R. K. Narayan

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Why does Raju select the man in the green blazer in "Trail of the Green Blazer"?

Quick answer:

Raju selects the man in the green blazer because the blazer he's wearing seems to cry out an invitation. The green blazer signifies that the man wearing it is quite well-off and has some money about him. For a pickpocket like Raju, this is too good an opportunity to miss.

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Raju is a professional pickpocket and always on the lookout for his next victim. One day, while hanging around the marketplace, he sees a man wearing a green blazer. Amid all the turbans, shirts, coats, caps, and multicolored saris, the green blazer stands out prominently beneath the bright sun.

Raju's instincts as a pickpocket tell him that the man wearing it must be quite well-off. Blazers are not normally worn in India, except by men from the social elite. So it's a fair assumption that the man Raju sees walking through the marketplace has some money on him.

As the green blazer is positively crying out an invitation for Raju, he jumps at the chance to pick its pockets clean. So he gets down from his normal vantage point on top of a stack of cast-off banana stalks and follows the man in the green blazer, always making sure that he keeps three steps behind his intended victim.

Eventually, Raju makes his move and snatches the purse belonging to the man in the green blazer while his victim is passing through a narrow stile where people are congregating to see a wax model of Mahatma Gandhi. However, when Raju examines the contents of the purse, he gets more than he bargained for.

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