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She is one of the main characters in the book, a young girl of thirteen living in a poor fishing village somewhere in India. She has three younger siblings and together they are forced to care for themselves after their mother gets ill and their father starts drinking and stops working. Despite the hardships she is forced to endure, Lila remains optimistic and tries to help her family. She takes over the responsibilities her mother had and takes care of her younger sister while also cooking and cleaning around the house. She grows up really quickly and we can see the difference between how Lila thinks and how another girl who is her age thinks when Lila accompanies her friends while she goes shopping in the village.
Hari is Lila’s younger brother, a boy of twelve years old. He too like Hari is forced to grow up rapidly because of their family situation. Hari gives up going to school because their family is no longer being able to afford it and starts working in the fields instead. Hari realizes that his sister’s future depends on him and that force him to work hard and think about new possibilities to make money. He is an intelligent boy and Mr. Panwallah notices this and decides to teach Hari how to make and repair watches. It is clear that Hari loves his family deeply and that he would do anything for them.
Biju is a wealthy fisherman in the village where Hari and Lila live. He starts to build a new boat around the time when the action of the novel starts and Hari becomes intrigued by the ship Biju built. Biju is regarded as a sketchy person in the novel and many assume that he earned his wealth through smuggling.
Bela is Hari and Lila’s younger sister. There are not many information about her but it is mentioned that she continues to go to school even is Lila and Hari were forced to drop out.
Kamal is like Bela Lila and Hari’s younger sibling. We are not offered many information about him except the fact that he is still going to school like Bela.
Mr. Panwallah is an old watchmaker from Mumbai. He takes Hari under his wing and teaches him how to repair and make watches. He is described as an old, gentle, kind-hearted man who genuinely wants to help Hari. Because of him, Hari is able to return to his village with the prospect of opening his own repairing shop in the future.
Hira La is a servant in De Silva’s house in Mumbai when Hari arrives there. He pities the young boy and introduces him to one of his friends who is able to offer Hari work and a place to stay.
Jagu is a restaurant owner in Mumbai, friends with Hira La. He meets Hari through Hira La and offers the young boy a place to stay and a job in his restaurant.
Mr. de Silva
Mr de Silva is a wealthy man from Mumbai who sometimes came to the fishing village where Lila and Hari lived together with his family. He is a kind man and offers to give Hari a job in Mumbai. After Hari leaves, Mr. de Silva s the one who takes Hari and Lila’s mother to the hospital.
Hema is a walthy woman from the village where Hari and Lila live.
Mina is a young girl from the village and good friend with Lila.
Mrs. De Silva
She is Mr. de Silva’s wife who comes with him to the fishing village.
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The Village By the Sea Questions and Answers
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Mr. Panwallah's compassion and loneliness cause him to reach out to Hari.... to give the boy a chance and let him make something of himself. Panwallah enjoyed Hari's company..... Hari described the old man as filled with "kindness".