A Passage To India: Part 2 Chapter 13 - Summary & Analysis

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      Miss Adela Quested complained that the Indians forgot their promise. Aziz had promised to arrange for a picnic at the Marabar Caves but had done nothing so far. Aziz had come to know of it with pain that the ladies were aggrieved over the non-fulfillment of his promise. He had, therefore, set about arranging for the picnic. The message was conveyed to the ladies through Fielding. Fielding and Prof. Godbole were also invited to the picnic. Ronny, on coining to know of Fielding’s participation in the expedition, raised no objection.

      Aziz was greatly worried over the arrangement. He had to arrange for a half day's leave which Callendar had granted with difficulty. He had borrowed cutlery from Mahmoud Ali. He knew that he would have to provide for whisky, soda etc. Transportation of material and different sort of arrangements of food for the vegetarian Godbole and the nonvegetarian Englishmen had been another problem. Anyhow all these difficulties had been overcome.

      In order to show how punctual he could be, Aziz had spent the night at the station. Miss Adela Quested and Mrs. Moore had been the first ones to arrive. Aziz told them that Fielding was to join them very soon. He tried his best to keep his guests entertained.

      The ladies had got into the 'purdah' carriage. As the carriage had started moving, Aziz and Latif had leaped into the carriage like monkeys. Aziz had hung on to a bar while the train slowly moved on the branch line. At the level crossing, Aziz saw Godbole and Fielding. They had been held up as the gate had been closed earlier than usual. Aziz told Fielding that he had been let down. Fielding shouted back that he was late because of Godbole's prolonged 'puja' (prayer). Aziz had then asked Fielding to hurry up and jump on to the train. He offered his hand to Fielding but Fielding missed it and fell back on the line. He quickly scrambled on to his feet and shouted that there was no cause for worry as he had not been hurt at all. Then the train had passed beyond the range of audibility. The ladies were shocked at Fielding's fall and feared that Aziz might fall too. They advised Aziz to get in. They said that they would enjoy the picnic even without the company of Fielding and Godbole. Aziz felt grateful for the remark but personally he was worried because Fielding had not accompanied them.

Critical Analysis

      In this chapter Aziz's character has been further developed upon. Fielding's sportsman like-spirit has also been highlighted. Unlike the Bhattacharya, Aziz knew how to honor his words. He also possessed an organizing capacity and took personal interest in every detail. Fielding's attempt at boarding a moving train highlights his adventurous nature. Prof. Godhole is the typical Indian, who is engrossed in himself. 'Puja' (prayer) is everything to him as spiritualism must precede materialism and he took an exceptionally long time to finish his 'puja'.

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