The Buddha of Suburbia

by

Hanif Kureishi

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Karim is a half-Indian teenager coming of age in the 1970s. At the beginning of the novel, he is interested in following fashion trends, trying drugs, and having as much sex as he can. He also wants desperately to escape the suburbs and move to London, as he believes that the suburbs are a place of misery and racism, while London will be the place where he can pursue his interests without inhibition. Despite identifying this dream, Karim is directionless, so he finds his father’s lover Eva and her son Charlie fascinating in part because both of them have definite directions for their lives. Karim’s coming of age over the course of the novel has two major thrusts: he develops an adult life (his career as an actor blossoms and he moves to America), and he begins to see people he once idolized as fully human with all the complexity that entails. For example, as Dad begins his relationship with Eva, Karim is forced to see his father as not just a boring suburbanite like he always thought, but rather as a full person with desires and contradictions that were invisible when Karim simply saw him as a parent. Over the course of the novel, Karim also develops a more complicated relationship to race. While he once identified almost fully with the white, English side of his identity, he comes to embrace his Indian side more, partially through genuine appreciation for his family and partially through realizing that allowing white people to exoticize him can be professionally and socially rewarding. In most of his relationships, Karim is flakey and selfish. Though he's interested in other people in an abstract sense, his true interest is in figuring out how he fits into the lives of others. Because of this, he finally comes of age when he realizes he's outgrown his love and admiration for Charlie and he can see himself on his own terms, rather than through the lens of others.

Karim Quotes in The Buddha of Suburbia

The The Buddha of Suburbia quotes below are all either spoken by Karim or refer to Karim. 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:
Coming of Age Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Penguin edition of The Buddha of Suburbia published in 1991.
Part 1, Chapter 1 Quotes

But divorce wasn't something that would occur to them. In the suburbs people rarely dreamed of striking out for happiness. It was all familiarity and endurance: security and safety were the reward of dullness.

Related Characters: Karim (speaker), Haroon (Dad), Mum
Page Number: 8
Explanation and Analysis:

I put my ear against the white paintwork of the door. Yes, God was talking to himself, but not intimately. He was speaking slowly, in a deeper voice than usual, as if he were addressing a crowd. He was hissing his s's and exaggerating his Indian accent. He'd spent years trying to be more of an Englishman, to be less risibly conspicuous, and now he was putting it back in spadeloads. Why?

Related Characters: Karim (speaker), Haroon (Dad), Eva
Page Number: 21
Explanation and Analysis:
Part 1, Chapter 2 Quotes

If Mum was irritated by Dad's aristocratic uselessness, she was also proud of his family. "They're higher than the Churchills," she said to people...This ensured there would be no confusion between Dad and the swarms of Indian peasants who came to Britain in the 1950s and 1960s, and of whom it was said they were not familiar with cutlery and certainly not with toilets...

Related Characters: Karim (speaker), Mum (speaker), Haroon (Dad)
Page Number: 24
Explanation and Analysis:

"The whites will never promote us," Dad said. "Not an Indian while there is a white man left on the earth. You don't have to deal with them—they still think they have an Empire when they don't have two pennies to rub together."

Related Characters: Haroon (Dad) (speaker), Karim, Anwar
Page Number: 27
Explanation and Analysis:
Part 1, Chapter 4 Quotes

Yeah, sometimes we were French, Jammie and I, and other times we went black American. The thing was, we were supposed to be English, but to the English we were always wogs and nigs and Pakis and the rest of it.

Related Characters: Karim (speaker), Jamila
Page Number: 53
Explanation and Analysis:

"Families aren't sacred, especially to Indian men, who talk about nothing else and act otherwise."

Related Characters: Jamila (speaker), Karim, Haroon (Dad), Anwar
Page Number: 55
Explanation and Analysis:

The lives of Anwar and Jeeta and Jamila were pervaded by fear of violence...Jeeta kept buckets of water around her bed in case the shop was firebombed in the night. Many of Jamila's attitudes were inspired by the possibility that a white group might kill one of us one day.

Related Characters: Karim (speaker), Jamila, Anwar, Princess Jeeta
Page Number: 56
Explanation and Analysis:
Part 1, Chapter 5 Quotes

I wonder if Charlie really knew this, felt this, or whether his life as he lived it from day to day was as fucked-up and perplexed as everyone else's.

Related Characters: Karim (speaker), Charlie
Page Number: 76
Explanation and Analysis:
Part 1, Chapter 7 Quotes

"That bastard, what does he think I am, his servant? I'm not a shopkeeper. Business isn't my best side, yaar, not my best. I'm the intellectual type, not one of those uneducated immigrant types who come here to slave all day and night and look dirty."

Related Characters: Changez (speaker), Karim, Anwar
Page Number: 107
Explanation and Analysis:
Part 1, Chapter 8 Quotes

Watching this, I was developing my own angry theories of love. Surely love had to be something more generous than this high-spirited egotism-à-deux? In their hands love seemed a narrow-eyed, exclusive, selfish bastard, to enjoy itself at the expense of a woman who now lay in bed in Auntie Jean's house, her life unconsidered. Mum's wretchedness was the price Dad had chosen to pay for his happiness. How could he have done it?

Related Characters: Karim (speaker), Haroon (Dad), Eva, Mum
Page Number: 116
Explanation and Analysis:
Part 2, Chapter 9 Quotes

...I saw she wanted to scour that suburban stigma right off her body. She didn't realize it was in the blood and not on the skin; she didn't see that there could be nothing more suburban than suburbanites repudiating themselves.

Related Characters: Karim (speaker), Eva
Page Number: 134
Explanation and Analysis:

"What a breed of people two hundred years of imperialism has given birth to. If the pioneers from the East India Company could see you. What puzzlement there'd be. Everyone looks at you, I'm sure, and thinks: an Indian boy, how exotic, how interesting, what stories of aunties and elephants we'll hear now from him. And you're from Orpington."

Related Characters: Shadwell (speaker), Karim
Page Number: 141
Explanation and Analysis:
Part 2, Chapter 10 Quotes

I wanted to tell him that the proletariat of the suburbs did have strong class feeling. It was virulent and hate-filled and directed entirely at the people beneath them.

Related Characters: Karim (speaker), Shadwell, Terry
Page Number: 149
Explanation and Analysis:

It was a wonderful trick and disguise. The one flaw, I giggled to myself, was his milky and healthy white teeth, which, to me, betrayed everything else.

Related Characters: Karim (speaker), Eva, Charlie
Page Number: 149
Explanation and Analysis:
Part 2, Chapter 11 Quotes

But as the days passed I watched Jeeta's progress. She certainly didn't want to go home. It was as if Jamila had educated her in possibility, the child being an example to the parent.

Related Characters: Karim (speaker), Jamila, Anwar, Princess Jeeta
Page Number: 172
Explanation and Analysis:

Eleanor's set, with their combination of class, culture and money, and their indifference to all three, was exactly the cocktail that intoxicated Eva's soul, but she could never get near it. This was unforced bohemia; this was what she sought; this was the apogee.

Related Characters: Karim (speaker), Eva, Eleanor
Page Number: 174
Explanation and Analysis:

For Eleanor's crowd hard words and sophisticated ideas were in the air they breathed from birth, and this language was the currency that bought you the best of what the world could offer. But for us it could only ever be a second language, consciously acquired.

Related Characters: Karim (speaker), Eleanor
Page Number: 178
Explanation and Analysis:
Part 2, Chapter 12 Quotes

As I sat there I began to recognize that this was one of the first times in my life I'd been aware of having a moral dilemma. Before, I'd done exactly what I wanted; desire was my guide and I was inhibited by nothing but fear. But now, at the beginning of my twenties, something was growing in me. Just as my body had changed at puberty, now I was developing a sense of guilt, a sense not only of how I appeared to others, but of how I appeared to myself...

Related Characters: Karim (speaker), Changez, Matthew Pyke, Eleanor
Page Number: 186
Explanation and Analysis:

With their poking into life's odd corners, Pyke and Marlene seemed to me to be more like intrepid journalists than swimmers in the sensual. Their desire to snuggle up to real life betrayed a basic separation from it. And their obsession with how the world worked just seemed another form of self-obsession.

Related Characters: Karim (speaker), Matthew Pyke, Marlene
Page Number: 191
Explanation and Analysis:
Part 2, Chapter 14 Quotes

But I did feel, looking at these strange creatures now—the Indians—that in some way these were my people, and that I'd spent my life denying or avoiding that fact. I felt ashamed and incomplete at the same time, as if half of me were missing, and as if I'd been colluding with my enemies, those whites who wanted Indians to be like them.

Related Characters: Karim (speaker), Haroon (Dad), Anwar
Page Number: 212
Explanation and Analysis:
Part 2, Chapter 15 Quotes

And we pursued English roses as we pursued England; by possessing these prizes, this kindness and beauty, we stared defiantly into the eye of the Empire and all its self-regard—into the eye of Hairy Back, into the eye of the Great Fucking Dane. We became part of England and yet proudly stood outside it.

Related Characters: Karim (speaker), Matthew Pyke, Eleanor, Gene, Hairy Back
Related Symbols: The Great Dane
Page Number: 227
Explanation and Analysis:

You go all your life thinking of your parents as these crushing protective monsters with infinite power over you, and then there's a day when you turn round, catch them unexpectedly, and they're just weak, nervous people trying to get by with each other.

Related Characters: Karim (speaker), Haroon (Dad), Mum
Page Number: 228
Explanation and Analysis:
Part 2, Chapter 17 Quotes

"Well then, can't you stop standing there and looking so English?"

"What d'you mean, English?"

"So shocked, so self-righteous and moral, so loveless and incapable of dancing. They are narrow, the English. It is a Kingdom of Prejudice over there. Don't be like it!"

Related Characters: Karim (speaker), Charlie (speaker), Frankie
Page Number: 254
Explanation and Analysis:
Part 2, Chapter 18 Quotes

"We have to empower ourselves. Look at those people who live on sordid housing estates. They expect others—the Government—to do everything for them. They are only half human, because only half active. We have to find a way to enable them to grow. Individual human flourishing isn't something that either socialism or conservatism caters for."

Related Characters: Eva (speaker), Karim, Haroon (Dad)
Page Number: 263
Explanation and Analysis:
Get the entire The Buddha of Suburbia LitChart as a printable PDF.
The Buddha of Suburbia PDF

Karim Character Timeline in The Buddha of Suburbia

The timeline below shows where the character Karim appears in The Buddha of Suburbia. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Part 1, Chapter 1
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Karim introduces himself as "an Englishman born and bred, almost" from the south London suburbs. He... (full context)
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When Karim hands Dad the towel, Dad falls to his knees, kicks up into a headstand, and... (full context)
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...immediately looks suspicious, as Dad hasn't practiced yoga for months: she knows something is up. Karim describes Mum as a plump and generally timid person, but aggressive when exasperated. Mum snaps... (full context)
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Dad asks Karim to fetch a yoga book and read from it out loud. Karim fetches the book,... (full context)
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Karim offers to go with Dad to Eva's, trying his best to sound like he'd be... (full context)
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Karim guides Dad the four miles on the bus to Eva's house and explains to the... (full context)
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Karim persuades Dad to stop off at a pub for a beer on the way and... (full context)
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Dad confides in Karim that he's scared for his speaking engagement. When they arrive at Eva's, Karim notes that... (full context)
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Karim feels he's being watched and looks up the stairs to see Charlie, Eva's son, sitting... (full context)
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Karim explains that Mum finds Eva horrible, but that he thinks she's the only adult he... (full context)
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Back in Eva's living room, Karim takes in the scene: the floor is clear and on it sit four middle-aged couples... (full context)
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Karim watches as Dad sits with the couples on the floor. He thinks that the couples... (full context)
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Karim curses, but Charlie tells Karim to watch. Dad leads the group in a few yoga... (full context)
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As Charlie rolls a joint, he asks Karim if he meditates every morning with chanting. Karim lies and says he does meditate, but... (full context)
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Karim creeps down the stairs. He watches the group meditating for a moment before stepping out... (full context)
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Charlie is lying on his back and invites Karim to lie next to him. Karim complies and Charlie tells Karim he needs to "wear... (full context)
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Suddenly, Karim hears something and turns around to see Dad's head poking through the trapdoor. Charlie zips... (full context)
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Mum appears in the bathroom doorway looking tired and disappointed. She asks Karim to make her a bed on the couch so that she doesn't have to sleep... (full context)
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...Dad refuses to speak. He mimes and points to things, and Mum cries in frustration. Karim explains that both Mum and Dad work, Dad as a civil servant and Mum in... (full context)
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One day during what Karim terms "the Great Sulk," he opens up Mum's sketchpad. He finds a drawing of Dad... (full context)
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Karim thinks that it would be interesting if Eva called the house, as it would test... (full context)
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A few weeks later, Dad calls Karim to his room and invites Karim to attend his "appearance" that night. Dad asks Karim... (full context)
Part 1, Chapter 2
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Karim backs up and explains how Dad came to be in England. Dad grew up in... (full context)
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...the Civil Service and ended up in the misery of the south London suburbs. When Karim was about ten, Dad discovered Eastern philosophy and fell in love with it. When Karim's... (full context)
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...an Indian man while white men still exist. Anwar insisted that Dad was just lazy. Karim explains that Dad was very lonely and needed to talk about his "China-things," so he'd... (full context)
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In the present, Karim leads Dad off the bus and around a wealthy neighborhood called Chiselhurst. Finally, Dad snaps... (full context)
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Finally, Karim and Dad reach their destination. Dad explains that the house belongs to Carl and Marianne,... (full context)
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Karim settles on a sofa and admires the books and objects d'art in the living room.... (full context)
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Karim remembers once when he asked Dad to tell him "the facts of life." Rather than... (full context)
Part 1, Chapter 3
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Karim describes Ted and Jean as normal, unhappy alcoholics. They own a central heating business and... (full context)
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Karim tries to work out why Ted and Jean are here tonight. He reasons that when... (full context)
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Karim explains that Dad and Ted actually like each other. Ted often confides in Dad about... (full context)
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Dad surveys the room in silence. Karim watches and wonders if Dad is just going to be silent the entire time, but... (full context)
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Charlie notices Karim and greets him. Karim is fascinated as Charlie talks about his future success. Karim forces... (full context)
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When Karim and Dad get home, Mum is waiting for them in the hall. She's on the... (full context)
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The next day, Karim rides his bike in the direction of Ted and Jean's house. He decides to stop... (full context)
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Karim turns away and decides to urinate on Hairy Back's car tires. He notices the Great... (full context)
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When Karim finally arrives at Ted and Jean's house, he's in a horrible mood. Jean leads Karim... (full context)
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Jean walks Ted into the room. As Jean begins to try to start the conversation, Karim cuts in and asks Ted about football. It takes a moment, but Ted finally sits... (full context)
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Jean fixes her stare on Karim and begins to say that she and Ted never had a problem with Mum marrying... (full context)
Part 1, Chapter 4
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Karim realizes that Eva is in his life to stay. He feels as though she's there... (full context)
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Ted and Dad good-naturedly insult Karim's uselessness. Ted admits that Jean sent him to check on the Buddhism thing. Karim mentions... (full context)
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After that incident, Karim begins to fear that Mum and Dad will murder each other. The following Saturday, he... (full context)
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Karim finally enters the shop and greets Jeeta. Jeeta asks him to take Jamila on a... (full context)
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Jamila pulls Karim into a public toilet, and he thinks that, though he doesn't believe in monogamy, his... (full context)
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Karim smells something horrible as he climbs the stairs. When he finally enters the flat, he... (full context)
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Karim affirms Jamila's assessment, but Anwar angrily says that he can get his family to obey... (full context)
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Karim kicks the pot of urine and turns to leave with Jamila, but thinks of Anwar... (full context)
Part 1, Chapter 5
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Karim cycles madly through London, thinking he's ready to retire. He thinks about school and how... (full context)
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Karim wonders why Anwar is literally staking his life on Muslim beliefs, when he's never seemed... (full context)
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Karim and Jamila talk daily and eventually call a meeting to decide what to do about... (full context)
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...driving. Charlie offers Helen a ride, but she refuses. After Charlie leaves, Helen apologizes to Karim for the Great Dane, but he cuts her off and rudely asks why she's at... (full context)
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Karim looks up and sees Jamila hurrying towards them. Karim fills Helen in on what's going... (full context)
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Dad is lying on his bed listening to the radio when Karim, Jamila, and Helen enter the bedroom. Dad confirms Karim's theory that old Indian men return... (full context)
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Later, when Karim, Jamila, and Helen knock on Dad's door again, they can hear Dad snoring. Helen suggests... (full context)
Part 1, Chapter 6
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Karim and Helen accompany Jeeta and Jamila to the airport to pick up Jamila's new husband.... (full context)
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...awkward. Jamila and Changez don't look at each other, and even Helen is unusually subdued. Karim thinks that Anwar doesn't know anything about his own daughter. The party picks up when... (full context)
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Jamila seems wholly resigned to her marriage. She'd called Karim the day after her decision, and Karim had thought it typical of her to make... (full context)
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Outside, Dad tells Karim to get into Eva's car. Karim tries to refuse, but Dad insists. Karim says goodbye... (full context)
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When they get to Eva's house, Eva sends Karim upstairs to see Charlie. Karim is annoyed, but he sees Eva and Dad groping at... (full context)
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Charlie embraces Karim, and Karim grabs Charlie's buttocks. When Charlie jumps, Karim grabs between his legs. Charlie throws... (full context)
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Karim asks what'll happen to his family, and asks what will happen to Mum. Dad gets... (full context)
Part 1, Chapter 7
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When Karim gets home, Mum and Dad are in the bedroom and Allie is banging on their... (full context)
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Eva settles Karim in her spare bedroom. Late that night she comes in with a book and informs... (full context)
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Karim lies in bed and thinks about the difference between interesting people and nice people. He... (full context)
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Karim begins splitting his time between Eva's house, his parents' empty house, and Changez and Jamila's... (full context)
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Karim spends much of his time at Changez and Jamila's two-room flat. Jamila lives in the... (full context)
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Karim and Changez become friends, as Karim finds Changez easy to bully. Karim enjoys that Changez... (full context)
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...read any of her suggested books on politics. One day in a bookstore, Changez asks Karim if Jamila will ever sleep with him. Karim says that Changez is too ugly, and... (full context)
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Karim explains that having children is extremely important to Changez. Recently, Anwar had asked Changez if... (full context)
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Karim calls Mum every day and finally decides to visit her. As he walks to Jean... (full context)
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...11:00 in the morning. Jean is furious, but it has no effect on Ted. When Karim gets to the house, Ted snags him immediately and asks about Dad. Ted says he'd... (full context)
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Mum is curled up in a pink nightie and looks miserable. Karim is afraid her unhappiness might be infectious. He begins to tell her about the bizarre... (full context)
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Karim kisses Mum and tries to sneak out without saying goodbye to anyone, but Ted grabs... (full context)
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Karim and Jamila have sex, and he asks her if she cares for Changez at all.... (full context)
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Jamila says that she's preparing for something, she just doesn't know what. She and Karim have sex again and then fall asleep. Karim wakes several hours later to see Changez... (full context)
Part 1, Chapter 8
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Dad, yelling, asks Karim how he managed to fail all his exams. Karim insists it's easy when you don't... (full context)
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One day, Karim opens the door to Ted, tools in hand. Eva had heard from Dad that Ted... (full context)
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Finally, Ted finishes the house. Karim often wonders what Ted tells Jean at the end of each night, and wonders how... (full context)
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Karim says that Ted must've talked about money, a subject that bothers even him. Eva buys... (full context)
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Karim watches the romance between Dad and Eva grow. When he watches them speak, he realizes... (full context)
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Eva decides to sell her house and move to London, and Karim suspects she wants to try to distract Dad from his misery about Mum. It's a... (full context)
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As Dad and Karim pack Charlie's attic, they discuss that Charlie's problem is that his band doesn't have an... (full context)
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Karim harbors a desire to play rhythm guitar with Charlie's band, Mustn't Grumble. When he brings... (full context)
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At night, Karim fantasizes about London and thinks about the particular sound of London. He realizes he wants... (full context)
Part 2, Chapter 9
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...covered in paintings that mysteriously disappear, and Eva finally admits that Charlie is stealing them. Karim sleeps on the couch and Charlie sleeps on the floor when he visits. Dad is... (full context)
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Karim still feels directionless, but he begins to explore the city. He thinks of London as... (full context)
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One night, Charlie invites Karim out to the bar with him. Charlie doesn't seem to really want to go, and... (full context)
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Karim leans Charlie against a wall to steady him and looks around the room. Karim looks... (full context)
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As Karim starts to move Charlie out of the bar, the band takes the stage. Karim watches... (full context)
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Charlie is excited as he and Karim walk. He insists that the sixties are over now, and the band they saw is... (full context)
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...meditation group. She invites Shadwell and all of his contacts, and the whole thing bothers Karim. At the party, Dad and Karim don't know anyone. Karim realizes that Eva is treating... (full context)
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Karim is relieved to see Jamila, Changez, and Shinko getting out of a cab. He explains... (full context)
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Changez and Karim shake hands. Karim insists that Jamila is her own person, not his or Changez's. Changez... (full context)
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Eva butts into Karim's conversation, yanks him off the sofa, and steers him towards Shadwell. Karim tries to resist,... (full context)
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Karim prepares a monologue over the next few weeks with Eva's help. On the day of... (full context)
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After the audition, Shadwell takes Karim for coffee and offers him "the part." It comes to light that Eva never told... (full context)
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Shadwell asks Karim if being "a half-caste in England" is difficult. Karim is beyond embarrassed and can barely... (full context)
Part 2, Chapter 10
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Rehearsals for The Jungle Book don't start until fall, so Karim moves back in with Mum until then. He watches her slowly transform herself and the... (full context)
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When rehearsals begin, Karim moves back in with Dad and Eva. He loves the hard work of acting, and... (full context)
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Karim and Shadwell begin arguing during the second week when Karim has his costume fitting. His... (full context)
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Shadwell brings the accent up again in front of the entire cast, and Karim pleads that it's a political thing for him. None of the other actors stand up... (full context)
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Karim explains that he likes Terry, but finds his views on the working class ridiculous. Terry... (full context)
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Karim doesn't spend much time at home, but he notices that Eva isn't as interested in... (full context)
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One night, Karim comes home to find Charlie in Eva and Dad's bedroom, dressed in black and safety... (full context)
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Though Charlie's set is perfectly angry, Karim giggles when he notices Charlie's perfect teeth—an indicator that the entire look is manufactured. When... (full context)
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Karim invites Mum, Ted, and Jean to a preview of The Jungle Book, and Mum weeps... (full context)
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...from family, The Jungle Book does well in the eyes of the masses. Shadwell offers Karim a part in his next play, and Terry encourages Karim to accept. Terry cryptically tells... (full context)
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...that night, and the actors rush off to the pub afterwards. Terry impatiently waits for Karim to wash his makeup off, and Karim tries to convince Terry to hang out backstage... (full context)
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Terry tells Karim that critics call Pyke's work puritanical because he likes bare stages and no props, but... (full context)
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When Karim suggests that he might not want to work in such a vague way, Pyke declares... (full context)
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Karim waits several days to tell Shadwell about the job. Finally, right before one of the... (full context)
Part 2, Chapter 11
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Rehearsals for Pyke's play begin in the spring. Karim is one of three men and three women in the cast. The other two men... (full context)
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On the fourth day, Pyke plays a game that Karim finds disturbing. Pyke tells the group he's going to make predictions about who will sleep... (full context)
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...researching characters, which Louise will then need to somehow write into a play. Pyke dissuades Karim from choosing to portray Charlie, insisting that the play needs somebody black. Karim decides to... (full context)
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Karim goes up to Anwar in the flat and finds him in pajamas watching TV. Anwar... (full context)
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Karim is cheered by his progress with Eleanor. She invites him over after rehearsal nearly daily.... (full context)
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One night when Heater is out, Karim and Eleanor watch TV and gossip. Karim is distracted and not listening, and Eleanor asks... (full context)
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Karim also realizes that when he talks with Eleanor, her stories are far more important. He... (full context)
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...after, Pyke has the cast present their characters for the rest of the group. After Karim performs his Anwar character, he feels for the first time as though he's on par... (full context)
Part 2, Chapter 12
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Karim goes to visit Changez. Changez is busy dusting and wearing Jamila's pink robe as Karim... (full context)
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Karim changes the subject and asks about Shinko. Changez happily shares that he and Shinko continue... (full context)
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...becomes angry. He cries out that he'll make Jamila like him or he'll kill himself. Karim offers to introduce Changez to actresses, but Changez insists that Karim has no morals. He... (full context)
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Karim bikes quickly to Eleanor's flat to discuss the end of his acting career; he knows... (full context)
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Karim settles in to think about Changez. He realizes this is one of the first moral... (full context)
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Sometimes, Karim is afraid of how much he loves Eleanor. He tells the reader that his love... (full context)
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Karim keeps his distance from Pyke until one day his bike chain snaps, and Pyke begins... (full context)
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One day, Pyke generously tells Karim that he has a present for Karim: Marlene wants to have sex with him. Karim... (full context)
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When Karim gets home, Dad is busy writing. Karim realizes that he's beginning to see Dad as... (full context)
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At the pub, Karim ruminates on Eleanor's boyfriend. He feels as though his life is getting extremely weird, and... (full context)
Part 2, Chapter 13
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On Saturday, Karim and Eleanor dress up and take the train to Pyke's house. Karim studies the house... (full context)
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A servant girl lets Karim and Eleanor in, seats them in the living room, and explains that Pyke and Marlene... (full context)
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Karim pretends to be a "class detective" and looks around the living room. He thinks that... (full context)
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...sullen teenage son walks into the living room. Pyke nonchalantly mentions to his son that Karim is Charlie Hero's stepbrother, and the moody boy is suddenly excited and alert. Karim answers... (full context)
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...the doors to the backyard. Eleanor stands and follows him out, leaving Marlene inside with Karim. Marlene gets herself another drink and comes to sit beside Karim. He pretends she's not... (full context)
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Karim and Marlene sit for a while, and then Marlene asks Karim for a kiss. He... (full context)
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When Karim sits up he has to think of where he is. Though he barely recognizes them,... (full context)
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...her to stop. Dreamily, Eleanor removes Pyke's fingers from her vagina and puts them in Karim's mouth. Pyke moodily tells Karim and Marlene to touch each other. Marlene drunkenly falls onto... (full context)
Part 2, Chapter 14
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During a break in rehearsal, Karim begins working for Eva, clearing the debris in her flat. Eleanor asks Karim if she... (full context)
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Karim and Eleanor work all day, shower at Eleanor's flat in the evenings, and dress in... (full context)
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After Karim and Eleanor finish work for Eva, Karim goes to spend some time with Jeeta and... (full context)
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Karim and Jamila spend every day with Anwar, but Dad refuses to go. He and Anwar... (full context)
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...and seems ecstatic to be touching her at last. Later that night, Changez, Jamila, and Karim drink beer in Jeeta's flat. Karim considers Anwar and Jamila's relationship: she'd gone from a... (full context)
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...live in a communal house. She puts her hand over his as she says this. Karim asks what Changez will do, and Changez asks if he can come. Jamila gently suggests... (full context)
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Karim thinks that Jamila probably didn't think it through when she asks Changez if he'd like... (full context)
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Karim helps Jamila and Changez move into the communal house, which is rundown and filled with... (full context)
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Karim goes back to the commune several weeks later. He finds that he likes being there,... (full context)
Part 2, Chapter 15
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Karim begins to suspect that Pyke is messing with him after his experience at supper, and... (full context)
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After a ten-city tour, Karim and the group return to London to prepare for their London run. It will run... (full context)
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Karim takes a break and goes to visit Changez. He barely recognizes him: Changez has had... (full context)
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Later, Changez tells Karim that he loves the communal life, especially the nudity. When he begins to say that... (full context)
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As they walk around south London, Karim realizes how derelict this neighborhood is. As Karim surveys the unhealthy people around them, Changez... (full context)
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Several days later, Jamila calls Karim to tell him that Changez had been attacked by a group of National Front members... (full context)
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On the morning of the march, Karim takes the tube towards Pyke's house, intending to meet up with Jamila and the others... (full context)
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Three hours later, Eleanor re-emerges from Pyke's house. Karim follows her onto the tube and asks her what she's doing with Pyke. Eleanor explains... (full context)
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Karim darts out the closing train doors and vows to break up with Eleanor. He thinks... (full context)
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Karim spends a week feeling depressed. He's not even excited for the opening of the play... (full context)
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Karim finds Terry at the bar. Terry is still incensed that he wasn't a part of... (full context)
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Karim unexpectedly finds Changez standing in front of him. Changez is congratulatory and seems happier than... (full context)
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Jamila approaches Karim and Changez. Simon is with her, his face bandaged, and Jamila looks angry. Karim tries... (full context)
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Karim surveys the foyer and sees that nobody seems to need to talk to him, so... (full context)
Part 2, Chapter 16
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The play is so successful that the cast does extra shows, and Karim begins getting up late in the afternoon so he can drink late after the show... (full context)
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Karim asks Pyke if he can stop by over the weekend. Pyke agrees but when Karim... (full context)
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Karim asks Pyke if they can deal with his matter now, and Marlene insults Pyke as... (full context)
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On his day off, Karim goes to see Terry. Terry is living in the neighborhood where Ted destroyed the train... (full context)
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Karim insists that all the socially liberal ideas come from America—the women's movement, gay militancy, and... (full context)
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Karim thinks that people who only understand things halfway, like Terry, drive him crazy. He thinks... (full context)
Part 2, Chapter 17
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The night after the play's New York opening, Karim and the cast attend a lavish party in a tall apartment building. Karim watches Eleanor... (full context)
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Later that night as Karim sits with most of the cast in a bedroom, Pyke begins a game that sets... (full context)
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Karim leaves the room and tries to call Charlie, who's living in New York, and he... (full context)
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Karim comes to in a cab with Charlie. Charlie had come to the party late and... (full context)
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Karim explains that even though Charlie is still angry on stage, the image isn't as effective... (full context)
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Charlie invites Karim to stay with him when Karim tells him about Eleanor. Karim is fascinated to see... (full context)
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The play only lasts a month before the cast goes their separate ways. Karim remains in New York and works for Charlie, but his depression worsens. Karim wonders why... (full context)
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After six months, Karim decides it's time to go home. Charlie resists, and Karim wonders if it's because Karim... (full context)
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One day, as Charlie and Karim walk home, a journalist runs up to Charlie and begs for an interview. Charlie ignores... (full context)
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Karim tries to catch Charlie's eye, but Charlie is intent on Frankie. Frankie suggests that Karim... (full context)
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Upstairs, Charlie lights candles in the bedroom. Charlie undresses and he and Frankie kiss. Karim asks uncomfortably if they really want him there, and Charlie snaps at Karim to stop... (full context)
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Karim moves around the bed to watch Frankie on top of Charlie. He later thinks that... (full context)
Part 2, Chapter 18
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On his flight to London, Karim develops a toothache. When he enters the dentist's office, the South African dentist asks the... (full context)
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Karim's audition goes well, though he can tell that the producers and directors are trashy and... (full context)
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Karim visits Dad and Eva to share his news. He dresses in a cashmere sweater and... (full context)
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Eva is confused when she finds Karim and the other two people on her doorstep at the same time. She ushers the... (full context)
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Eva and Karim enter the living room, and Dad gets up to embrace Karim. Dad is wearing a... (full context)
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Karim remembers how Dad used to be pompous all the time and thinks he likes listening... (full context)
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...and Eva, but the photographer and the woman leave quickly. Ted is glad to see Karim, and Karim notices that Ted no longer looks vaguely violent and like he'd fight anyone. (full context)
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Ted enthusiastically tells Karim that he loves his work and that Eva saved him. Karim reminds Ted that Dad... (full context)
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At Mum's house, Karim finds Mum out and Allie getting dressed. Allie is extremely impressed that Karim landed the... (full context)
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Allie congratulates Karim again on the soap opera, and then tells him that Mum has a boyfriend. His... (full context)
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Karim admits that everything went crazy after Mum and Dad broke up. Allie angrily says that... (full context)
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Mum arrives. She's reasonably pleased that Karim has a job and mentions she has a friend coming over soon. While she dresses,... (full context)
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Karim steals a tablecloth from the Fish's apartment as a gift for Changez and Jamila. He... (full context)
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Changez explains that Simon is away in America, and Jamila is still angry with Karim for not showing up at the demonstration. Karim boasts about his time in America, and... (full context)
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...and dances for the baby. She takes the baby and as she talks to Changez, Karim realizes their marriage has become strangely respectful. Joanna insists she recognizes Karim, and Jamila explains... (full context)
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Changez won't meet Karim's eyes and accuses him of making him think too much. He tells Karim to go... (full context)
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Changez talks about how he's renovating Jeeta's store and asks Jamila for a kiss. Karim hears Jamila oblige unhappily and wonders if he should intervene. When Jamila asks if Changez... (full context)
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Suddenly, Jamila hears Karim behind the sofa. Karim announces himself and insists he didn't hear anything, but Changez is... (full context)
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When Karim goes to see Dad a few days later, Dad is in the middle of counseling... (full context)
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That night, Karim takes Dad, Eva, Allie, and Allie's girlfriend out to dinner to celebrate his new job.... (full context)
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Karim finds he enjoys being able to be generous and please others with money. When everyone... (full context)