Themes and Meanings
Most of the fictional Jago Antia’s life seems to flow from his childhood experiences with Burjor Mama and Soli. The young Jehangir (the name Jago came later, chosen by the men in his regiment) lived in the shadow of Soli, who won all of their fights and captained the impromptu cricket teams. Moreover, their father said of Soli’s cricket play that he had “a lovely style,” a phrase that lingers in the adult Jago Antia’s memory. Soli’s athletic grace was reinforced by their mother when one evening she came in their room with two glasses of milk and The Illustrated Weekly of India with an article about the Indian prince Ranjitsinhji, who distinguished himself in England as a cricket player. Ranjitsinhji “was the most beautiful batsman, like a dancer he turned their bouncers to the boundaries with his wrists, he drove with clean elegance, he had good manners, and he said nothing to their insults, and he showed them all he was the best of them all, he was the Prince, he was lovely.” Obviously, Soli is meant to be Ranjitsinhji’s successor, and Soli keeps the magazine in his private drawer, occasionally allowing Jehangir to look at it.
Given this relationship, it is natural for Jehangir to make a hero of the manly, good-hearted Burjor Mama, whose military career has established him as a figure of glamour in the household. Jago Antia’s courage and leadership derive from his need to live up to the image of Burjor Mama that shines in his...
(The entire section is 446 words.)