The game of cricket is the story’s most potent symbol of the complex way that English colonization plays out in the lives of Swami and his friends. As a quintessentially English activity, cricket is closely tied to England’s presence in India, but instead of rejecting it for its oppressive associations, Swami and his friends—particularly team captain Rajam—embrace the game as a means of gaining self-determination, dominance over opponents, and interpersonal connection. This paradoxical pursuit demonstrates the ways in which colonized peoples like Swami and his friends must necessarily adapt to the influences of the colonizer, even embracing aspects of the oppressive culture and subverting them into mechanisms of liberation. However, the friends’ cricket team has both positive and negative effects in Swami’s life; it initially helps him put aside his political differences with Rajam, but it also tears apart their friendship when Swami misses the crucial match. Through this symbol, Narayan seems to recognize the unstable and sometimes dangerous role that even the appealing aspects of colonizing nations play in the lives of the colonized.
Cricket Quotes in Swami and Friends
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.
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.