Rajesh Koothrappali | The Big Bang Theory
Rajesh Ramayan “Raj” Koothrappali, Ph.D., is an Indian astrophysicist and Howard Wolowitz best friend. He hangs out at Leonard and Sheldonrum’s apartment a lot. Originally from New Delhi, Raj has an Indian-English accent and, ironically, aversions to Indian food and culture. Raj repeatedly portrays himself as the poor young Indian man who grew up in humble circumstances in poor India. However, he is always brought back down to earth by his friends, as his father is a gynaecologist, drives a Bently and has a house full of servants. Raj often communicates with his parents, who live in India, via video chat, and they regularly ask him to marry any women or ask when he will marry and have children.
Very noticeable is a case of selective mutism, which makes it impossible for him to talk to women outside his family. In the presence of women he makes gestures or whispers something to Howard who then speaks for him. Only under the influence of alcohol or psychotropic drugs can he avoid this problem, the amount of substances consumed determining whether he is a scientist or a macho. Despite this hurdle, Rajesh is always successful with the female sex. Even with Penny, he ends up at the end of the fourth squadron bed, even if this does not lead to sex.
Raj’s best friend is none other than Howard Wolowitz. The relationship between the two is purely amicable, even if it is peppered with latent homoerotic undertones, which are repeatedly addressed and analysed by the psychologist Beverly Hofstadter, Loenard’s mother.
At the beginning of the series he explored the transneptunian objects. However, he ends up in a dead end with his research and has to admit to himself that he has absolutely no results to show. Afraid of losing his job and therefore his residence permit, he changes his research topic and works with or for Sheldon since then.
Dr. Rajesh Koothrappali is an astrophysicist and member of the faculty at Caltech Physics Department. For his discovery of a planetary object beyond the Kuiper Belt, 2008 NQ17 (which he calls “Planet Bollywood”), he is included in People Magazine’s “30 Under 30 to Watch”, granting him some kind of celebrity status and a bigger office. He is also known for a publication on the Kuiper belt object size distribution.