Saturday, August 28, 2010

The Character-Sketch of Manek in American Brat

Manek Ginwala is an important character of the novel. He is brother of Zareen Ginwala and uncle of Feroza. He has been in America for the last three years. He is doing chemical engineering there. Manek is a Youngman of about 23 and possesses attractive looks. He can be called a transformed American Sadu because in the last three years, he acquires all the qualities of an American young man. Now he is self-contented, confident, rational, calculated, professional and educated. He has the ability to take decisions instantly and deal with different people differently.

Before coming to America, Manek was a naughty and emotional kind of a person. He used to be very arrogant and often quarreled with Feroza as she was just years younger than himself. It was that when Zareen and Kuttabai that Feroza was going to live with Manek in America as she said:

"Manek?" Kliudibai sounded astounded. "You're going to leave her care to Manek? God help die child!" And Khudibai brought her considerable histrionic abilities to bear as well on what she said next. "Don't you remember how he chased her all over die neighborhood widi a shotgun? Luckily she wasn't seriously injured. Arid how he made her run round and round die compound, cracking that hunter's whip of his? Ask me how many times I've had to save her from being maimed. I didn't tell you diis, but one time he helped her up a tree and began sawing off die branch she was sitting on! I'll tell you how he will look after her. He'll push her into die nearest well!"

But amazingly changes in their years he lives in America alone. There are a lot of examples in the novel which show his completely changed attitude. When Feroza reached American airport, she was caught by immigration officers just because of her emotional and confused nature as she transformed a small problem into a great one. Here Manek came to her help and he handled the whole situation in a good way. Officers were really irritating but Manek answered them calmly. Even when they said that Manek was not Feroza’s uncle but her fiancĂ© and when Zareen’s night gown was displayed he remained cool and assured the officers that she’ll return to her country at the end of her visa and also signed a paper for assurance. Feroza was really amazed on the contented behavior of her uncle because the Manek she knew was not like that:

Feroza was amazed. She could never have expected die Manek she knew to project the sterling qualities. And, at die same time, she was unutterably glad to have this confidence-inspiring new manifestation of her uncle at her side. "No, you're not. You're too young to be her uncle. You're her fiancé. How old are you?"

On their way, the young niece that she should not have to behave in such a silly manner. She should have to remain composed and calm because it is the only way to live in a country like America. He also advised her:

. "And you'd better forget this honor-honor business. Nobody bothers about that here."

Feroza was not only amazed but also happy to see such wonderful changes in Manek.

“Manek did something else he had never done before — he put his arm, stiff and awkward, round her shoulders.

After that Manek taught Feroza how to live in America. He taught her everything according to Americans because he himself became a pseudo-American. He taught her to use deodorants otherwise she would smell very bad:

“"That's the trouble with you desis. You don't even know what a deodorant is, and you want to make an atom bomb!"

He taught her how to behave when she was totally alone. One day he after her alone in the museum and stand at a distance to observe her actions, he advised his decisions immediately and accurately. He told her not to interrupt people when they are talking or giving their views.

"There you go, interrupting again. You won't even let me finish a sentence. I don't know when you desiswill learn good manners. If there's — "

He was also a desi but he behaved like a pure and true American. All this show his calculated and decent approach towards. Then he prepared her to take admission in America instead of going back.

Manek completed his education and got a wonderful job in NASA, but then he decided to marry not an American but an Asian Parsee girl. Apparently, it looks that marrying a Parsee girl did not suit the changed American Manek but basically it was very calculated and rational decision because marrying an American girl was like to spoil his wonderful life because the mind of an Asian man can never match with an American woman, moreover, an Asian woman would be more caring and loving and this he would also make his family happy:

It is to Manek's credit as a raconteur and as a compelling pur­veyor of dreams that no one yawned. With rapt and serious faces, the family listened to his plans for his future in America. And when Manek solemnly announced that he had come to Pakistan to marry a Parsee girl and take her with him to America, the familiar faces brightened and their smiles and nods conveyed the measure of their gratification and approval.

When he was narrating the whole situation to Feroza on phone, out of frankness he named her father as ‘cy’ and ‘pop’ as a result he had to listen:

"You don't have to be so damned American."
"When in America, be American. Haven't you — "
"Oh God! I'm going to hang up or throw up!"
"Okay, okay ... As 1 was saying, Cyrus-jcc was full of his usual foolishness. But I was surprised by Rohinton's behavior."

After marrying Aban he returned to American alone with his wife and started living an happy life. During his job in NASA, he changed his name from ‘Manek’ to ‘Mike’. Feroza was amazed to hear that but Manek remained calm:

She couldn't help it. "Mike?" she asked, her appalled voice con­juring up Jo's unpleasant boyfriend. "You've become a Mike?"Manek remained calm. "The people I have to deal widi at work find it hard to remember Manek. It's too foreign, it makes diem uneasy. But I'm one of the guys if I'm Mike."
"In America, be — " and Aban added her voice to Feroza's as dicy bodi chorused, "American!" The tension was at once dispelled. "I'm sorry," Feroza declared. "I know I can't call you Mike even if I try."

It also shows his calculated attitude towards people and his ability to deal with different people differently. Feroza was also impressed by such attitude:

"But it's taken me a while to get used to it," Aban said. Manek impressed Fcroza by his calm and reasonable manner and the air of consequence he had acquired; that of a homeowner, a breadwinner, and a man on his way up the American ladder of success in the pursuit of happiness.
Then his handling or treatment of Feroza and David’s problem was also very nice. Although it was a matter of life and death for Zareen yet Manek remained composed and helped Zareen. So, all these things clearly show that Manek is a transformed pseudo-American. 

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