Study Guide

A Passage to India Part 3, Chapter 33

By E.M. Forster

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Part 3, Chapter 33

  • Fast forward a couple of years. We're in the palace at Mau, a Hindu principality hundreds of miles away from Chandrapore. Professor Godbole is rocking a religious ceremony. The palace is packed with Hindus of all castes.
  • Godbole, as Minister of Education, has the honor of presiding over the choir. They sing and dance to celebrate the birth of God. The hall is surrounded with banners inscribed with messages from poets, one of which is in English, with a major typo: "God si Love."
  • As Godbole dances away, he goes into a trance, where he's flooded with random images. He loves everything just as God loves everything. He remembers an old woman from Chandrapore – a reference to Mrs. Moore. He loves her too. Then he sees an image of a wasp.
  • How he could see the same wasp as well as Mrs. Moore isn't explained. But yes, he loves the wasp too. He dances and clashes his little cymbals, a happy little bouncy ball of love.
  • The crowd clears a path for the Rajah, who's enfeebled by illness.
  • Then, a few minutes before midnight, someone brings out a model of the village of Gokul for a re-enactment of the birth of the Hindu god, Shri Krishna. At midnight, a conch is blown, elephants trumpet, and incense is thrown, announcing the birth of Shri Krishna. Everyone celebrates.
  • A model of a cradle is brought out. Godbole reaches in and pulls out a napkin, folded to represent the infant god, and hands the napkin over to Rajah, who names it Shri Krishna and places it back in the cradle.
  • The Rajah is carried back to his quarters, where his doctor attends him. And surprise, the doctor is Dr. Aziz.
  • After the Rajah leaves, more celebratory shenanigans ensue, including a kind of food fight where milk and rice gets poured out over everybody. Everybody makes merry.
  • The chapter ends as Godbole leaves the festivities. He doesn't remember much of the whole thing, but the vision of Mrs. Moore and the wasp return to him with more vividness.

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