A child-hating gynecologist, Ahmed Sinai’s business partner, and fellow resident of Methwold’s Estate. Narlikar owns a hospital in Bombay, and he delivers both Saleem and Shiva. With the help of Ahmed, Narlikar endeavors to design and mass produce tetrapods, physical structures built over the sea and supported by four legs. Narlikar is obsessed with the concept of tetrapods, which make it possible for him to reclaim land from the sea, and this obsession ultimately kills him. A notorious misogynist, Narlikar becomes enraged when a group of women “perform the rite of puja” near one of his tetrapods and he attacks them, causing the structure to become unstable in the chaos, pinning him underwater and drowning him. Ironically, Narlikar’s heirs end up being a group of strong and independent women who move into his apartment and take over his business interests. Narlikar’s women ultimately buy all of the property on Methwold’s Estate and plan to demolish it and erect a skyscraper in its place, a symbol of Bombay’s modern progress.
Dr. Narlikar Character Timeline in Midnight’s Children
The timeline below shows where the character Dr. Narlikar appears in Midnight’s Children. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Book 1: Many-headed Monsters
Book 1: Tick, Tock
...As the Muslim nation of Pakistan is born, Vanita endures “protracted, unproductive labor” at Dr. Narlikar’s hospital, and countless Indians celebrate in Bombay streets. At the same time, Punjabi Indians “wash... (full context)
Book 2: The Fisherman’s Pointing Finger
...of the residents of Methwold’s Estate are enamored with Saleem as well (except for Dr. Narlikar, who hates children and advocates for public birth control), and they take turns “borrowing” him.... (full context)
Book 2: Accident in a Washing-chest
...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 “every step is... (full context)
Book 2: All-India Radio
...after his death, a steady stream of female heirs arrives on Methwold’s Estate to manage Narlikar’s affairs. Narlikar, who hated women and children, is surrounded in death by strong women who... (full context)
Book 2: My Tenth Birthday