Ahmed Sinai’s business partner, Dr. Narlikar, encourages Ahmed to invest in and build tetrapods, elevated physical structures held above the sea by four legs. Narlikar’s tetrapods effectively reclaim land from the sea through the creation of real estate, a concept in keeping with Rushdie’s themes of British colonialism and postcolonialism. In this way, Narlikar is looking to reclaim land that was lost or, in a sense, what had been taken from him during British colonialism—a symbolic repatriation. Sadly, Narlikar’s efforts are futile, and he is ultimately killed by his obsession when a tetrapod collapses on top of him and drowns him, leaving Ahmed financially ruined.
Tetrapod Term Timeline in Midnight’s Children
The timeline below shows where the term Tetrapod appears in Midnight’s Children. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Book 2: The Fisherman’s Pointing Finger
...the seaside. There, Narlikar pitches Ahmed a business idea in which they mass produce standing tetrapods to place over the water, thereby reclaiming the land beneath the sea. Ahmed agrees, and... (full context)
Book 2: Accident in a Washing-chest
...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 like... (full context)
Book 2: All-India Radio
...Narlikar decided to walk down by the sea where the city had arranged for one tetrapod to stand in the water. Once there, he finds several beggar-women surrounding the tetrapod “performing... (full context)