Salman Rushdie introduced a world that felt as though it was a dream.
India had gained their Independence on August 15, 1947, and while the nation was rejoicing for their freedom, there were others who were blessed with more than one joy. In Rushdie’s Midnight’s Children, we gain the experience of magical realism during post-colonial India through the lives of the characters he has created. The children born at midnight on that date soon came to the realization that they have gained magical abilities once they became older.
Saleem was one of those children and he brought the children of midnight together to discuss the things they can do to improve their nation. One of the midnight’s children was a woman that went by Parvati-the-witch. She grows up to fall in love with Saleem. Upon finding out he was never related to Jamila Singer (The Brass Monkey), he fell in love with her and without a doubt she is disgusted by his confession and they rarely spoke to each other.
Parvati never reached out and really told Saleem how she truly felt about him and that she wanted more than just a friendship. She instead showed her affection by using her magic to grow his hair back, removing his birthmarks, and straightened his bendy legs. She felt it was still not enough, so when Saleem tried to sleep with her she changed her features to become a bizarre image of his sister.
After trying over and over again to win his affection she eventually gave up trying. Picture Singh even suggested that Saleem should marry Parvati, so to get out of the question he “quietly, shamefully, said: ‘I can’t marry anyone, Pictureji. I can’t have children.’ The silence in the shack was punctuated by sibilant snakes and calls of wild dogs in the night. ‘You’re telling truth, captain? Is a medical fact?’ ‘Yes’ ‘Because one must not lie about such things captain. To lie about one’s manhood is bad, bad luck,” (Rushdie).
Parvati was able to convince Saleem to marry her, and when she heard she was impotent she decided to start sleeping with Shiva. When she became pregnant with his child the relationship became sour and Saleem raises Shiva’s son.
“Once again a child was to be born to a father who was not his father, although by a terrible irony the child would be the true grandchild to his father’s parents,” (Rushdie). Saleem has found himself in the same situation as his father all over again and Parvati has found herself in a situation almost similar to that of Saleem’s mother, Amina.
Amina just wanted to be happy and in love with her first husband Nadir Khan, but he eventually leaves her and she marries Ahmed Sinai. Parvati loved Saleem but he could never give her the same kind of attention she admired and even claimed that he was impotent so he wouldn’t sleep with her. She knew by being with Shiva she can achieve her goal of sleeping with a man and being impregnated.
Amina felt she would not have true happiness and just when she believed she achieved it she died in a bombing pregnant with her actual second child. Parvati believes she can never be happy and be with Saleem as she truly wishes. Just when she thinks she achieved happiness with raising Aadam with Saleem, Shiva turns the midnight’s children in and she dies a horrible death under the hands of the Indian government.
Little did Shiva know he truly lived up to his name. “...I laughed because Shiva, destroyer of the midnight’s children, had also fulfilled the other role lurking in his name, the function of Shiva-lingam, of Shiva-the-procreator, so that at this very moment, in the boudoirs and hovels of the nation, a new generation of children, begotten by midnight’s darkest child, was being raised towards the future,” (Rushdie). In his attempt to destroy the midnight’s children he created a new nation of midnight’s children, so their legacy never truly dies.