by Salman Rushdie
Midnight's Children Chapter 12 Summary
All India Radio
- Padma still hasn't come back yet and Saleem is starting to freak out. Is she a missing person? He can't even smell right. He notices that he hasn't been the most accurate in his autobiography, but shrugs it off.
- Even though he's still worried, Saleem goes on with his story. Little Saleem is still recovering. He realizes that angels are not talking to him.
- It's telepathy. The kid is hearing voices from all over India. But Saleem is no idiot, he doesn't tell his family anything and soon enough they forget about it. Never happened.
- Thoughts are pouring into his head. His dad's sexual fantasies, his uncle Hanif's sadness, his mom's thoughts of Nadir Khan, and Mary's secrets.
- He's nine years old. Nine-year-old kids should be eating popsicles and watching cartoons or something like that.
- As time goes on Saleem gets better at using his powers. He goes into the clock tower where Joseph D'Costa was shot to read people's minds in privacy.
- If you haven't noticed yet, Saleem has a huge ego. This whole telepathy thing only makes it worse. He feels like he's the cause of everything.
- While Saleem is busy reading minds, his father has lost all interest in sex. He shares his secret with his friend Dr. Narlikar. The child-hating doctor is so excited that he shares his dream of covering the coast of India with tetrapods.
- The thing is, the tetrapods looks just like the symbol for fertility, so women start worshiping it. Dr. Narlikar tries to stop them in a kind of irrational rage, and he ends up getting killed by protesters who see him pushing the women.
- Dr. Narlikar's death is the first one at the Methwold Estate, and it makes everyone act strange.
- It also brings the Narlikar women, who come from everywhere and mourn the doctor for a week. When they leave, they take the tetrapods business with them, cutting out Ahmed Sinai.
- The failure of the tetrapod deal makes Ahmed Sinai go completely white. Apparently, though, he's not the only one—Indians across the country are turning white.
- Saleem ends the chapter with a quick mention that Wee Willie Winkie, his "real" father, has died.
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