Study Guide

A Passage to India Part 1, Chapter 2

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Part 1, Chapter 2

  • Dr. Aziz arrives at Hamidullah's home, ready to share a bite with his friends. He interrupts a conversation between Hamidullah and Mahmoud Ali, who are debating whether it is possible to be friends with the British.
  • As they wait for dinner, Hamidullah takes Dr. Aziz in to say hello to his (Hamidullah's) wife, who is Aziz's distant aunt. Hamidullah Begum (the wife) gives Aziz a lecture about his duty to marry again, and that's how we find out that Aziz is a widower with three children who live with their maternal grandmother.
  • Afterwards, Hamidullah, Aziz, and Mohammed Latif, a relative of Hamidullah's, sit down for dinner. They enjoy the evening listening to Aziz recite some great Persian, Urdu, and Arabic poetry.
  • Their pleasant evening is interrupted when Aziz is called away by his superior, Major Callendar, the Civil Surgeon. Latif goes off to pick up Aziz's bike, but he and a servant accidentally pop one of the tires on a tack.
  • Aziz hops on his bicycle and heads toward Callendar's. He doesn't realize, however, that his bike has a flat until he's well on his way. He hops off and gets on a tonga (a small, horse-drawn carriage) for the rest of the way.
  • When he arrives, Callendar isn't there. Callendar hasn't even left a message. Aziz takes this as a deliberate diss and gets angry.
  • What's worse is that Mrs. Callendar and Mrs. Lesley swipe his tonga, even though he's standing right in front of them.
  • Aziz has no choice but to walk home. On his walk home, he decides to stop by his favorite mosque, and his good humor returns.
  • Thinking of more Persian poetry, he notices a pillar move. But it's not a pillar – it's an Englishwoman.
  • At first, he's angry at what he sees as an intrusion. But he realizes that the Englishwoman has respectfully taken off her shoes, which endears her to him.
  • The Englishwoman introduces herself as Mrs. Moore. In the course of their conversation, he finds out that she's actually the mother of the City Magistrate, Ronny Heaslop. (We learn that Ronny is her son from a first marriage.) She has two other children, Ralph and Stella, from a second marriage. They instantly connect over the fact that they both have three children.
  • Mrs. Moore seems friendly and willing to let Aziz air his troubles. Aziz is happy to walk Mrs. Moore back to the club, although he himself can't enter the club because he's Indian.

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