A wealthy Muslim woman who finances the Hummingbird’s political campaign. Her name roughly translates to “the Queen of Nothing” in English, and she is Aadam’s close friend and intellectual ally when the Reverend Mother refuses to discuss politics with him. Rani provides the lawyer and mullah, an Islamic advisor, when Aadam’s daughter, Mumtaz, marries Nadir Kahn, the Hummingbird’s personal secretary. She also gifts the couple a beautifully ornamented silver spittoon as a wedding gift, which the two spend countless happy hours playing hit-the-spittoon with. Rani is described as a pale woman who grows increasingly lighter as she suffers from an unknown illness, turning completely white by the time of her death, a phenomenon mirrored by postcolonial Indian businessmen. Rushdie’s depiction of modern Indians turning white underscores the lasting influence of British colonialism on postcolonial India.
Rani of Cooch Naheen Quotes in Midnight’s Children
The Midnight’s Children quotes below are all either spoken by Rani of Cooch Naheen or refer to Rani of Cooch Naheen. 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: 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: Hit-the-Spittoon Quotes
“I started off as a Kashmiri and not much of a Muslim. Then I got a bruise on the chest that turned me into an Indian. I’m still not much of a Muslim, but I’m all for Abdullah. He’s fighting my fight.”
Rani of Cooch Naheen Character Timeline in Midnight’s Children
The timeline below shows where the character Rani of Cooch Naheen appears in Midnight’s Children. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Book 1: Hit-the-Spittoon
...in politics. When Aadam wishes to discuss political happenings, he must go visit his friend, Rani of Cooch Naheen. Saleem notes that as his grandmother begins to age, she repeatedly refers... (full context)
...tobacco into a receptacle from increasing distances. Saleem describes an old photograph of Aadam and Rani meeting the Hummingbird, along with his personal secretary, Nadir Khan, who enjoys writing poetry and... (full context)
Book 1: Under the Carpet
...playing hit-the-spittoon, using a beautifully ornamented spittoon given to them as a wedding gift by Rani, who is now dying. Reverend Mother continues her angry silence and begins to grow fat,... (full context)
Book 2: How Saleem Achieved Purity