Midnight's Children: Book Two


Partition of India

August 14, 1947

Saleem's Birth

August 15, 1947

"The fisherman's pointing finger: unforgettable focal point of the picture which hung on a sky-blue wall in Buckingham Villa, directly above the sky-blue crib in which, as Baby Saleem, midnight's child, I spent my earliest days." (138)
Saleem's baby photo appears on the front page of "Times of India" (139)
"I learned: the first lesson of my life: nobody can face the world with his eyes open all the time." (142)

Summer 1947

August 15, 1947 - August 31, 1947

Vishwanath bikes past abandoned bus
First Indian swimmer of the English channel, Pushpa Roy
Bano Devi, the lady wrestler
Sadhu, Purushottam, keeps an eye on baby Saleem, "the Blessed One" (143)

Mary Pereira hired as ayah

August 15, 1947


Letter from Prime Minister

August 22, 1947


Saleem's Circumcision

October 1947

Dr. Narliker visits Ahmed Sinai

January 1948

Beginning of the tetrapods

Ahmed's assets frozen

January 1948

"'Amina! Come here, wife! The bastards have shoved my balls in an ice-bucket!'" (153)

Snakes escape from Schaapsteker Institute

February 1948

Shaapsteker moves in upper storey: "At the end of February, snake poison entered our lives." (156)

Reverend Mother and Aadam Aziz arrive in Bombay

February 1948


"The Lovers of Kashmir" Premiere

February 1948


Mahatma Ghandi assassinated

February 1948

Saleem recalls the wrong date

Musa robs the Sinais

August 1948

"'It was not me, Sahib. If I have robbed you, may I turn into a leper! May my old skin run with sores!'" (165)

Joseph D'Costa killed

August 14, 1948


Brass Monkey (Jamila Singer) born

September 1, 1948

Ismail Ibrahim announces assets case won (169)
Baby Sinai stands (169)

Tenzing climbs Mount Everest

May 29, 1953


Ahmed's djinn story


"'Never believe in a djinn's promises, my son! Let them out of the bottle and they'll eat you up!'" (149)

Saleem's 7th Birthday

August 15, 1954

Dressed up as the boy in the fisherman picture
Cures his grandmother (178)

Nehru and the Five Year Plan



Brass Monkey sets fire to shoes

June 1956 - August 1956

"Amina Sinai, abhorring the idea of beating her children, temperamentally incapable of raising her voice, came close to wits' end; and the Monkey was sentenced, for day after day, to silence." (171)

Suez Crisis

June 1956 - August 1956


Saleem attends the Cathedral and John Connon Boys' High School

June 1956


Washing-chest accident

June 1956

"Amina Sinai has opened the lower door of the washing-chest; I am tumbling downdown with laundry wrapped around my head like a caul." (184)

Language Marches

June 1956 - August 1956

summer of the language marches (186)

Saleem begins to hear voices

June 1956

"inside me, the voices rebounded against the walls of my skull." (186)
"All-India Radio"
Saleem loses hearing in his left ear after being hit by his father; he never mentions his voices to his family again (187)
"I am nine years old and lost in the confusion of other people's lives which are blurring together in the heat." (195)

Dr. Narlikar dies

December 1956

"when Doctor Narlikar betrayed him by dying, leaving behind him no record of my father's involvement in the tetrapod scheme, Ahmed Sinai... was swallowed up by the mouth of a long, snaking decline from which he would not emerge until, at the very end of his days, he at last fell in love with his wife." (201)

Wee Willie Winkie dies

December 1956


Evie Burns arrives in Bombay

January 1, 1957

"I loved Evie for perhaps six months of my life; two years later, she was back in America, knifing an old woman and being sent to reform school." (207)

Election campaigns

January 1957

Jan Sangh, E.M.S. Namboodiripad, Annadurai, Congress (211)

Bike collision, midnight children connection

January, 1957


Family Reunion in Agra

January 1957


Saleem connects with midnight's children

January 1957 - August 1957


Methwold's estate cut off from city by protestors

February 1957

Saleem starts Marathi language protestor chant, "directly responsible for triggering the violence" (219)

Saleem enters Evie's mind

February 1957


Ahmed: almost permanent state of intoxication

July 1957

taxes raised, end of tetrapod dream, locks himself in his office, "steady divorce from reality" (232, 233)
Sherri - guinea-pig for family curse experiments

Joseph D'Costa begins haunting Mary Pereira

July 1957


Freak weather ruins Five Year Plan

August 1957


Purushottam dies

August 1957


Amina visits Nadir, Saleem follows

August 1957

Qasim Khan (Nadir) is running for the official Communist Party of India

"War with Shiva" begins

August 1957


Saleem's Tenth Birthday

August 15, 1957

Uncle Hanif visits
Saleem given Alsatian puppy
Ibrahim announces support for Maha Gujarat Parishad
Party at Sinai's, not attended by hilltop gang because of Evie
Creates MCC (236-7)

Saleem catches a fever

August 15, 1957 - August 17, 1957

To return 21 years later (239)

1957 Elections

September 1957

this date is not exact, in the book Saleem places the election after his birthday
"And then it occurs to me that I have made another error--that the election of 1957 took place before, and not after, my tenth birthday; but although I have racked my brains, my memory refuses, stubbornly, to alter the sequence of events." (254)
All-India Congress wins, significant number of votes go to Communist Party

Drought, great cat invasion

September 1957


Evie Burns downfall

September 1957

Attacked by the Brass Monkey (258)

States Reorganization Committee

October 1957

A year after report submitted to Nehru, divisions implemented and India divided into 14 states and six centrally-administered "territories"
language divisions
Bombay: "United Maharashtra Party" vs. "Great Gujarat Party" (216)

Midnight's Children forums begin

January 1958


"The first mutilation of Saleem Sinai"

January 1958

On a Wednesday early in 1958:
School social, Saleem's hair pulled our by Mr. Emil Zagallo, Saleem loses his fingertip, Saleem's parents discover that his blood type does not match their own (265-268)

Exile, to Uncle Hanif's home

January 1958


Homi Catrack hands Saleem a note for Pia

June 1958


Jimmy Kapadia dies

June 1958


Exile ends, coming of age

June 1958

Monkey has taken the Saleem's position in the household (289)

Chinese invade Himalayan border

July 1958


MCC falls apart

July 1958


Saleem visits Schaapsteker

July 1958


Commander Sabarmati affair

July 1958

"Cutting up history to suit my nefarious purpose." (297)
"No, I am no longer proud of what I did; but remember that my demon of revenge had two heads." (298)
national crisis, declared guilty, not pardoned
ends Amina's visits to Nadir

Methwold's Estate empties

July 1958


Saleem's childhood ends

August 1958

"The world of my childhood had, indeed, come to an end." (305)

Hanif commits suicide

August 1958

"'He died for his hate of melodrama.'" (312)

Mary's truth

September 1958

"after eleven years he is your son" (321)
Musa forgiven

Second exile, move to Rawalpindi, Pakistan

September 1958


Pakistan coup plans made

October 7, 1958

"I moved pepperpots symbolically while he spoke."

Exile of president

November 1, 1958

Saleem accompanies Zulfikar on the mission (333)

"Four years of nothing"

November 1958 - 1962

Monkey converts
Bonzo the dog dies
India-Pakistan relations deteriorate
Zafar to join Army when he comes of age
US aid for Pakistan
Sino-Indian border skimishes
Indian census literacy levels 1961 - 23.7 percent
Elections of 1962

Monkey's 14th Birthday, "Jamila the Singer"

September 1, 1962


Telegram from Bombay

September 9, 1962

"Please come quick Sinai-Sahib suffered heartboot gravely ill salaams Alice Pereira." (338)

Defense Minister decides to use force against Chinese

September 9, 1962


Amina returns Ahmed to his original self, fall in love

September 16, 1962


"Indian Army Poised for All-out Effort"

October 9, 1962


"Unprovoked Attack on India"

October 15, 1962


Indian forces defeated, Thag La Ridge

October 20, 1962


MCC attacks Saleem for hiding information

October 20, 1962


"Indians Attack Under Cover of Artillery"

November 1, 1962


"Jawans Swing Into Action"

November 14, 1962


"Ultimate Panic in New Delhi! Indian Forces in Tatters!"

November 20, 1962



November 21, 1962


Saleem drained, no more voices

November 21, 1962

"It is certainly likely that what a telephone call arranged, what finally took place on November 21st, 1962, was done for the highest of reasons; that my parents ruined me for love." (345)
"Silence outside me. A dark room (blinds down). Can't see anything (nothing there to see). Silence inside me. A connection broken (for ever). Can't hear anything (nothing there to hear). Silence, like a desert. And a clear, free nose (nasal passages full of air). Air, like a vandal, invading my private places. Drained. I have been drained. The parahamsa, grounded. (For good.)" (348)

Move to Karachi, Pakistan

February 1963


Jamila's 15th birthday, visited by Uncle Puffs

September 1, 1963


Aadam Aziz dies

January 1, 1964

"Behind his foolishness and his rages, the cracks continued to spread; the disease munched steadily on his bones, while hatred ate the rest of him away." (317)

Engagement Ceremony, Saleem confesses his love

February 1964


Nehru dies

May 27, 1964


Rev Mother in Pakistan, petrol pump

June 1964

Leaves India during a power struggle, opens successful petrol pump with Pia

Amina towels fails, Ahmed drinking again

July 1964


Amina pregnant

January 1965


Rann of Kutch Incident

April 1965


Zafar kills his father

July 1965


Indo-Pakistani War begins

August 8, 1965

Pakistani troops cross ceasefire line and infiltrate the Indian Sector (387)

"The end," the bombing, Saleem's purity

September 22, 1965

"I rode the night-streets of the city, looking for death." (390)
air-raid deaths: Naseem Aziz, Pia, Zafar, Major Latif, Mutasim, Amina, Ahmed, Alia
"things people memories were buried under rubble beyond hope of salvation" (392)
"a miniscule but endless instant of knowing, before I am stripped of past present memory time shame and love, a fleeting but also timeless explosion in which I bow my head yes I acquiesce yes in the necessity of the blow, and then I am empty and free, because all the Saleems go pouring out of me" (392)


September 23, 1965