Study Guide

Midnight's Children Chapter 27

By Salman Rushdie

Chapter 27

The Shadow of the Mosque

  • Padma wants to get married. Saleem knows it's not possible, but she still hopes. He wants to talk to her, but he has to finish the story.
  • Saleem also discovered patriotism in Parvati's basket. He wants to save the country. He tumbles out into the ghetto of magicians. Almost as soon as he appears, a woman called Resham Bibi tries to shoot them away because he's bad luck.
  • He only stays with the magicians a couple of days, but during that time they have the best luck. The police don't even come to raid them!
  • Saleem wants to leave though. He goes to his uncle Mustapha, hoping that he will help him with that dream about saving India.
  • Parvati tries to get him to stay, even telling him about meeting Shiva (she doesn't know that Saleem is afraid of him) and about having a Midnight's Children get together. But it doesn't work.
  • Saleem doesn't exactly get a warm welcome from his aunt Sonia. She doesn't really like him. You can read it yourself, but suffice it to say that Mustapha and his family are not very memorable.
  • Did you even remember that he had an uncle Mustapha? Neither did we.
  • Mustapha and Sonia tell Saleem that everyone died, and he decides to stay with them for the 400-day mourning period. The whole time they think he's crazy and are just waiting to kick him out.
  • After 418 days, Parvati comes to visit Saleem. It turns into more than a visit, and when his aunt Sonia finds them in bed together, she kicks him out of the house.
  • Honestly, he's a little glad that she interrupted them because he was seeing a vision of a rotting Jamila Singer instead of Parvati.
  • So, with no more family, Saleem returns to the magicians. They are communists and gradually Saleem becomes a communist too. But, just like in the Indian Communist Party, there are conflicts in the magician's ghetto.
  • That's okay though, because Picture Singh is the boss around here, and he makes everyone play nice.
  • Parvati has to hide her magic from the magicians, since they don't believe in the supernatural. She shows Saleem her powers in secret.
  • She doesn't just want to show him her powers, though—she loves him. But no matter how hard she tries, she can't get him to stop picturing his sister when he is with her.
  • Since she can't get what she wants, Parvati develops a permanent pout. This makes all the people in the ghetto worry about her until Resham Bibi realizes that she must want to get married. They ask nearly every eligible bachelor in town, but Parvati rejects them all.
  • Finally, Picture Singh asks Saleem if he wants to get married. He says he can't because he can't have children. He's lying, and it reminds us of another time this happened. Remember when Musa lied? Dude got leprosy.