The Shadow Lines

by

Amitav Ghosh

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The Narrator Character Analysis

The narrator was born in Calcutta, India in 1953, where he lives with his parents and his grandmother, Tha’mma. He spends his entire childhood in Calcutta and spends a lot of it with his favorite uncle, Tridib. Tridib tells him stories, pointing out faraway cities in his atlas and telling him often about living in London as a child. The narrator idolizes Tridib's way of living and looking at the world, which is a problem when the narrator is around his cousin Ila. Though the narrator loves Ila romantically, he struggles regularly to try to make her see the importance of Tridib's stories. He and Tridib decide that because Ila traveled so much as a child, she didn't need to rely on stories like the narrator did, since he never left Calcutta. Though the narrator is often self-centered and unaware of the scope of the world, he is also very tuned into the inner workings of his family. He understands, for example, that Tha'mma has a deep sense of pride, and he uses his knowledge to his advantage. After Ila tells the narrator about an English boy named Nick Price, the narrator understands that Nick is his rival for Ila's affection. Eventually, Ila and Nick get married, which is heartbreaking for the narrator. He feels trapped by his unwavering love for Ila, as he knows she’ll never love him back. Over the next several years in London, the narrator reconnects with Ila; Nick’s sister, May; and Robi in London. He has a brief sexual encounter with May, who used to be romantically linked to Tridib. May enlightens the narrator as to the real cause of Tridib’s death in Dhaka, and the narrator realizes that the terrifying riot he experienced in Calcutta in 1964 was just like the one that killed Tridib in Dhaka.

The Narrator Quotes in The Shadow Lines

The The Shadow Lines quotes below are all either spoken by The Narrator or refer to The Narrator. 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:
Youth vs. Maturity Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Houghton Mifflin edition of The Shadow Lines published in 2007.
1. Going Away Quotes

I tried to tell her, but neither then nor later, though we talked about it often, did I ever succeed in explaining to her that I could not forget because Tridib had given me worlds to travel in and he had given me eyes to see them with; she, who had been travelling around the world since she was a child, could never understand what those hours in Tridib's room had meant to me […]

Related Characters: The Narrator (speaker), Tridib, Ila
Page Number: 20
Explanation and Analysis:

I felt a constriction in my throat, for suddenly it seemed to me that perhaps she was not so alien, after all, to my own small, puritanical world, in which children were sent to school to learn how to cling to their gentility by proving themselves in the examination hall.

Related Characters: The Narrator (speaker), Ila, Tha'mma
Page Number: 23
Explanation and Analysis:

For Ila the current was real: it was as though she lived in a present which was like an airlock in a canal, shut away from the tidewaters of the past and the future by steel floodgates.

Related Characters: The Narrator (speaker), Ila
Page Number: 40
Explanation and Analysis:

I could guess at a little of what it had cost her then to refuse her rich sister's help and of the wealth of pride it had earned her, and I knew intuitively that all that had kept her from agreeing at once was her fear of accepting anything from anyone that she could not return in exact measure.

Related Characters: The Narrator (speaker), Tha'mma, Mayadebi, Mother
Page Number: 33
Explanation and Analysis:

I would have been frightened, she said. But I would have prayed for strength, and God willing, yes, I would have killed him. It was for our freedom: I would have done anything to be free.

Related Characters: Tha'mma (speaker), The Narrator, Tridib
Page Number: 39
Explanation and Analysis:

She had given me away, she had made public, then and for ever, the inequality of our needs; she had given Ila the knowledge of her power and she had left me defenceless, naked in the face of that unthinkable, adult truth: that need is not transitive, that one may need without oneself being needed.

Related Characters: The Narrator (speaker), Ila, Mother
Page Number: 43
Explanation and Analysis:

I said: I'm not meeting you for the first time; I've grown up with you.

He was taken aback.

That must have taken some doing, he said drily, since I grew up right here, in boring suburban old West Hampstead.

I've known the streets around here for a long time too, I said.

Related Characters: The Narrator (speaker), Nick Price (speaker), Tridib, Ila, Robi
Page Number: 54
Explanation and Analysis:

They know they're a nation because they've drawn their borders with blood […] War is their religion. That's what it takes to make a country. Once that happens people forget they were born this or that, Muslim or Hindu, Bengali or Punjabi: they become a family born of the same pool of blood. That is what you have to achieve for India, don't you see?

Related Characters: Tha'mma (speaker), The Narrator, Ila
Page Number: 76
Explanation and Analysis:

But I knew I had made a mistake the moment I said it; I should have known that she would have nothing but contempt for a freedom that could be bought for the price of an air ticket. For she too had once wanted to be free; she had dreamt of killing for her freedom.

Related Characters: The Narrator (speaker), Ila, Tha'mma
Page Number: 87
Explanation and Analysis:

[…] I thought of how much they all wanted to be free; how they went mad wanting their freedom; I began to wonder whether it was I that was mad because I was happy to be bound: whether I was alone in knowing that I could not live without the clamour of voices within me.

Related Characters: The Narrator (speaker), Ila, Tha'mma
Page Number: 88
Explanation and Analysis:

I began to marvel at the easy arrogance with which she believed that her experience could encompass other moments simply because it had come later; that times and places are the same because they happen to look alike, like airport lounges.

Related Characters: The Narrator (speaker), Ila, Nick Price, Alan Tresawsen, Dan, Francesca, Mike
Page Number: 101
Explanation and Analysis:

Well of course there are famines and riots and disasters, she said. But those are local things, after all—not like revolutions or anti-fascist wars, nothing that sets a political example to the world, nothing that's really remembered.

Related Characters: Ila (speaker), The Narrator
Page Number: 102
Explanation and Analysis:

I lay on my back, staring up at the ceiling, and as the hours passed I saw Ila again and again as she was when she stepped out of that car at Gole Park, eighteen years ago; on that morning when she wrenched me into adulthood by demonstrating for the first time, and for ever the inequality of our needs.

Related Characters: The Narrator (speaker), Ila
Page Number: 110
Explanation and Analysis:
2. Coming Home Quotes

But you know, the strange thing was that as we grew older even I almost came to believe in our story.

Related Characters: Tha'mma (speaker), The Narrator, Mayadebi, Jethamoshai
Related Symbols: The Upside-Down House
Page Number: 124
Explanation and Analysis:

The price she had paid for that pride was that it had come to be transformed in her imagination into a barrage of slights and snubs; an imaginary barrier that she believed her gloating relatives had erected to compound her humiliation.

Related Characters: The Narrator (speaker), Tha'mma, Mayadebi
Page Number: 127
Explanation and Analysis:

But he did know that was how he wanted to meet her, May—as a stranger, in a ruin. He wanted them to meet as the completest of strangers—strangers-across-the-seas—all the more strangers because they knew each other already. He wanted them to meet far from their friends and relatives—in a place without a past, without history, free, really free, two people coming together with the utter freedom of strangers.

Related Characters: Tridib (speaker), The Narrator, May Price
Page Number: 141
Explanation and Analysis:

But if there aren't any trenches or anything, how are people to know? I mean, where's the difference then? And if there's no difference, both sides will be the same […] What was it all for then—Partition and all the killing and everything—if there isn't something in between?

Related Characters: Tha'mma (speaker), The Narrator, Mother, Father
Page Number: 149
Explanation and Analysis:

They were all around me, we were together at last, not ghosts at all: the ghostliness was merely the absence of time and distance—for that is all that a ghost is, a presence displaced in time.

Related Characters: The Narrator (speaker), Tridib, Ila, Snipe
Page Number: 178
Explanation and Analysis:

I could think of nothing to say; nothing that would console her for the discovery that the squalor of the genteel little lives she had so much despised was a part too of the free world she had tried to build for herself.

Related Characters: The Narrator (speaker), Ila, Nick Price
Page Number: 185
Explanation and Analysis:

I was a child, and like all the children around me, I grew up believing in the truth of the precepts that were available to me: I believed in the reality of space; I believed that distance separates, that there is a corporeal substance; I believed in the reality of nations and borders; I believed that across the border there existed another reality.

Related Characters: The Narrator (speaker), Tridib
Page Number: 214
Explanation and Analysis:

His atlas showed me, for example, that […] Chiang Mai in Thailand was much nearer Calcutta than Delhi is […] Yet I had never heard of those places until I drew my circle, and I cannot remember a time when I was so young that I had not heard of Delhi or Srinagar.

Related Characters: The Narrator (speaker), Tridib
Page Number: 227
Explanation and Analysis:

They had drawn their borders, believing in that pattern, in the enchantment of lines, hoping perhaps that once they had etched their borders upon the map, the two bits of land would sail away from each other like the shifting tectonic plates of the prehistoric Gondwanaland.

Related Characters: The Narrator (speaker), Tridib, Tha'mma
Page Number: 228
Explanation and Analysis:
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The Narrator Character Timeline in The Shadow Lines

The timeline below shows where the character The Narrator appears in The Shadow Lines. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
1. Going Away
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Freedom and Identity Theme Icon
Thirteen years before the narrator's birth, in 1939, Mayadebi, the Shaheb, and eight-year-old Tridib move to England. The narrator, who... (full context)
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...their time wisely, and that Tridib doesn't do that. This is, of course, why the narrator loves to listen to Tridib: he doesn't seem to do much, but he also doesn't... (full context)
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...him to go through pleasantries before allowing him to slip away to the bathroom. The narrator notes that he grew up believing that Tridib had a special organ called a Gastric,... (full context)
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The narrator runs into Tridib in the street fairly regularly when he's a child. Tridib is the... (full context)
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The narrator knows that Tridib only goes to the park rarely, and he hears about Tridib from... (full context)
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If he hears Tridib is nearby, the narrator skips his evening cricket game and finds him. He never questions why Tridib is in... (full context)
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...powerful diplomat, so the story that he has a wife and several children prevails. The narrator, as a young boy with a reputation for being gullible, can't set anyone straight. (full context)
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When the narrator is nine, Tridib disappears for weeks. When the narrator stops at Tridib's house one day,... (full context)
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The narrator bursts forward and yells at Tridib that he got it wrong, since he just saw... (full context)
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The narrator tells the reader that he met May Price for the first time two years later,... (full context)
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After the concert, the narrator catches May's attention, and they meet in the foyer. The two are embarrassed, and May... (full context)
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At her apartment, the narrator looks over May's bookshelf while May cooks. He comes across a photo of her that... (full context)
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The narrator insists that Tha'mma was wrong about Tridib: he is openly dismissive of the gossips, and... (full context)
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They sit awkwardly for a minute and finally, the narrator asks Ila if she remembers how, as children, Ila, the narrator, and Robi used to... (full context)
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The narrator asks Ila how she could possibly forget, and she responds by asking him how he... (full context)
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The narrator rambles about wanting to see Cairo but soon realizes Ila isn't listening. Suddenly, Ila snaps... (full context)
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A decade later, when the narrator is in London, he and Ila often go out. The narrator is always thrilled to... (full context)
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Ila visits Calcutta most summers while she and the narrator are children. She always brings her yearbook from her latest international school, and she and... (full context)
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...who looks much older and says that he's her boyfriend. A few pages later, the narrator sees a photo of the boy with his arms around blonde girls. Ila is in... (full context)
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Years later, when Robi, the narrator, and Ila are drinking in a London pub, the narrator reminds Ila about the yearbooks.... (full context)
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The narrator recalls a time when he was ten and Ila; her mother, Queen Victoria; and Tridib... (full context)
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When Queen Victoria is finished telling her story, she waits for the narrator's response. The narrator doesn't want to disappoint Tridib, so he asks what species the snake... (full context)
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Despite understanding Tridib's meaning, the narrator also understands that Tridib's imagination is far more detailed and precise than his own. According... (full context)
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Right after the narrator arrives in London, Ila takes him out to show him around. The narrator notices a... (full context)
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In the pub, the narrator tries to explain to Ila and Robi the "archaeological" Tridib, but Ila is contemptuous. The... (full context)
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...living with Mrs. Price when they visit Calcutta for a holiday. Queen Victoria invites the narrator's mother to bring her family to visit the old family house in Raibajar. The narrator's... (full context)
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Two days later, the narrator, his mother and father, and Tha'mma wait at Gole Park to meet Ila's family. The... (full context)
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Robi interrupts the narrator's story to say that the two didn't look alike at all, and in fact, he... (full context)
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Tha'mma told Tridib and the narrator about a quiet boy she'd gone to college with in the 1920s. One morning, a... (full context)
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...fascinated by the terrorist movements, and she wanted to join but didn't know how. The narrator was shocked to hear that Tha'mma would've killed an Englishman, and Tha'mma had looked the... (full context)
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The narrator returns to his story. He and Robi, who was a few years older, sized each... (full context)
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After the narrator's mother and the Shaheb finished talking, the narrator was worried because Ila hadn't yet arrived.... (full context)
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...that dress. Robi rolls his eyes and remarks that Ila had trunks of dresses. The narrator remembers the dress in vivid detail, down to the smell of the starch. His mother... (full context)
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The narrator fell asleep and finally woke up when they arrived at the house, which sat way... (full context)
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Ila suggested they play a game and led the narrator to a massive sheet-covered object. When they pulled the sheet off, a table huger than... (full context)
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...the huts they saw on the drive there for the cost of the table. The narrator hadn't known what to say to that, and May wondered why Tridib's grandfather brought back... (full context)
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The narrator returns to the story of his visit with Ila. Ila asked the narrator to get... (full context)
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The narrator's father visited Mrs. Price when Nick was thirteen. He was impressed by Nick's composure and... (full context)
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When the narrator took May to see the table and asked her about Nick, she said his hair... (full context)
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Seventeen years later, the narrator finally meets Nick. The narrator, Ila, and Robi visit Mrs. Price, and as soon as... (full context)
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Nick offers his hand to the narrator, and the narrator coyly says that this isn't the first time they've met—the narrator grew... (full context)
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Robi informs the narrator that the Germans didn't develop bombs powerful enough to destroy entire streets until after 1940.... (full context)
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When the narrator and Robi return to Ila and Nick, Nick is rambling on about Kuwait and not... (full context)
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Mrs. Price offers the narrator a drink, but he's too engrossed in looking around the room that Tridib had once... (full context)
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Back in Mrs. Price's living room, Nick jokes with the narrator and asks if he can find his way around the house, too. The narrator thinks... (full context)
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As Ila drew the lines, the narrator suddenly became angry. The lines didn't make sense, even though Ila insisted they could pretend... (full context)
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Ila told the narrator that first, they have to get out of bed and change clothes for the day.... (full context)
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Ila began to tell the narrator what happened to Magda at school: the children stared at Magda because she was the... (full context)
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...of Nick Price pulling Denise off of her. Nick had led Magda home, and the narrator says that he always saw Nick as a savior because of this story. Ila, however,... (full context)
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Three years later, after the narrator told May the story, she gently explained that Nick hadn't helped Ila at all, and... (full context)
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Years later, when he's home on summer break from college in Delhi, the narrator tells Tha'mma this story. Tha'mma is very ill at this point, though nobody knows that... (full context)
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The narrator's heart fills with a mixture of love and pity for Tha'mma. Later, when he told... (full context)
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The next morning, when the narrator returns to Tha'mma's side, Tha'mma insists that Ila is in England because she's greedy. The... (full context)
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...summer before, Ila arranged an impromptu trip to Calcutta at a time when both the narrator and Robi had been home. Upon the narrator's return home, his mother fed him lunch... (full context)
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A few days later, Robi, the narrator, and Ila spent a hot afternoon in Ila's room. Once the sun set, she insisted... (full context)
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...among the student body meant that the entire strike was called off. Later, when the narrator asked Robi about the event, Robi wouldn't say much. Eventually, the narrator understood that Robi... (full context)
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Ila finally managed to convince Robi to go. She led Robi and the narrator to the hotel, and the receptionist showed them to the nightclub. The room was dark... (full context)
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...room to find a stranger to dance with. Ila excitedly tried to get either the narrator or Robi to dance with her, but the narrator was too shy and Robi was... (full context)
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...and pushed the businessman back. He paid a waiter and the wait staff ushered the narrator, Ila, and Robi out of the club. They walked a short way and then Ila... (full context)
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After the narrator tells Tha'mma this, he knows he made a mistake: she doesn't think much of freedom... (full context)
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The narrator goes to Tha'mma the next morning. She now has a nurse and refuses to speak... (full context)
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The narrator's parents write often for the next two months, and then the letters stop for a... (full context)
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Several days later, the dean summons the narrator and informs him that Tha'mma wrote to say that the narrator has been seeing prostitutes,... (full context)
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When the narrator lives in London for the first time, he finally has to face the truth of... (full context)
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Ila lives with young liberal activists who argue quietly and seriously about small things. The narrator soon realizes that though they all seem to like Ila, they see her as a... (full context)
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One evening, Ila makes a face at the narrator's shabby clothes and insists on taking him to Brick Lane to buy new clothes, where... (full context)
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Ila has no interest in hearing the narrator's explanation for his lateness, and explains that Nick wants to come along since he's interested... (full context)
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...and explains it was a synagogue when the area was Jewish before the war. The narrator adds that that's when Nick's uncle, Alan Tresawsen, lived on the street, and offers to... (full context)
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The narrator imagines which bedroom belonged to Dan, who was upstairs because he couldn't sleep on the... (full context)
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When the narrator finishes telling Ila and Nick this, Ila comments that they must've been happy in the... (full context)
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The narrator is flabbergasted. Ila notes that Calcutta experienced riots and famine but not on a scale... (full context)
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The entire argument bores Nick, so he leads Ila and the narrator into the travel agency. The agent isn't at all friendly, insists they speak English, and... (full context)
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The narrator doesn't see Ila for two weeks. Mrs. Price invites both Ila and the narrator for... (full context)
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...Mrs. Price, and May carves the turkey. Dinner is mostly silent and awkward, and the narrator decides to leave as soon as he finishes his after-dinner brandy. May catches him in... (full context)
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Mrs. Price heads for bed as May and Nick settle Ila and the narrator on camp beds in the cellar. The narrator's heart bursts with hope. When May and... (full context)
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...laughs, turns around, and stops in her tracks when she sees the look on the narrator's face. She runs into his arms and hugs him. He realizes he's crying, and Ila... (full context)
2. Coming Home
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Tha'mma retires in 1962, when the narrator is ten years old. She'd taught at a girls' school since 1936 and had been... (full context)
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At first, Tha'mma is happy in retirement. However, after only a few days, the narrator overhears his mother complaining that Tha'mma is nagging about her housekeeping, which is something she'd... (full context)
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...short-lived, and she soon takes to visiting her school. Finally, the new headmistress phones the narrator's father to ask him to not allow Tha'mma to come to the school anymore. She... (full context)
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A few months later, the narrator's father is suddenly promoted. Tha'mma, uncharacteristically, doesn't seem to care much. Soon after, the family... (full context)
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One night, the narrator throws his schoolbooks and asks Tha'mma why she looks so distracted. She explains that the... (full context)
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Tha'mma smiles at the narrator and admits that there's one regret she has about Dhaka: she never got to see... (full context)
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When winter sets in, Tha'mma begins going with the narrator to the park when he plays cricket. She walks around and chats with her friends... (full context)
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One evening, the narrator's father comes home extremely tired. His mother insists upon complete silence in the household, makes... (full context)
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On Sunday, Tha'mma's friend's maidservant, Mrinmoyee, arrives to lead Tha'mma and the narrator's father to Tha'mma's cousin, but she shares that the cousin is dead. Tha'mma is shocked,... (full context)
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Mrinmoyee points out a concrete house. The narrator's father decides to stay with the car and tries to make the narrator stay, but... (full context)
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While the narrator's family settles themselves, he slips outside and looks off the railing to the back of... (full context)
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As the narrator's family leaves, the relative stops the narrator's mother. When she catches up with the rest... (full context)
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The narrator tells the reader that at about this time, May must've received her fourth letter from... (full context)
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A week later, a letter arrives for Tha'mma from Mayadebi. The narrator carries it to Tha'mma's room, and she shoos him away before she reads it. At... (full context)
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After three months, Mayadebi calls. The narrator and his parents anxiously hover, and at the end of the call, Tha'mma gives Mayadebi... (full context)
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...be able to see the border between India and East Pakistan from the plane. The narrator's father laughs at her, but Tha'mma is puzzled that there is apparently nothing—no soldiers, no... (full context)
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The narrator's father teases Tha'mma about how she used to travel in and out of Burma easily,... (full context)
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...Calcutta before traveling with Tha'mma to Dhaka, and asks if she can stay with the narrator's family while she's in Calcutta. The narrator's father agrees instantly. Tridib visits a week later... (full context)
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May and the narrator discuss her visit to Calcutta for the first time the day after Ila's wedding. Ila... (full context)
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The narrator doesn't remember much about the evening at Mrs. Price's house. He almost loses his gift,... (full context)
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May calls a cab, and the narrator sticks his head out the window. He feels as though his genitals are pushing him... (full context)
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In her flat, May points to her bed and tells the narrator firmly to go to sleep. The narrator, feeling cunning, asks where she'll sleep. May pulls... (full context)
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May again tells the narrator to go to bed. He becomes angry that May is laughing at him and pulls... (full context)
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The narrator wakes up to the sound of May in the kitchen. He remembers suddenly how May... (full context)
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When it becomes apparent the May isn't going to eat, the narrator presses her for the reason. She finally admits that she fasts every Saturday. The narrator... (full context)
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...hands him a box for passersby to put money in. Nobody puts money in the narrator's box. He watches May, who is uncharacteristically bold as she demands money from people. He... (full context)
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The narrator, his father, and Tridib met May at the station. The narrator was worried that Tridib... (full context)
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...gas mask, a sight that had terrified him. May doesn't remember this story when the narrator reminds her of it, and she suggests they go so the narrator can have a... (full context)
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The narrator's family put May in their guest room, and the narrator spent a lot of time... (full context)
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One evening, the narrator took May out for a walk. While they were out, May caught sight of the... (full context)
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During the first few days of May's visit, she often invited the narrator along when she went out with Tridib. One morning, they went to see the Victoria... (full context)
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Tridib gave the narrator money to buy whatever treat he wanted and sent him away. The narrator realized then... (full context)
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When the narrator's father suggested that Tridib take May to a harbor, the narrator insisted on going, too.... (full context)
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...decides she needs a coffee too, and after she purchases it, she returns to the narrator and her story. Back in Calcutta, Tridib dropped the narrator off at his house and... (full context)
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Awkwardly, May collects her things and insists she needs to leave. The narrator walks with her to the underground station. Before she enters, she admits that she's never... (full context)
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Several days before the narrator returns to Delhi, he wakes to a knock on his door from Kerry, an American... (full context)
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The narrator and Ila decide to meet at Trafalgar Square and then go to Mrs. Price's together.... (full context)
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...and seems like she doesn't really want visitors. After they have tea, Ila and the narrator decide to let Mrs. Price be alone, and they look around the house one more... (full context)
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The narrator flashes back to the day that young Ila cried after telling her story about Madga.... (full context)
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...everyone went down to the shelter. Finally, Tridib asked Snipe to tell the story. The narrator says that he could see the story in the cellar with Ila: Snipe telling it... (full context)
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Back in the present, Ila continues to cry on the narrator's shoulder. Finally, she says that it's Nick, and the narrator asks if he forgot to... (full context)
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The narrator tells Ila she has to leave Nick, but she insists she loves him too much.... (full context)
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That night, Tha'mma asks the narrator to sleep with her. He agrees, and as they lay in bed, he goes over... (full context)
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Years later, Robi tells the narrator that the first thing Tha'mma said to Mayadebi was, "where's Dhaka?" Her Dhaka, the narrator... (full context)
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One morning while Tha'mma, Tridib, and May are in Dhaka, the narrator discovers that there's trouble in Calcutta. His mother doesn't listen to the radio that morning... (full context)
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...the bus finally arrives, it looks different. There aren't enough students on it. When the narrator climbs in, there are only a few boys in the back. They stare at the... (full context)
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The school day seems almost normal until the narrator begins to hear voices outside the walls of the school. These voices don't sound like... (full context)
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...the windows. As they drive, the streets look unfamiliar: they're empty except for policemen. The narrator is glad that Tha'mma and May aren't in Calcutta. The students see a rickshaw blocking... (full context)
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...he points this out. Tublu begins to cry, and the other boys surround him. The narrator notes that Tublu cried for all of them, as they were all "stupefied with fear."... (full context)
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The narrator addresses the reader and says that all of what he writes about 1964 is "the... (full context)
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In 1979, the narrator attends a lecture in New Delhi on the war between India and China in 1962.... (full context)
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The narrator can't even describe the riots or the terror he felt, and Malik insists that the... (full context)
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The narrator keeps looking. In the January 11 paper, he finds a headline about the Calcutta riots,... (full context)
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The narrator cannot return to the library for days. He lies in bed, wondering why his father... (full context)
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...violence in the other country, but once the riots ended, no more was said. The narrator notes that riots are a reminder that people are bound to each other in a... (full context)
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Several months after he makes these discoveries, the narrator drags out Tridib's old atlas and a compass. He discovers that Srinagar and Khulna are... (full context)
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The narrator draws another circle in Europe with Milan at the center, and he reasons that the... (full context)
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The narrator says that Tha'mma's only frivolity was a love of jewelry. She sold a lot of... (full context)
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One afternoon in 1965, the narrator comes home to find his mother lying down. She explains that Tha'mma went out in... (full context)
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...at it and then says that she must donate her blood to the war. The narrator screams and doesn't stop until the doctor arrives to give him a sedative. He asks... (full context)
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Things happened quickly after Tridib's death: May left, Tridib was cremated, and the narrator spent time with an uncle. His parents took him to a temple a week later,... (full context)
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...The restaurateur is embarrassed as Robi grabs his coat and storms out. Ila and the narrator chase after him and he finally stops at the steps of a church. He lights... (full context)
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...him, but the dream continues to haunt him. At this, Ila hugs Robi and the narrator. (full context)
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On the narrator's last day in London, he's supposed to have dinner with May. He spends his day... (full context)
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That evening, as the narrator tries to shove a small vase into his suitcase, he remembers that it's actually a... (full context)
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May and the narrator clear away plates, and the narrator insists he needs to go home. When May responds,... (full context)