Study Guide

Midnight's Children Chapter 17

By Salman Rushdie

Chapter 17

The Kolynos Kid

  • Saleem is talking all kinds of weird scientific stuff. Padma has no idea what it means, and neither do we.
  • What happened in the aftermath of the finger fiasco? Saleem gets to hang out with his uncle Hanif! He's been exiled from his own family. It's both lame and awesome because uncle Hanif and aunt Pia are way more fun than his parents.
  • And not just because they don't have kids and so they're excited for him to be around. It's fun because his aunt is a famous, beautiful, movie star. And he's going through puberty. You can put two and two together.
  • Uncle Hanif is fun too, but he's obsessed with depicting India realistically in his films. Realistic movies don't sell, so he's poor.
  • Lucky for Mary, the ghost of Joe D'costa does not follow her to Hanif's house. But other supernatural things are happening all over the country.
  • A sort of supernatural thing happens at the next party Hanif and Pia throw. Homi Catrack gives Saleem a secret letter to give to Pia. Saleem pretends to go to sleep in order to get out of the party. He dreams of killing one of his classmates, and the kid dies in real life too. Interesting…
  • The next day Pia sure is angry about something. It takes some more telepathy, but Saleem finds out that she's been cheating on Hanif with Homi Catrack and he's breaking up with her.
  • Saleem is sorry that he gave her the note and they end up crying together in a weird, incestual, groping session.
  • Needless to say, he gets sent home pretty soon.
  • On the way home Saleem starts plotting his revenge against his mom (for cheating on his dad) and Homi Catrack (for breaking up with Pia).
  • He mentions that he hasn't talked about the Midnight's Children at all, and says there were more important things to do. We understand—they were only important enough to name the novel after.