Saturday, April 18, 2015

Padma - The Person and the Lotus

I sort of brought this up in class but stopped midway because my brain decided it was done working for the day.

I have explained, with Hari's help, that a Hindu creation story revolves around the Padma, lotus, from which everything in the universe came. Padma, the person, sort of has a similar role in Midnight's Children, because Saleem is telling the story to Padma partly to impress her. And, if we all agree that Saleem himself represents all of India, then we could also say that Padma acts as the instigator his creation, although indirectly. If not for Padma, Salem would not have told the story concerning his family, and thus his own creation, as well as important historical events in India. So Padma kind of starts, what is to the reader, his beginnings and, since Salem is India, India's beginnings. However (this is the part my brain did not want me saying in class), Padma also serves another role in the novel.

I mentioned, while telling you all about the god Vishnu, that the "Preserver" holds the Lotus, perhaps the one which spawned everything, in one of his hands, as if to keep it from flying off in the wind and into the sky or falling on the ground below. This is a very artistic way of saying that Vishnu keeps the universe, represented in the Lotus which created it, in a balance, where neither good nor evil can prevail over one another. Parma, the person, actually has a similar role in Midnight's Children in that she preserves the story via her interruptions. Her interjections sometimes prompt Saleem to provide more information on particular part of the story. She also, and this is just my opinion her so feel free to disagree, keeps a sort of balance to the story by distracting Saleem from continuing or explaining more on a particular topic.

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