MovieChat Forums > Jalsaghar (1958) Discussion > What is the significance of sending the...

What is the significance of sending the elephant?

Roy refuses to sell the elephant, Moti, and the beautiful white horse because they were both loved by his son Khoka. But then he tells the servant to dress Moti in her finest trappings and to take the elephant and a gold coin on a silver platter to his nouveau-riche neighbor. (He ends up sending a gold coin on a copper platter because all the silver has been disposed of.)

But what is the significance of sending the elephant and the coin? Is he sending a message, and if so what is it? Or is he giving Moti to Ganjuli, and if so, why?


I saw it as just more oneupsmanship, putting the neighbor "in his place". The elephant is definitely showing off status. I believe the coin and plate were a gift being sent for the neighbor's son's thread ceremony.

"My name is Paikea Apirana, and I come from a long line of chiefs stretching all the way back to the Whale Rider."


It's not just showing off status, it's doing it in a way that highlights the differences between traditional values and modern values. Whereas Mahim would drive to give a gift or simply not show up, Roy decks out his elephant and delivers a gift in the most flamboyant way possible.

The old vs. new push and pull is highly evident in this film.