Midnight’s Children

Midnight’s Children

by

Salman Rushdie

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Saleem Sinai’s companion and his assumed lover, although he is impotent. Saleem reads his story aloud to Padma, and she is one of the strong and independent women working in Mary Pereira’s pickle factory. She intends on marrying Saleem, he presumably spends the rest of his short life with her.

Padma Quotes in Midnight’s Children

The Midnight’s Children quotes below are all either spoken by Padma or refer to Padma. 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 2: At the Pioneer Café Quotes

And while chutney—the same chutney which, back in 1957, my ayah Mary Pereira has made so perfectly; the grasshopper-green chutney which is forever associated with those days—carried them back into the world of my past, while chutney mellowed them and made them receptive, I spoke to them, gently, persuasively, and by a mixture of condiment and oratory kept myself out of the hands of the pernicious green-medicine men. I said: “My son will understand. As much as for any living being, I’m telling my story for him, so that afterwards, when I’ve lost my struggle against the cracks, he will know. Morality, judgement, character…it all starts with memory…and I am keeping carbons.”

Related Characters: Saleem Sinai (speaker), Mary Pereira, Padma, Aadam Sinai
Related Symbols: Pickles
Page Number: 241
Explanation and Analysis:
Quotes explanation long mobile
Book 3: Sam and the Tiger Quotes

Who what am I? My answer: I am the sum total of everything that went before me, of all I have been seen done, of everything done-to-me. I am everyone everything whose being-in-the-world affected was affected by mine. I am anything that happens after I’ve gone which would not have happened if I had not come. Nor am I particularly exceptional in this matter; each “I,” every one of the now-six-hundred-million-plus of us, contains a similar multitude. I repeat for the last time: to understand me, you’ll have to swallow a world.

Related Characters: Saleem Sinai (speaker), Padma
Page Number: 440-1
Explanation and Analysis:
Quotes explanation short mobile
Book 3: A Wedding Quotes

“Women have made me; and also unmade. Form Reverend Mother to the Widow, and even beyond, I have been at the mercy of the so-called (erroneously, in my opinion!) gentler sex. It is, perhaps, a matter of connection: is not Mother India, Bharat-Mata, commonly thought of as female? And, as you know, there’s no escape from her.”

Page Number: 465
Explanation and Analysis:
Quotes explanation short mobile
Get the entire Midnight’s Children LitChart as a printable PDF.
Midnight s children.pdf.medium

Padma Character Timeline in Midnight’s Children

The timeline below shows where the character Padma appears in Midnight’s Children. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Book 1: Mercurochrome
Sex and Gender Theme Icon
Saleem introduces his companion, Padma, an uneducated and illiterate woman. Padma, whose name roughly translate to “The One Who Possesses... (full context)
Sex and Gender Theme Icon
Identity and Nationality Theme Icon
Religion Theme Icon
...as a child. He puts on the sheet, and both Aadam and Naseem respond angrily. Padma insists that Saleem read his story out loud to her as he writes. (full context)
Book 1: Hit-the-Spittoon
Truth and Storytelling Theme Icon
Sex and Gender Theme Icon
Padma is hooked on Saleem’s story, and she has stopped nagging him to eat and sleep.... (full context)
Book 1: A Public Announcement
British Colonialism and Postcolonialism Theme Icon
Identity and Nationality Theme Icon
...just six short months—“tick, tock”). Saleem interrupts his own story to complain about a doctor Padma recently called on to examine the cracks in his skin. Padma shoos the doctor away... (full context)
Book 1: Tick, Tock
Sex and Gender Theme Icon
Saleem continues his story for an eager Padma; but before he does, he quickly recaps how far he has come. He flies through... (full context)
Book 2: The Fisherman’s Pointing Finger
British Colonialism and Postcolonialism Theme Icon
Identity and Nationality Theme Icon
 Saleem continues his story and tells Padma about a framed painting hanging on his bedroom wall in Buckingham Villa, left over from... (full context)
Book 2: Accident in a Washing-chest
Truth and Storytelling Theme Icon
Sex and Gender Theme Icon
Before Saleem continues his story, he notes that Padma has been gone for two whole days, following her unreasonable and angry outburst at his... (full context)
Book 2: All-India Radio
Truth and Storytelling Theme Icon
British Colonialism and Postcolonialism Theme Icon
Padma has not returned, and Saleem is still feeling her absence. Alone at the pickle factory... (full context)
Book 2: My Tenth Birthday
Sex and Gender Theme Icon
 Padma has finally returned, and she is full of apologies for Saleem. For the past week,... (full context)
Book 2: At the Pioneer Café
Truth and Storytelling Theme Icon
Identity and Nationality Theme Icon
 Saleem tells Padma of a strange dream he had while delirious. In the throes of fever—which he assures... (full context)
Truth and Storytelling Theme Icon
Identity and Nationality Theme Icon
...has come to visit. He is accompanied by a caretaker whom Saleem refuses to identify—yet. Padma hints that Saleem should see another doctor, but he refuses. He must continue to work... (full context)
Truth and Storytelling Theme Icon
Fragments and Partitioning Theme Icon
...by an unknown paymaster to stand outside polling stations armed with sticks, rocks, and knives. Padma interrupts Saleem to ask about the date, and he suddenly realizes that he has again... (full context)
Book 2: Revelations
Sex and Gender Theme Icon
As Saleem continues his story for a rapt Padma, Narlikar’s women have begun to demolish Methwold’s Estate, and a massive cloud of dust settles... (full context)
Book 3: The Buddha
Sex and Gender Theme Icon
Identity and Nationality Theme Icon
Saleem begins to tell Padma the story of his time in the Pakistani army, claiming that Jamila sent him to... (full context)
Identity and Nationality Theme Icon
Padma is disappointed in Saleem for leading the troops to Sheikh Mujib, but Saleem never questions... (full context)
Book 3: In the Sundarbans
Sex and Gender Theme Icon
Fragments and Partitioning Theme Icon
...and he has only led the boys away from Dacca to avoid following further orders. Padma is relieved that Saleem has come to his senses; however, now the four soldiers are... (full context)
Book 3: The Shadow of the Mosque
Truth and Storytelling Theme Icon
Sex and Gender Theme Icon
...that he now has twenty-six pickle-jars present for each of the chapters in his story. Padma continues to enjoy the story and Saleem’s company. She talks of a Kashmiri vacation together,... (full context)
Book 3: A Wedding
Sex and Gender Theme Icon
Saleem continues his story, telling a captivated Padma that on February 23, 1975, he marries Parvati-the-witch. Padma immediately becomes upset, but Saleem quickly... (full context)
Book 3: Abracadabra
Identity and Nationality Theme Icon
...They still have “unfinished business” that will persist as long as Saleem lives. For now, Padma wants to be married in Kashmir, and Saleem agrees. (full context)
Sex and Gender Theme Icon
Arriving at the factory, Saleem meets a feisty Padma for the first time, and standing at the top of the stairs is his former... (full context)