The Inheritance of Loss

The Inheritance of Loss

Nimi Character Analysis

The judge’s wife and Sai’s maternal grandmother. She is fourteen when she marries the judge. The two do not consummate their marriage before the judge leaves for university because Nimi is so terrified, but they share one affectionate bicycle ride before he leaves. However, when the judge returns, he begins to expect her to relinquish her culture, as he has done. He becomes angry when Nimi steals his powder puff, and he rapes her as punishment. He then begins a cycle of abuse, trying to get her to conform to English culture. Eventually, after Nimi is accidentally a part of the Nehru welcoming committee for the Indian National Congress, the judge sends her away because she has humiliated him and he fears he will kill her in anger. Nimi then has a daughter, Sai’s mother, and spends the rest of her life living with her sister before she catches on fire from the stove (it is implied that her sister’s husband may have caused this accident). Nimi becomes an embodiment of the Indian culture from which the judge is attempting to separate himself.

Nimi Quotes in The Inheritance of Loss

The The Inheritance of Loss quotes below are all either spoken by Nimi or refer to Nimi. 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:
Colonialism and Globalization Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Grove Press edition of The Inheritance of Loss published in 2006.
Chapter 16 Quotes

The dowry bids poured in and his father began an exhilarated weighing and tallying: ugly face—a little more gold, a pale skin—a little less. A dark and ugly daughter of a rich man seemed their best bet.

Page Number: 98
Explanation and Analysis:
Quotes explanation long mobile

Unlock explanations and citation info for this and every other The Inheritance of Loss quote.

Plus so much more...

Get LitCharts A+
Already a LitCharts A+ member? Sign in!
Chapter 28 Quotes

They belonged to this emotion more than to themselves, experienced rage with enough muscle in it for entire nations coupled in hate.

Related Characters: The Judge / Jemubhai, Nimi
Page Number: 190
Explanation and Analysis:
Quotes explanation short mobile
Get the entire The Inheritance of Loss LitChart as a printable PDF.
The inheritance of loss.pdf.medium

Nimi Character Timeline in The Inheritance of Loss

The timeline below shows where the character Nimi appears in The Inheritance of Loss. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 8
Gender and Misogyny Theme Icon
Jemubhai thought of his fourteen-year-old wife, Nimi, whom he had married only a month ago, and whom he would not see for... (full context)
Chapter 16
Gender and Misogyny Theme Icon
...becomes interested in other people’s love affairs. She asks the cook about the judge’s wife (Nimi). The cook says that she was a great lady, and the judge had loved her... (full context)
Colonialism and Globalization Theme Icon
Poverty vs. Privilege Theme Icon
Gender and Misogyny Theme Icon
...rebuffs her questions, telling her not to interrupt his chess. But he begins to remember Nimi anyway. His family had wanted to send their son to England, but there wasn’t enough... (full context)
Gender and Misogyny Theme Icon
...week later, Bomanbhai offered Jemubhai his most beautiful daughter Bela (who would later be renamed Nimi), knowing that she might be getting married to one of the most powerful men in... (full context)
Gender and Misogyny Theme Icon
...lavish. Bela’s name was changed into the one chosen by Jemubhai’s family, and she became Nimi Patel. After the wedding, Jemubhai had pulled off his new wife’s sari, ready to consummate... (full context)
Gender and Misogyny Theme Icon
...happened in the bed. More days passed, and they grew concerned, telling him to force Nimi to have sex. They began to think she was spoiled or stuck up and wondered... (full context)
Gender and Misogyny Theme Icon
One day, Jemubhai had offered Nimi a ride on his father’s bicycle. She at first had declined, but then climbed on... (full context)
Chapter 28
Gender and Misogyny Theme Icon
...thinks about his own hatred. When he had returned from England, he was greeted by Nimi, now nineteen, whom he had forgotten entirely. She draped a garland over him but didn’t... (full context)
Colonialism and Globalization Theme Icon
Gender and Misogyny Theme Icon
Power and Humiliation Theme Icon
Nimi had later gone through the judge’s toiletry case, trying to learn a bit about English... (full context)
Colonialism and Globalization Theme Icon
Gender and Misogyny Theme Icon
Power and Humiliation Theme Icon
...was questioned, and each time the embarrassment of explaining was repeated. The judge finally asked Nimi, who denied taking it. Then, he spotted the puff beneath her shirt. (full context)
Gender and Misogyny Theme Icon
Power and Humiliation Theme Icon
The judge cornered Nimi in the bedroom. An aunt shouted at the judge to break the bed; another commented... (full context)
Colonialism and Globalization Theme Icon
Gender and Misogyny Theme Icon
Power and Humiliation Theme Icon
...and fury. Each night he repeated the act; during the day, he never spoke to Nimi or looked at her. The two of them traveled to Bonda, where the judge rented... (full context)
Gender and Misogyny Theme Icon
Nimi did not accompany the judge on tour, unlike other wives. Nimi was left alone in... (full context)
Colonialism and Globalization Theme Icon
Power and Humiliation Theme Icon
The judge grew more and more upset by Nimi’s facial expressions, and then by her blankness. He took off her bangles, threw away her... (full context)
Chapter 49
Colonialism and Globalization Theme Icon
Gender and Misogyny Theme Icon
...and the wife he had abandoned. His mind returns to why he exactly he sent Nimi home. One morning in Bonda, a Congresswoman named Mrs. Mohan came by in her car... (full context)
Colonialism and Globalization Theme Icon
...murdabad!” They had stopped and then followed a procession of cars to a house. Inside, Nimi was given a plate with scrambled eggs and toast, which she did not eat. Then... (full context)
Colonialism and Globalization Theme Icon
Power and Humiliation Theme Icon
...from his tour. He was then summoned by the district commissioner, who informed him that Nimi had been part of the Nehru welcoming committee, and had eaten scrambled eggs and toast... (full context)
Gender and Misogyny Theme Icon
Power and Humiliation Theme Icon
The judge fixed himself a drink at home. When Nimi entered the room, he offered a series of explanations for what had happened—primarily that she... (full context)
Gender and Misogyny Theme Icon
The judge hit Nimi. He emptied his glass on her head, swung a jug of water into her face,... (full context)
Gender and Misogyny Theme Icon
Six months after the judge sent Nimi away, he received a telegram that his daughter had been born. Jemubhai had gotten drunk... (full context)
Gender and Misogyny Theme Icon
Nimi’s uncle wrote to the judge, saying that Nimi was ready to return. He had misunderstood... (full context)
Colonialism and Globalization Theme Icon
Gender and Misogyny Theme Icon
Nimi instead lived the rest of her life with a sister whose husband was resentful of... (full context)
Gender and Misogyny Theme Icon
...simple accident—just a single movement of the hand, and another movement of the hand for Nimi’s brother-in-law to pay off the police. The judge had chosen to believe it was an... (full context)
Colonialism and Globalization Theme Icon
Gender and Misogyny Theme Icon
Now the judge wonders if he killed Nimi (indirectly) for false ideals, in order to shame his own culture. After her death, he... (full context)