Study Guide

Midnight's Children Chapter 25

By Salman Rushdie

Chapter 25

In the Sundarbans

  • They are lost. Totally lost. Lost, lost.
  • When Ayooba realizes it, he cries for three hours (or days, or weeks, there's no time here) and everyone else gets a bit antsy. No one except for Shaheed can think properly, so he becomes their new leader.
  • Oh hey—about this jungle: it makes people go crazy, and it has no logic or time.
  • At first the jungle torments them with the ghosts of people they've killed and tracked. Then it gives them fantasies of their childhoods, which seems to turn them into adults.
  • While other people get ghosts, Saleem needs a snakebite to remind him of his past. He tells them everything, but he still can't remember his name.
  • Great. He's got his memory back. But they're still lost. The jungle starts tormenting them again, this time with monkeys screeching a popular song. To escape the noise, Shaheed, Ayooba, and Farooq stuff their ears with mud. It makes them deaf.
  • Somehow they make their way to the edge of the jungle. A huge temple covered in depictions of sex towers above them.
  • They go inside to escape the monsoon, and they meet four beautiful young women who just want to have sex with them. If that isn't a hint that you need to get out of there, we don't know what is.
  • They don't get it until they start to become see-through. Only then do they realize that the jungle was trying to suck the life out of them.
  • They leave the jungle on a giant wave and realize that they've been gone for seven months. They end up in an abandoned village and spend most of their time whining about everything that happened in the jungle.
  • When Ayooba gets shot by a sniper they make their way to Dacca. This is after the Indians joined the Bangladeshi Liberation War. It's complete and utter destruction.
  • Nothing is making a sound and nothing is moving, except for one lone scavenger. He tells him all the stuff they missed about the war while they were in the jungle, and tries to trade with them. While Saleem is talking to him, Farooq is shot by a sniper.
  • This part is straight out of a horror movie. Saleem notices a pyramid of flesh. It has three heads, some intestine, bone, and some bits of uniform. It's still alive.
  • It's Saleem's old friends Eyeslice, Hairoil, and Sonny. Sonny talks to Saleem, but Shaheed starts freaking out, and by the time he calms down, they're dead.
  • Saleem and Shaheed start marching toward the city.