Midnight’s Children

Midnight’s Children

by

Salman Rushdie

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Amina’s second husband and protagonist Saleem’s father. Ahmed is first introduced as the suitor of Amina’s sister, Alia; however, Ahmed quickly falls in love with Amina after she is divorced from her first husband, and he never does propose to Alia. Ahmed has already been married and divorced by the time he marries Amina, and Amina’s mother, Reverend Mother, dislikes him from the start. Ahmed and Amina’s marriage is generally an unhappy union, in which Amina continues to pine over her first husband, and Ahmed sinks deeper and deeper into alcoholism and depression. Both of Ahmed’s children, Saleem and the Brass Monkey, have a strained relationship with their father, and he is separated from his children for four years when their mother moves them to Pakistan without him. Ahmed’s relationship with his family finally improves after he suffers a cardiac complication, but for most of the story he alienates himself from his family. He is killed after moving to Pakistan in an air-raid during the Indo-Pakistani War.

Ahmed Sinai Quotes in Midnight’s Children

The Midnight’s Children quotes below are all either spoken by Ahmed Sinai or refer to Ahmed Sinai. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Truth and Storytelling Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Penguin edition of Midnight’s Children published in 1980.
Book 1: Under the Carpet Quotes

“Change your name,” Ahmed Sinai said. “Time for a fresh start. Throw Mumtaz and her Nadir Khan out of the window, I’ll choose you a new name. Amina. Amina Sinai: you’d like that?”

Page Number: 68
Explanation and Analysis:
Book 1: Many-headed Monsters Quotes

“It was only a matter of time,” my father said, with every appearance of pleasure; but time has been an unsteady affair, in my experience, not a thing to be relied upon. It could even be partitioned: the clocks in Pakistan would run a half an hour ahead of their Indian counterparts…Mr. Kemal, who wanted nothing to do with Partition, was fond of saying, “Here’s proof of the folly of the scheme! Those Leaguers plan to abscond with a whole thirty minutes! Time without Partitions,” Mr. Kemal cried, “That’s the ticket!” And S. P. Butt said, “If they can change the time just like that, what’s real any more?” I ask you? What’s true?”

Related Characters: Saleem Sinai (speaker), Ahmed Sinai, Mustapha Kemal, Mr. S. P. Butt
Page Number: 86-7
Explanation and Analysis:
Get the entire Midnight’s Children LitChart as a printable PDF.
Midnight’s Children PDF

Ahmed Sinai Character Timeline in Midnight’s Children

The timeline below shows where the character Ahmed Sinai appears in Midnight’s Children. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Book 1: Under the Carpet
Sex and Gender Theme Icon
...Zulfikar falls in love with Emerald and silently vows to marry her. Alia begins seeing Ahmed Sinai, a young, divorced merchant. Reverend Mother is sure that Ahmed intends on marrying Alia... (full context)
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...and his youngest daughter is set to be married. Alia, however, continues to wait for Ahmed to propose. (full context)
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In January 1946, Zulfikar and Emerald are married, and at the wedding, Ahmed falls in love with a very depressed Mumtaz, much to Alia’s dismay. Ahmed and Mumtaz... (full context)
Book 1: A Public Announcement
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Saleem continues his story with Amina, who having moved to Delhi with Ahmed, wakes for the first time in a new city and thinks that the sun has... (full context)
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...diligently tends to her new home, decorating and settling in, but she fails to love Ahmed. She had married him for children, and since they don’t have any yet, Amina is... (full context)
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As Amina silently picks him apart, Ahmed slowly begins to resemble Nadir—he gains weight and his hair turns thin and greasy. Amina... (full context)
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Later, Amina is irritated as she cooks for Ahmed. His distant cousin Zohar is visiting, and Amina, who has special news to share and... (full context)
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Suddenly, Ahmed’s business partners, Mustapha Kemal and Mr. S. P. Butt, arrive excitedly at the Sinais’ and... (full context)
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...movement, is active in Delhi, which is home to a large Muslim population—including Amina and Ahmed. They hang signs near mosques demanding, “NO PARTITION OR ELSE PERDITION! MUSLIMS ARE THE JEWS... (full context)
Book 1: Many-headed Monsters
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In the days following the burning of the Muslim bicycle warehouse, Ahmed uncharacteristically stays at home, and Amina is unable to take Lafifa Das up on his... (full context)
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Unbeknownst to each other, both Ahmed and Amina take separate taxis to Old Fort—an ancient part of the city of Delhi... (full context)
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Meanwhile, as Ahmed, Mr. Butt, and Kemal place their bags of money in the designated Ravana tenement, the... (full context)
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...returns home from Old Fort and decides to keep her son’s fortune a secret from Ahmed. Ahmed arrives later, covered in soot and crying, his warehouse having been torched` by the... (full context)
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Amina is unhappy at the prospect of moving to Bombay, but Ahmed collects his insurance money from the destroyed warehouse and begins to finalize the arrangements. He... (full context)
Book 1: Methwold
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...European palaces, including Versailles Villa, Buckingham Villa, Escorial Villa, and Sans Souci—for ridiculously cheap, and Ahmed is interested in buying one with his insurance money. However, Methwold will only sell his... (full context)
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Despite Amina’s objections, Ahmed decides to purchase one of Methwold’s mansions (Versailles Villa and Sans Souci have already been... (full context)
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Methwold invites Ahmed to have a cocktail in the garden, an evening tradition that has occurred every night... (full context)
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Ahmed and Amina move into Buckingham Villa (Escorial Villa has been turned into flats). The future... (full context)
Book 1: Tick, Tock
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Amina, terribly pregnant and miserable, takes a fitful nap. As she dreams, Ahmed visits with Methwold in the garden. Waxing nostalgic and short on time, Methwold reminisces about... (full context)
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Ahmed rushes Amina to Dr. Narlikar’s hospital, where Vanita continues to strain with the assistance of... (full context)
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Having paced for hours, Ahmed looks for a chair, and finding one, he carries it back to the waiting room.... (full context)
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With the staff engaged with Ahmed, Mary Pereira is left alone with the two midnight babies, Vanita having finally given birth... (full context)
Book 2: The Fisherman’s Pointing Finger
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Amina and Ahmed bring baby Saleem home from the hospital, including his umbilical cord in an old pickle-jar.... (full context)
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...In this way, Saleem considers himself the son of four fathers; Nadir, Willie, Methwold, and Ahmed Sinai. (full context)
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Ahmed, a “self-important man,” never forgives Saleem for breaking his toe, and he resents the attention... (full context)
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An intoxicated Ahmed fears getting lost in the city streets, so he works from his home office. Disillusioned... (full context)
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One evening, Dr. Narlikar comes to visit Ahmed and together they drive out to the seaside. There, Narlikar pitches Ahmed a business idea... (full context)
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Ahmed receives a letter from the State alerting him that all of his assets have been... (full context)
Book 2: Snakes and Ladders
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...the eighty-one-year-old man who founded the institute, moves into the top floor of Buckingham Villa. Ahmed’s frozen assets make living difficult, and to help ends meet, Amina allows him to move... (full context)
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With Ahmed sinking further into alcoholism and depression, Amina writes her parents for advice and three days... (full context)
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Reverend Mother takes over Amina’s kitchen and begins cooking all the meals. Ahmed makes slight improvements eating Reverend Mother’s cooking (which is “imbued with the personality of its... (full context)
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Ismail, despite waiving his own fee, still requires money to fight Ahmed’s case in court, and Amina, now pregnant with her second child, secretly frequents a local... (full context)
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As Ahmed and Amina accompany Hanif and Pia to the theater to see The Lovers of Kashmir,... (full context)
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...in the excitement of Saleem’s near-death experience and the news that Ismail has finally won Ahmed’s court case. (full context)
Book 2: Accident in a Washing-chest
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...notes, “like all the women in our family,” and the Brass Monkey’s poor behavior and Ahmed’s obsession with Narlikar’s tetrapods wears her down. She develops terrible corns on her feet, and... (full context)
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...him insane (“Oh Saleem, has your brain gone raw?”) and Mary accuses him of blasphemy. Ahmed reaches out and strikes Saleem in the side of his head, deafening his left ear... (full context)
Book 2: All-India Radio
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...He is suddenly privy to surprises and knows what’s inside wrapped presents, and through entering Ahmed’s thoughts, he sees the latest Coca-Cola girl naked. He enters Amina’s thoughts, filled with household... (full context)
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Despite having his assets unfrozen, Ahmed never regains life below the belt, and “his sex lays dormant, a woolly elephant in... (full context)
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...and move into his apartment. They take over the running of his hospital and cut Ahmed out of the tetrapod business. Once again, on account of Narlikar’s tetrapods, Ahmed is left... (full context)
Book 2: My Tenth Birthday
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Meanwhile, in the weeks following Dr. Narlikar’s death, Ahmed sinks deeper into alcoholism and seclusion. He stops coming to the table for meals, and... (full context)
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Even in the midst of his winning streak, Ahmed continues to drink. The last of the Coca-Cola girls quit, leaving him without a secretary.... (full context)
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In a drunken stupor, Ahmed attempts to place a curse on Sherri, Saleem’s mongrel dog—the very same curse he had... (full context)
Book 2: Alpha and Omega
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Amina and Ahmed learn that Saleem’s blood does not match their own. Type A and O respectively (and... (full context)
Book 2: The Kolynos Kid
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...as to why he was sent away in the first place. She warns Saleem that Ahmed has not been happy lately and that terrible things have been happening. When he mentions... (full context)
Book 2: Commander Sabarmati’s Baton
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Meanwhile, Saleem finds that he is no longer his parents’ favorite child. Both Ahmed and Amina plainly favor the Brass Monkey, and she, unsuccessfully, “does her best to fall... (full context)
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...and apartments. The women want to raze the mansions and put up a skyscraper, but Ahmed refuses to sell. (full context)
Book 2: Revelations
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...thirty-seventh day of mourning, Mary is convinced that she sees the ghost of Joseph approaching Ahmed in his office. Before Ahmed notices the ghost, Mary blurts out her secret, confessing to... (full context)
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Shocked and confused, Ahmed turns to the ghost and says, “That, in the corner, is my old servant Musa,... (full context)
Book 2: Movements Performed by Pepperpots
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...the days following Hanif’s mourning period, the dust begins to settle around Buckingham Villa, but Ahmed remains drunk and angry. Surprisingly, he doesn’t blame Mary, or even Saleem, for the midnight... (full context)
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...leaves, all the servants quit, except for Alice Pereira, who stays behind to watch over Ahmed. When Saleem arrives in Pakistan, he notices that his “thought-transmissions are jammed.” He is unable... (full context)
Book 2: Drainage and the Desert
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...a telegram from Alice Pereira. She tells Amina to return to Bombay at once as Ahmed has suffered a “heartboot.” Unsure of what a “heartboot” is exactly, Amina and the children... (full context)
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Alice has remained with Ahmed these last four years. As his only companion, Alice has been answering his phone, fetching... (full context)
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Back in Bombay, Amina takes to nursing Ahmed back to health. She pours all of her energy into his rehabilitation, “driven by an... (full context)
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...between China and India builds, and Indians of Chinese descent endure racism and government internment, Ahmed and Amina finally enjoy a decent marriage. Ahmed has also begun to show Saleem affection... (full context)
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...China suddenly declares a ceasefire, content with gaining control of the Himalayas. The next day, Ahmed and Amina pack a picnic and head toward the beach with Saleem and Jamila Singer;... (full context)
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...from his surgery, his sinuses are clear but his telepathy is gone. Amina finally convinces Ahmed to move to Pakistan, and after finally selling Buckingham Villa to Narlikar’s women, they all... (full context)
Book 2: Jamila Singer
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...emotions. He smells Alia’s hypocrisy and jealousy, despite her outward pleasantness. Alia has never forgiven Ahmed or Amina for their deception, and she is unable to hide her true feelings from... (full context)
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Soon after arriving in Karachi, Ahmed declares that the Sinais will now be new people. He decides to build a new... (full context)
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Ahmed and Amina continue to finally enjoy a good marriage. Ahmed’s loins have begun to thaw,... (full context)
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...He has heard about her from General Zulfikar, and he hopes to make her famous. Ahmed agrees, and within six months, Jamila is famous. (full context)
Book 2: How Saleem Achieved Purity
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Soon, Alia begins to work her revenge on Ahmed and Amina. She begins, like Mary Pereira and Reverend Mother, to stir her emotions into... (full context)
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...his seven daughters. Another bomb falls on the home Alia, killing Saleem’s entire family, including Ahmed, Amina, and their unborn child. The final bomb in Karachi falls on and destroys Ahmed’s... (full context)