Character of Lady lal in Karma :
Lady Mohan Lal or Lachmi is one of the two main characters of Khushwant Singh’s short story ‘Karma’. Singh with the portrait of Lady Lal’s character distinguished the issues of cultural identity in Indian society.
Lady Mohan Lal (Lachmi) is portrayed as a native woman right from the moment she is introduced in the story. She has been described as simple and ordinary Indian woman. Lady Lal, Lachmi, the wife of Sir Mohan lal in the story “ Karma” by Khuswant singh, is quite a contrast to her husband. She is typical Indian house wife, a village woman, who finds discomfort in the company of the British and Anglicized Indians.
We can discover the following characteristics in her personality:
A. Short and Fat : Lady Mohan Lal is an Indian woman with short and fat physical dimensions.
B. Age : She is in the middle of forties. She is an grown up woman.
C. Fashion : Lachmi is simple and unsophisticated. Lady Lal is not so careful about her fashion. She wears a dirty white sari with a red border, and a diamond nose-ring along with several gold bangles on her arms.
D. Talkative : She is very humble and she can start talking with a coolie or an ordinary bearer without hesitation. Lady Mohan Lal is a very talkative woman and she is tittle bit fond of gossiping.
E. Food Habit : She chews betel leaves, eats chapattis with mango pickle. The brass tiffin carrier having cramped chapattis and mango pickle shows her nativity.
F. Illiterate : She is illiterate and she has no knowledge of English , English culture.
G. Naive and Simple: She is very naive and simple woman. Her personality shows a native Indian woman . She is rustic and illiterate. She does not care for the refined social customs and wipes her hands and face with the loose end of her sari.
Significance: She is the representative of native Indian women dominated by their husbands.
Conclusion: In the conclusion we may say that the physical appearance of Lady Mohan Lal has been criticized only to recognize her native Indian identity. She has been presented as exactly the opposite of Sir Mohan Lal to brought up the issues of cultural identity. She represents true Indian Culture.
© Character of Sir Mohan Lal in Karma :
Sir Mohanlal is central character in Khushwant Singh’s Karma. Mohanlal’s character is the bundle of conflict. Khushwant Singh presented Sir Mohan Lal as the main character of ‘KARMA’ in an ironical way. We can evaluate his character in different opinions –
1. Sir Mohan Lal’s character personality has been defined very closely by his wife Lady Mohan Lal. She thinks her husband is :-
Gentleman : Lady Mohan Lal thinks Mr. Lal is a man of high dignity as he meets “so many officers and Englishman in train”.
Barrister and Vizer : She regards Mr. LAL as an important government officer.
Englishman : Lady Mohan Lal considers her husband as English Man. She knows her husband can speak English and has an English style. He always loved to compare himself with English man and tried to get company with English people.
Lady Mohan Lal’s Opinion about Sir Mohan Lal is an assumption from the wife’s perspective. This is an ironical (unintentionally) view of Lady Mohan Lal about her husband.
2. Khuswant Singh’s opinion on Sir Mohan Lal is very ambiguous. In the text he described himself as ” inefficient, dirty, indifferent“. Mohan Lal’s own opinion about himself is very Self-contradictory.
Once, he described himself as “distinguished, efficient” another time regarded himself as ” inefficient, dirty, indifferent“. He is so ambiguous character. He described himself in different ways: –Inefficient vs Efficient, Distinguished vs Indifferent, Handsome vs Old Chap.
Mr Lal travels first class since he considers himself one of the English gentry who rides first first class. He overlooks his Indian origin and treats himself as one of the English.
3. From the reader’s perspective we can describe Sir Mohan Lal’s character as :
Proud: Sir Mohan Lal is a proud middle-aged man who was ashamed to be an Indian.
Prejudice: He is an admirer of England and English people than this own country and people. Every object of India is inefficient, dirty and indifferent to him.
Self contradictory: Sir Mohan Lal is a person of Self-contradictory faith in his own life and culture.
Issue of Identity: The author shows the concern with the issue of cultural identity with the character of Sir Mohan Lal. Mr. Lal yearns to leave his Indian origin behind and imitates the English as closely as possible.
4. Khushwant Singh presented Sir Mohan Lal as the main character of ‘KARMA’ in an ironical tone.
5. Conclusion: Mohan Lal is a middle-aged man who works in the British Raj. He is ashamed to be an Indian and hence he speaks in English and, rarely, in Anglicized Hindustani. Mohan Lal is an admirer of England and English people than this own country and people; ultimately he suffered at the hands of two English soldiers whom he admired so much. He lost his real identity as an Indian. He proved himself proud, prejudiced, Self-contradictory who is neither an English nor an Indian.
Difference between Lady Lal and Sir Moham Lal
Sir Mohan Lal and Lady Mohan Lal two main characters in Khushwant Singh’s ‘Karma’ . Although they are husband and wife there are much difference in their personality. We can contrast their characters based on their characters and personalities. Some of the major differences in their characters are based on the following points :
Fashion and Look : Sir Mohan Lal is very fashionable person and has a distinguished look. He looks like a handsome man. But his wife, Lachmi is simple and unsophisticated. Lady Lal is not so careful about her fashion. She wears a dirty white sari with a red border, and a diamond nose-ring along with several gold bangles on her arms. She looks short and fat.
Talking Style: Sir Mohan Lal can speak English, he speaks very little but only with the Englishmen. But his wife, Lady Mohan Lal is so talkative, she speaks anyone she meets.
Knowledge and Education: Sir Mohan Lal is very proud of his knowledge of English. He is educated man. But Lady Mohan Lal is illiterate. She doesn’t know English.
Personality : Sir Mohan Lal is complex person. he described himself as “distinguished, efficient” another time regarded himself as “inefficient, dirty, indifferent” . Sir Mohan Lal is a person of Self-contradictory faith in his own life and culture. On the other hand, Lady Mohan Lal is very simple and naive woman.
Culture : Sir Mohan Lal represents English culture. Mohan Lal is an admirer of England and English people than this own country and people.
On the other hand, Lady Mohan Lal has been criticized only to recognize her native Indian identity. She has been presented as exactly the opposite of Sir Mohan Lal to brought up the issues of cultural identity. She represents true Indian Culture.
What is the difference between Mohan Lal and Lady Lachmi?
What is the relationship between Mohan Lal and Lady Lal?
What is the characteristic of Sir Mohan Lal?
How would you characterize Mohan Lal in the story Karma?