Study Guide

Midnight's Children Chapter 20

By Salman Rushdie

Chapter 20

Movements Performed by Pepperpots

  • Now that he knows that Shiva is the "real" Saleem Sinai, Saleem decides that he will never communicate with Shiva through telepathy again. He can't find out the secret. Or it will all be over.
  • After Saleem exiles Shiva and the mourning period is over, the family discovers that Ahmed Sinai has been in his office alone, drinking, and going crazy. He unleashes his crazy anger at Amina and the Reverend Mother tells her just to leave him. So she does.
  • The whole family moves to Pakistan. Great, except for some reason Saleem's powers don't work there.
  • They stay with General Zulfikar and aunt Emerald in their big boring house.
  • Saleem learns that his cousin Zafar still pees his bed at night. This will be important later. For now, Saleem is confused by being thrown into Pakistani politics all of a sudden. His uncle Zulfikar throws a party and tons of important looking governmental people come, even the Commander-in-Chief.
  • Zafar and Saleem get to listen to everything that's happening as long as they stay quiet. They're successful, and they get to hear the plan for a coup d'état.
  • Zafar was going to help map out the revolution, but he peed his pants. Now it's up to Saleem. Using salt cellars and bowls of chutney, he performs the whole thing.
  • Then—on the actual night—his uncle takes him to see the Pakistani president thrown into exile in the middle of the night. Gotta love that family bonding.
  • Aside from this, nothing happens for like four years. Pakistan is boring. Then, on Brass Monkey's 14th birthday, something else happens. When her aunt asks her to sing, she changes from Brass Monkey into Jamila Singer.