early that morning. Swami tells... (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 outside of school. His friendships with Mani and Rajam are... (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
...left behind after failing an exam, Sankar moved away after his father was transferred, and the Pea began school months late due to mysterious causes. Swami still sees Mani every day but... (full context)
The Political and the Personal Under British Colonial Rule Theme Icon
Innocence, Family, and Growing Up Theme Icon
...get used tennis balls from Rajam’s father’s club and begin practicing without their complete supplies. The Pea joins their team, along with a few boys that Rajam chooses from his class. (full context)
The Fluidity of Identity Theme Icon
The team assembles for its first practice. The Pea arrives late without the stumps he promised to bring, but says that he will bring... (full context)