Study Guide

Mr. Pirzada in Interpreter of Maladies

By Jhumpa Lahiri

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Mr. Pirzada

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Mr. Pirzada seems like the perfect dad. Okay, sure, he can't keep the names of his seven daughters straight but can you blame him? Their names all start with "A"—we would probably have lost track after kid #3.

He's constantly thinking and worried about them being back in Pakistan during the country's civil war. You can't tear this guy away from Pakistani news and he's constantly writing letters to them (this is way before email) that they haven't been able to respond to because of the war.

Plus, he clearly cares a great deal for our little Lilia. He's more anxious about her than her parents seem to be. Not that anxiety is the best indicator of parental love; it's just that he's so attentive to her and treats her like she's special—something her parents don't do that much.

No wonder Lilia has a sense of loss when he reunites with his family in Pakistan. Warm, caring adults can be so hard to come by.

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