Study Guide

Kishan Mango Kharre and Rukhmabai Kharre in Shantaram

By Gregory David Roberts

Kishan Mango Kharre and Rukhmabai Kharre

We don't know about you, but we're ready to get away from the city and its shady characters. Luckily, out in the country, there are some real nice folks ready to show some Indian hospitality. There's Kishan Mango Kharre, Prabaker's father:

[He] was a tiny man, shorter even than Prabaker, with very close-cropped grey hair, a short, grey moustache, and a prominent paunch on his otherwise slender frame. He wore the white cap, cotton kurtah shirt, and dhoti of the farmer caste. (1.5.181)

His smallness might reveal the poverty he lives in, while the paunch shows his age. Even his clothing is like a uniform, giving away his profession and social class.

Prabaker's mother, Rukhmabai, "had a ready wit, and a deep sympathy for the distress of others. She stood aloof from disputes between her neighbours until she was asked to give her opinion, and then hers was usually the last word. She was a woman to admire and to desire, but the message in her eye and her bearing was unmistakable: offend or disesteem her at your peril" (1.6.2). She's Lin's favorite lady (after Karla, of course), and the one who names him Shantaram.