Describe Rosie's Life as A Dancer Nalini in The Guide

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      Raju is thoroughly unprincipled and immoral. He is a self seeker who seeks to achieve his goal by hook or by crook. He has already betrayed Marco who always paid him handsomely. He has seduced his wife by his charm of personality and flattering words. When Rosie comes to live with him in his house he takes her in without caring for the sentiments of his mother. Rosie practises dancing in their home, the environment echoes with the sound of her dancing. The neighbours and the poor old widowed mother are annoyed. But lost in the pleasures of sexuality, Raju has neither thought nor cared for anyone else, he wastes his time and money on Rosie. The stall is neglected, and soon he has to give it up. His debts continue to mount, and ultimately the Seth comes to him to demand his money. Some Satan is within him, and he laughs and treats the Seth insolently. He goes away in great anger and as a consequence Raju is involved in endless litigation. By his insolence and arrogance, he even drives his mother out of the home. She leaves him and goes away with his maternal uncle.

      As a matter of fact, Rosie is a natural dancer. She has a good and glamorous figure, slender, beautifully fashioned eyes that sparkled. She is born in a family of dancing girls. She is an M.A. in Economics. She is flattered by the fact that a man like Marco should wish to marry her, and is devoted to him in spite of his importance and priggishness. But her inherited feeling for dance cannot be suppressed, and when she gets a chance to perfect the art she seizes it. When she alights on Malgudi platform, the first thing she wants to see is a cobra dance. At Raju’s home she gets a chance to perfect her art. At five she would start her practice and continue for three hours.

      So Rosie practised dancing for a long time. Every day she spent three hours in the morning on perfecting her dancing. She would have a separate hall, long enough and wide enough for her to move in. It must have a heavy carpet, which would be; neither too smooth under the feet nor too rough, and which would not fold while she practised her steps on it. At one corner of the room she would have a bronze figure of Nataraja, the god of dancers, the god whose primal dance created the vibrations that set the worlds in motion. She would have incense sticks burning. After her morning practice, she would call up the chauffeur. She would then spend an hour or two in the forenoon studying the ancient works of the art, Nritya Shastra of Bharat Muni. She would also want a pundit to come to her to help her to understand the texts in Sanskrit.

      Raju pretended that he too had a passion for art, and this common interest brought them closer together. Raju felt thrilled by her movements, rhythm and the song she sang. When she indicated the lotus with her fingers, one could almost hear the ripple of water round it like Raju.

      Rosie had acquired sufficient practice, and they must go out and do something for their livelihood. In order to bring Rosie into light as a dancer, he changed her name to Nalini. Then an opportunity presented itself. The Albert Mission boys were about to have their annual function, for which they had organized a variety programme. Raju knew the clerk of the students’ union, who introduced him to the organisers. He pleaded with them strongly and eloquently that they should include a Bharat Natyam in their programme. He had picked up a bit of art terminology from Rosie and now he made good use of it, and could impress them with it.

      The result was that they agreed to come to his home to see Nalini perform. They were fascinated as much with her physical charms as with her dancing. They were astonished. Their only fear was that she might be too good for their function. They reduced the other items to give her all the time she wanted. And her dance at Albert Mission College was a hit. She soared rocket-like. Her name became a public property.

      Thereafter, Nalini became a commercial dancer. Their engagements multiplied, and they were paid whatever they demanded. Engagements were finalised three or four months in advance. They went to every corner of South India, and wherever Rosie performed she drew packed houses and it was heartily applauded and cheered. Raju managed her affairs. Raju rented a much larger house, had a number of servants and also engaged a secretary called Mani. Gradually, Rosie began to suffer from fatigue and felt bored and tired. Gradually arguments began to crop up between them. But her circle was widening.

University Questions

Describe Rosie’s life as a dancer. Was she happy in the end?
How did Rosie turn into Nalini?
Trace the development of Rosie as a dancen
What was Rosie’s condition at Raju’s home?
How did Raju arrange Rosie’s first dance show at the Albert Mission?

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