The Judge / Jemubhai
Called Jemubhai or Jemu in flashback scenes, the judge is the head of the household at Cho Oyu and Sai’s grandfather. He grows up in a family belonging to the peasant caste, who pour… read analysis of The Judge / Jemubhai
The judge’s granddaughter. Before arriving at Cho Oyu, she had attended St. Augustine’s convent, where she was “Anglicized” (taught British customs and ideas) just as the judge had been. At age eight, Sai’s mother… read analysis of Sai
The cook’s son. At the cook’s urging, Biju travels to New York City in order to earn money and make a better life for the family’s future generations. He hops from one restaurant job… read analysis of Biju
The judge’s cook and Biju’s father. The cook had worked for the judge since he was fourteen years old, and his servant status is very much ingrained in him. He does whatever the… read analysis of The Cook
The judge’s wife and Sai’s maternal grandmother. She is fourteen when she marries the judge. The two do not consummate their marriage before the judge leaves for university because Nimi is so terrified… read analysis of Nimi
One of the judge’s neighbors, Lola’s sister, and Sai’s first tutor when she arrives at Cho Oyu. She and Lola are upper-class Bengali women who have also assimilated many parts of British… read analysis of Noni
Noni’s sister. She and Noni live in a house which had belonged to Lola and her late husband Joydeep before he suddenly died of a heart attack. Lola is more opinionated than her sister… read analysis of Lola
Another of the judge’s neighbors, Father Booty is a Swiss priest who runs a dairy farm. It is implied that he is in some kind of relationship with Uncle Potty. Over the course… read analysis of Father Booty
The judge’s nearest neighbor, “a gentleman farmer and a drunk.” It is heavily implied that he is in a relationship with Father Booty. He is well-educated and from a well-known family, and so… read analysis of Uncle Potty
One of Biju’s coworkers at the Queen of Tarts Bakery. Saeed is a Muslim man from Zanzibar, and Biju comes to admire him for his resilience and his ability to not only survive but… read analysis of Saeed Saeed
The owner of the Gandhi Café, the last restaurant in which Biju works. Harish-Harry uses globalization to his advantage in selling generic Indian food to Americans. Though he is kind to Biju, he also takes… read analysis of Harish-Harry
The Judge’s Father
Like the cook does for Biju, the judge’s father works hard to allow the judge to get the best education and improve his social class. However, when he sees that the judge has… read analysis of The Judge’s Father
The judge’s only friend after he graduates from Cambridge. Bose is Indian, but also strove to rid himself of his Indian culture in the hopes of being accepted by the British. When he and… read analysis of Bose
Sai’s Father (Mr. Mistry)
An orphan himself and a member of the Indian Air Force. He and Sai’s mother travel to Moscow for him to be interviewed for the space program, but the couple is hit by a bus… read analysis of Sai’s Father (Mr. Mistry)
Sai’s Mother (Mrs. Mistry)
The judge’s and Nimi’s only daughter. She and Sai’s father leave Sai in a convent while the two travel to Moscow for him to be interviewed for the space program. Crossing the street, they are killed by a bus, leaving Sai orphaned and in the care of her grandfather.
Another of the judge’s neighbors and Lola’s rival. Like Lola’s daughter Pixie, her daughter Mun Mun is also a reporter, except in America, and the two debate constantly over whether the U.S. or Britain is a better country.
The Afghan Princesses
Two more of the judge’s neighbors, who were given refuge by Nehru when the British seated someone else on their father’s throne.
The judge’s British landlady while he attends school in Cambridge.