Study Guide

Raji in Homeless Bird

By Gloria Whelan

Raji

Koly's knight in shining armor (not that she needs one) is a workhorse. Not only does he own a pretty patch of land out in the country, he works in the city as a rickshaw driver to earn some side cash. That Raji is as hard working and committed to making his dreams come true as Koly is, is one of the reasons they make a good match.

Another reason? He totally gets her. Sure, he's a little disappointed when she doesn't fling her arms around him after his proposal, but he understands that Koly wants more out of her life than dusting and baking. Eventually he writes the following to her:

"I have built a little room in the house you can keep just for your embroidering. It has two big windows so you have the sun up and down. From one window you will see the courtyard and the tamarind tree. From the other window you will see the fields where I work." (11.42)

How thoughtful, right? Raji cares a lot about making Koly happy, and not just dictating how she should behave. Like he says, he wants a wife he can talk to, one who will challenge him and make him think about things in a new way. Koly does all of this for him, and he's appreciative of that, as evidenced by his willingness to rethink his original vision for a shared life with her. Who cares about tradition saying no one should marry a widow? Raji loves Koly, and he's going to put a ring on it.

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