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In Martel's Life of Pi, what is Mamaji's role in the book\movie?

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user675510 | eNotes Newbie

Posted June 18, 2013 at 2:44 PM via web

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In Martel's Life of Pi, what is Mamaji's role in the book\movie?

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user6939761 | eNotes Newbie

Posted August 1, 2013 at 7:05 PM (Answer #1)

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Pi’s uncle name was Francis Adirubasamy. Pi calls him Mamaji, an Indian term that means respected uncle. He is one of Pi's father's earliest business contacts, who became a good friend of the family.
 He provided the author with the information he needs to write in his next novel. He delivers famous lines at the beginning of the novel, “I have a story that will make you believe in God.”


Mamaji is a former champion swimmer whose love for the sport never dies. He tries to teach this love of swimming to Pi's parents and Ravi, but Pi is the only one who he ever convinces. Mamaji provides Pi with the name Piscine and teaches him to swim which in future it helped to swim in the lonely island when the ship sank.

Pi’s father loves the description of Paris swimming pool and the Lore surrounding them and Adirubasamy functions to Paris’ swimming pool for Pi’s father.
He also guide that points the author towards Pi.

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tinicraw | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Educator

Posted September 18, 2013 at 4:42 PM (Answer #2)

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Francis Adirubasamy is the one also called Mamaji. Other than the facts previously listed about his character, he represents more in postmodern literature. Mamaji does give the author the idea to seek out Pi's story; thus, he acts as a mediator between the author's writer's block and the creation of the story. This is reminiscent of King Melchizedek from Cohelo's The Alchemist. Both Mamaji and Melchizedek provide a path that a character must choose to travel in order to obtain his "treasure." In this case, the author was seeking a good story to write and Mamaji provided him with a way to find it. Had the author not sought out Pi and his story, the book would not have been written. The author's journey about finding a story about which to write slightly parallel's Pi's journey of survival. Both seek a successful end, but each must make decisions committed to producing the desired result. (In The Alchemist, Santiago must follow the path that Melchizadek presents in order to realize his greatest dreams, too.) Thus, Mamaji is the mediator; he is the one who sets the tale in motion by providing a path for the character to choose to follow in order to achieve success.

Sources:

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laurto | Student, Grade 10 | (Level 1) Valedictorian

Posted January 5, 2014 at 9:01 PM (Answer #3)

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Mamaji was a good family friend and Pi had a lot of respect for him. He teaches Pi how to swim and because of him, Piscine has the name he has. Piscine means pool in French and Mamaji was a swimmer and he spent a lot of time in France during his swimming days.

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Ada Sison | Student, Grade 10 | (Level 1) Honors

Posted July 1, 2014 at 1:16 AM (Answer #4)

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Francis Adirubasamy or Mamaji, an Indian term meaning respected / adored uncle, plays a major role in both the book and the movie "Life of Pi". Mamaji is a very good friend of the Patel family. He is the first business partner of Pi's father and is the cause of Pi's unusual full name, Piscine Molitor Patel. Pi is named after a French swimming pool as Mamaji is an avid competitive swimmer. Mamaji is also the one to teach Pi to swim and not be afraid of the water, key to later events in the book and movie. Most important however is that he is the one to entice the Author of Pi's tale, promising him a "story that will make you believe in God".

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