A. (i) Dr. Pal was a man of thirty with a youthful face. Margayya meets him while going to the pond beyond Sarayu. Dr. Pal was busy in search of news and he was devoted to writing books on sociology. He was a journalist with Ph.D in sociology. Living in poverty he was immensely interested in his job as a writer. He showed Margayya the script of his book entitled ‘Bed Life or the science of marital Happiness’ quite unhesitantly. The book was based on sexology which according to Dr. Pal was a branch of sociology. His main purpose was to create happiness in the world and to prevent tragedies relating to ill-matched couples.
(ii) Balu had been the cause of Margayya’s ruin not once but twice. Balu was not good in academics and was unable to clear his examination. When he was persuaded to give the exam again he tore the School Leaving Certificate Book into pieces and threw it in the same gutter where he had previously thrown Margayya’s red account book. He then ran away from home. Margayya was later informed through a letter that his son was dead. He went to the Madman’s House at Madras in search of his lost son Balu. He was directed to his place by a policeman whom he met on his way. The Madman used to write letters to people. Margayya interviewed him to ask about his son. He was informed that his son was alive and worked in a theatre.
(iii) Margayya had always wanted his son Balu to be an educated person. In this pursuit he sent him to a good school and fulfilled all his wishes which made him a spoilt child. Margayya’s wealth had helped him in becoming the Secretary of the School Managing Committee and he wanted the best for his child too. Balu had a careless attitude and was not good in academics. Margayya had appointed a private tutor so that his child could be properly instructed and gave him the liberty to thrash him if necessary. Yet Balu could not clear his examination and ran away from home in anger when his parents tried to persuade him to appear for re-examination. Few days later, Margayya received a letter which stated that Balu had died. On hearing this he immediately left for Madras in search of his son where he found that he was alive. From that day his only dream was to keep his son happy.
B. (i) In ‘The Financial Expert’, Margayya is a symbol of greed. His own greed became the cause of his ruin. However he is certainly guilty of employing unfair means to become rich. By this the writer points towards the Hindu belief according to which the past is said to determine the present and the present is said to determine the future and all things are believed to be decided by the Gods. Margayya would lend money to illiterate people who were in need and in return charged an amount of interest. In some way or the other he would exploit the needy people. Within a few days, he understood that Dr. Pal was the cause for the ruin of his beloved son Balu. He badly beat up Dr. Pal who recorded an immediate complaint with the police. Dr. Pal turned an enemy and he pushed Margayya back to the position of a pauper from where he had started his business.
(ii) In the story “The Financial Expert” no one alone can be held responsible for the ruin of Margayya. Margayya entered into an agreement with Dr. Pal for publishing his book on domestic harmony. It brought him a lot of money. Margayya used to lend money to needy people against a high rate of interest and exploited them in other ways too. Dr. Pal helped him climb the ladder of success to a great extent. At the same time he was the reason for his son’s ruin. When Margayya came to know about this he lost his temper and went to beat Dr. Pal who recorded a complaint with the police. Dr. Pal had decided that he would take revenge from him. He had a wide circle which he used against Margayya, He spread false news stating that Margayya’s business was gradually declining. This made the investors panic and thinking of the risk they started demanding for their money. Margayya became helpless and soon found himself ruined and pushed back to where he had started from. He was overconfident and too ambitious about his wealth. His greed brought his downfall. His weaknesses were known to Dr. Pal who used it against him.
(iii) Margayya’s wife, Meenakshi is an example of the middle-class housewives at that point of time. She was a submissive and hardworking wife who endured everything with patience. She never felt the need to interfere with her husband’s business. All she wanted was her husband’s welfare. She was worried about his thin appearance when he worked selflessly on bank accounts. But she was not happy with his husband’s attitude towards life. She also didn’t approve of the way he treated their son because she believed that it would make him a spoilt child. Her fury bursts out when she hears of Balu’s death as she holds Margayya responsible for it.
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