Malgudi Days

Leela's Friend

Summary


Leela’s mom formally known as Kamela needs help and Sidda, a domestic worker overhears them and asks for the job Leela and sidda quickly become good friends, Leela quickly becomes friends with Sidda and helps him get the job. Sidda becomes almost a older brother rather than a maid. One day when Sidda is told to go to the market Leela requests to tag along, Upon returning Kamela sees that Leela lost her necklace that she has never taken off before. Kamela turns to conclusions blaming sidda for the incident. Sidda knowing that he was innocent leaves the house rather then deal with an interigation. Leela’s dad alerts the police who investigate the case. The police eventually find Sidda and take him back to the house. The parents have many questions to ask him still thinking he stole the necklace but Leela still trusts him. Sidda keeps her calm attitude. After further investigation we see that the necklace was found in a pickle jar.


Meaning

You can not judge a book by its cover, just because Sidda is a lower class that does not mean that he has to the culprit. Kamela judged the crime without any investigation. The caste system is shown throughout this short story since Sidda was denied his rights to a free trial. Even though Sidda is a very trusted person he was still blamed.

Quotations

"What a devil you must be to steal a thing from such an innocent child!" (150)



"Take him to the station. I think I shall have to sit with him tonight." (150)



Analysis

The first quote shows that there is no consideration before accusing someone of doing a crime. Without any trial Sidda was framed for this crime. Leela could have easily taken the necklace off who could have lost it but that the not what was expected. Sidda who was never given full trust by Leela's parents lost their trust over something that was not his fault.


The second quote depicts that the inspector is not giving Sidda a chance to defend himself, but instead he will automatically go to jail. Sidda stayed silent throughout the whole "investigation" and interrogation was the only way to get him to talk. Even if he was innocent an interrogation would still make him talk

Connection to Indian Culture

The social hierarchy or the caste system as it is called in India separates economic classes into certain groups. We see this in the character of Sidda, who was injustly framed for a crime he did not commit because of his race. In a more democratic society the "culprit" would be the youngest and least responsible person, Leela. It never came into thought that maybe Leela misplaced her necklace. Leela was in a higher social class and was treated as one throughout the short story.