A Devoted Son Questions and Answers
by Anita Desai

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Is Rakesh a devoted son throughout? Support your answer by giving example from text.

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It can be argued that Rakesh is a devoted son throughout, but his extreme devotion later results in unintended, negative consequences for his aging father.

We are told that Rakesh has always shown a high degree of filial loyalty to his father, Varma. When the national examination results were announced, Rakesh bowed down and touched his father's feet in reverence. In fact, we are told that this is the first thing Rakesh did after seeing the results in the newspaper.

Not only is Rakesh a devoted son to his father, he also shows a great degree of tender regard for his mother. Even though he studied in America, Rakesh did not bring back a foreign bride to his parents' home. In fact, he did not stray from the Indian tradition of allowing his mother to choose his bride. The text tells us that Rakesh married an uneducated, old-fashioned village girl of his mother's choosing.

It can be seen that Rakesh met all the fond expectations of his parents. Because of Rakesh's filial loyalty, his parents are the envy of the whole village.

Later, however, Rakesh's extreme devotion results in unintended consequences. After his father has a health scare, Rakesh begins to exert stricter control over the older man's diet. He prohibits Varma from having any desserts or fried food. As a result, Varma's quality of life decreases. In the end, the old man begins to contract actual diseases. This leads to Rakesh doubling down on medicines for Varma.

Rakesh is a devoted son throughout, but his devotion blinds him to his father's true needs. In the end, his medical training fails him. He is so focused on treating physical ailments that he forgets to tend to his father's emotional needs.

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