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Chapter XXX from Forster’s A Passage to India: Summary and Analysis

Chapter XXX from E M Forster’s A Passage to India (Part 2 Caves): Summary and Analysis

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The Hindu Muslim divide in India has been too big to fill. However, communions do happen from time to time.  It happened again with the case and Aziz became the local hero. Hindus too could feel proud over his victory and Mr Das the magistrate himself requested Aziz to jot down a poem for his brother’s magazine. He had come to know of Aziz’s poetry from Prof Godbole before he left for Mau. Aziz got ready to write one but after trying repeatedly, he could not get the right topic which could impress everyone. Confused he tried to find help from Hamidullah but he too confused him. Aziz wanted to leave Chandrapore but did not know where should he leave for. At last the two decided to visit Hamidullah begum and might be the Muslim women and the purdah could be a good topic for Aziz to write about.

 

If anything good had resulted form the case then it was that the incident had brought the Hindu and Muslim communities in Chandrapore together. Aziz had been made a hero and the two communities found a cause to develop better understanding between them. Mr Das (Magistrate) paid him a visit at the hospital and apart from seeking a remedy for shingles he wanted a poem from Aziz for his brother’s magazine. Aziz doubted that he must write a poem for a magazine meant for Hindus. Mr Das said it was for general Indians and he could insert fewer Persian phrases to save any complexity and avoid quoting bulbul too much. Aziz was being sarcastic and said a prescription would be better than a poem but Mr Das was adamant.

The two shook hands that reflected the fresh communion between Hindus and Muslims. A romance is possible between two communities that exist at a large distance and in India each one knows just so much about the other that it is difficult to leave space for any surprises. Each one minds its limits and in heart these two were not very different either, both feeling reminded of things they hate about each others’ religion. However, things had still changed and MrDas asked Aziz to excuse him for his limitations because life was not as easy as it seemed on earth. Aziz could see some genuine emotions and so he melted. He asked who told him that he wrote. It was professor Godbole. He too was a poet and mentioned it before leaving for Mau.

Aziz too was feeling flattered and got busy with his pen that evening. He was trying to bring out something for everyone but all that came out was emotions and venom that he himself did not find suitable. Having written two, he was not feeling satisfied. A song that could be sung by many required to surpass creed and for that he longed to go past his Islamic limits.

He was thinking of his motherland which he did not have any natural love for but he closed his eyes and tried to love it. He thought it should be like Japan so its sons are treated with respect. It hardened him and made him less approachable.

Next day, he was talking to Hamidullah about the English that he must not have ignored them or taken them as a joke. Hamidullah replied that sooner or later you had to take them seriously and one or the other disaster takes place and reveals their real thoughts about native’s character. Even God could not make them believe that Aziz was innocent. This is why he and Mahmoud Ali wasted so much time associating with people like Ramchand. Aziz could not endure committees and he had decided to move from Chandrapore but where could he go because these Turtons and Burtons were everywhere and all were just the same according to Hamidullah. He could go to an Indian state . He had seen the ugly face of British India and wanted to get as far from it as possible. In this regard these quaint Hindus were much better and they could try thinking like them. He wished he could be in the time of Babur. It was better to have a king and therefor he could very well be in a  Hindu state serving under a Hindu King.

Hamidullah thought Aziz was taking it too far but Aziz thought it was still better than being with Ramchand. Hamidullah was concerned for money which a Hindu Raja would never pay in adequate. However, Aziz did not think his character was ever going to allow him to be rich. Had he let Miss Quested pay, he would have been rich thought Hamidullah. Aziz was not interested in these discussions and would  not want the past to return. With her fortune Adela  could at least buy herself a husband. However, this was not going to satisfy Hamidullah who wanted to see Aziz rich and expected. He must stick to his post and rise in ranks rather than go and serve in some jungle state where his children would never find education. Aziz winked; he had his own way of being a man and always expressed what was deep in his heart.  Hamidullah found him difficult to understand but then talks moved another way. Mohammed Latif had caught the tail of a flying rumour.  When Adela was staying at the college, Fielding used to visit her late in the evening. Aziz was curious. It was good for Adela if Fielding had been visiting her. What could be better for the girl than having Fielding’s support? However, the mention of Fielding had made him curious.

Hamidullah was certain Aziz was not getting his meaning or may be Aziz was not interested because these rumours were not helping with his situation.  He wanted to leave Chandrapore but did not know for where and wanted to write poetry but did not know on what. His mind grew boggled suddenly and that  led to an explosion. He exclaimed that  everyone was a traitor and no-one a friend. He cursed even his own children but then suddenly realised that he had lost his temper and asked Hamidullah’s pardon for the prison had affected his mind. Hamidullah mentioned that Nuruddin’s mother had been visiting his wife. The Muslim women mostly keep behind the purdah and it is too difficult to bring them out of it. They had promised to when Aziz was in jail but then they did not. They admire Fielding but make excuses whenever he calls. Sometimes it is the health and at others either the room is untidy or there are no sweets except Elephant’s ears.  So, one or another excuse comes up always to keep Hamidullah begum behind the purdah.

For fifteen years Hamidullah had argued with his wife but could not change a thing and then these missionaries say these women need help and that they are downtrodden and living in an identity crisis. He suggested Aziz to write about the Indian women as they were and not as they were supposed to be. The purdah could be a great topic; an amusing one.

Written by Abhijeet Pratap

Abhijeet has been blogging on educational topics and business research since 2016. He graduated with a Hons. in English literature from BRABU and an MBA from the Asia-Pacific Institute of Management, New Delhi. He likes to blog and share his knowledge and research in business management, marketing, literature and other areas with his readers.

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Summary and Analysis of chapter xxix from Forster’s A Passage to India

Summary and Analysis of Chapter xxxi from A Passage to India