Q. Discuss the character of Nataraj in ‘Maneater of Malgdi’ in detail.
Nataraj has been described as “the common man” and of the Indian subcontinent. Indeed, he is. He shows the tupical mindset of the average Indian, Hindu man, leading a prosaic but devolutionary life.
Nataraj is a simple family man. He was satisfied with his family, his friends and his lifestyle. He was so naive and guiless that even his own relatives exploited him. He is above all the little human pettiness and is impractical, as his father was before him, who preferred a citrus tree, which never bore any fruits to all the other trees in the locality. Even thogh he is not a “creator” of intellect, Nataraj patronized the arts and intellect. By making rooms for the intellectuals in his printing room, he is shown to be the “preserver” or the “custodian” of the intellect.
Nataraj is not competitive or aggressive by nature. His printing press is made up of only one person, Shastri, and he himself says that if he was not able to handle the work of a client, he would not have a problem passing the work on to the next door, where the it could be done on the “original Heidelberg.” However, once Vasu enters the scene, we can find that Nataraj’s world is turned upside down.
Vasu enters Nataraj’s life slowly and surreptitiously. Though Nataraj is aware of his menace, he succumbs to it. He does not turn evil, bt he falls into the trap momentarily, illustrating the idea that Good is always vulnerable to Evil. Nataraj is of the complex character in the sense that though he dislikes Vasu, he is really attracted to his physical being and his forcefulness. Nataraj is very orthodox. He is tied down to the rules of the society, adherent to religion and humanity. He, therefore, admires all the “forbidden fruits” that shows up in Vasu – his lack of restraint, his lax morals, as well as his aggressive stance. At one point, he tried to make use of Vasu’s assertive persona when he tries to scare off the...
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