Midnight's Children (2012) Movie Script

I was born in the city of
Bombay, once upon a time.
At the precise instant of
India's arrival at independence...
...on the stroke of midnight,
I tumbled forth into the world.
I, Saleem Sinai, was mysteriously
handcuffed to history.
My destiny,
forever chained to my country's.
And I couldn't even
wipe my own nose...
...at the time.
Most of what matters in our
lives takes place in our absence;
and my life really began on the
shore of the Dal Lake in Kashmir...
more than 30 years
before I was born.
The central feature of
my grandfather's anatomy...
...was his magnificent nose.
Doctor Aziz.
Good morning, Ghani Sahib.
- Good morning.
Now that our own
lady doctor is sick...
...you, Doctor Aziz, get the
opportunity and she gets the sack.
Big chance for you, young man.
- Yes, sir.
I've heard nice things about you.
Good doctor, Europe-returned.
Good family background.
Well, good enough.
My daughter is not well.
Do a good job. Make her alright.
I have many friends in this town.
And you have a practice
to build. Right?
- Right.
Where is she, your daughter?
She is standing behind the sheet,
like a good girl.
But, Ghani Sahib, how will
I examine her without seeing her?
Ah, I can see your confusion.
You Europe returned chappies
forget certain things.
My daughter is not
going to flaunt her body...
...under the nose of any Tom,
Dick or, for that matter, Aziz.
You will...
...specify the portion
that you want to examine.
What does the lady complain of?
My poor child has terrible
- too-dreading - stomach-ache.
In that case, may I examine her?
Yes - Naseem, stomach, pronto.
May I?
Yeah, yes, you can.
Thank you.
Doctor Aziz, my poor child
is suffering from constipation.
- No, no.
Don't even think about it.
There is no question of being
permitted to administer an enema.
No, no. No, no, Ghani Sahib.
- No. I said no.
Doctor Aziz!
Thank you.
Is it... permitted that I touch?
Touch away, touch away!
Hands of a healer!
Thank you.
With your permission, please.
Is it the lady's time of the month?
But then, then... Then
there is nothing to worry about.
It's, it's, it's alright.
Don't be embarrassed, old chap!
You're the family doctor now!
Doctor Aziz... she has a headache.
My goodness doctor, what a nose!
...it's quite a specimen.
I agree.
So, Doctor Aziz.
Anything else?
Just one more thing...
We will be a modern couple.
Naseem will not wear the veil.
...you will allow other
men to look at her face?
Most men,
Ghani Sahib, are not beasts.
Most men are also not blind,
Doctor Sahib.
Listen, would you...
move a little, please.
Move where? Move how?.
I mean... like, like a woman.
Who have I married?
I know you foreign-educated types.
You do God knows what with
those foreign terrible women,
...and then you expect
us to be like them.
Listen, Doctor Sahib,
husband or no husband,
I am not the moving type.
In Agra, my grandfather contracted
a dangerous form of optimism.
It was caused by Mian Abdullah,
...the hope of all Indian Muslims...
...who were against the
partition of the country...
...into India and Pakistan.
A politician with
a peacock-feather fan.
We can beat them.
- I'm sure.
We are ready for whatever may come.
There is talk of dirty deeds.
Oh yes?
This is Nadir Khan, my secretary.
Nice to meet you, Nadir.
He has a heightened imagination.
He's a poet, you see.
Oh, a poet...
And what poetry! Not a single verse!
Not a single verb!
Well, all these ideas seem
out of date to me, excuse me, sir.
All artistic expression is equal,
poetry, movies, even the
old men who use their skill to...
...spit out betel-juice
and hit a spittoon.
Perhaps I will get you a spittoon,..
...so that you can
practice your art.
How about that, Mian Abdullah?
These are new ideas.
We must leave, Your Highness.
Excuse us. Dr. Aziz.
Mian Sahib?
Help me, Doctor Aziz.
Please help me.
Who's this?
Sorry for the interruption!
Such an intrusion.
I had to hide!
Is that you, Nadir? What are you-?
I saw everything, Doctor!
They killed him.
I saw them murder him.
Assassins shot him like a dog.
And then they saw me!
- Shh. Quiet.
You have to hide me, Doctor.
Or I'm a dead man.
At home, Doctor Aadam Aziz
found himself surrounded by women.
His formidable wife, Naseem,
wise Alia, sweet Mumtaz,
and flighty Emerald.
He's asked us for our shelter.
We have no choice.
And spare us your crazy oaths!
Where are you going?
But, Abba, where will we put him?
We'll sweep him under the carpet.
Like all other problems.
Sometimes emotions
are stirred into food...
...and become what you feel.
And sometimes,
people leak into each other;
like flavours when you cook.
Mumtaz Aziz,
destined to be my mother,
took upon herself the duties of
caring for the needs of Nadir Khan.
You're very good.
I'm not a brainbox like Alia,
or a beauty like Emerald.
But you are.
Eat, now. Don't let it go cold.
Terrible business, sir.
I fully understand your grief.
But you did know this fellow...
secretary to Mian Abdullah?
No, I don't think so, no.
Met him at the Rani of cooch
Naheen's on the night of the killing?
Yes, of course...
Yes, I thought you might
be able to shed some light on...
...his disappearance. No?...
And of course these
charming young ladies...
...of yours have also seen nothing.
And if we should see something,
Major Zulfikar,
what should we do?
Ah. Miss Emerald.
Naturally you should
inform your father...
...who will then alert me in my
office at the military cantonment.
Yes, of course. - Of course.
Thank you so much, Major.
Thank you, Major.
Sir, ladies.
Did you see that girl, captain?
Yes, sir.
That, captain,
is the girl I intend to marry.
Yes, sir.
Feeling left out by her
self-imposed vow of silence,
my grandmother eavesdropped
on her daughters' dreams.
She visited Emerald's dreams...
...and found Zulfikar
lurking in them.
In Alia's, she saw the successful
and handsome businessman...
...Ahmed Sinai.
And in Mumtaz's, she saw a son.
A boy with a cucumber nose,
No, tell me a poem - one of yours.
No, no, you wouldn't like it, ok?
You must!
The best one you ever wrote.
It's got no rhymes. It's free verse.
Does it at least have a name?
So? What is it?
"Mumtaz. "
So that you can practise your art.
See, I remembered.
Okay, I'm sorry, everyone,
but is this really happening?
They're going to get married
and live in the cellar...
...and we have to keep the secret?
For how long?
Ten years? This is ridiculous.
Please, Emerald. There
might still be killers out there.
I need some time.
What would Major Zulfikar say?
Already he wonders,
how Nadir survived the shooting.
If Nadir is innocent he should
go to the Major and come clean.
If Nadir is innocent? If, you say?
Please, Emerald.
Some time, na?
Okay, okay.
Hide on...
...like a fat worm under the ground.
Begin the ceremony, please.
I'm sorry.
No. No, it's okay.
It's okay. It'll come, alright.
Family history,
too, has dietary laws.
One is supposed only
to swallow the halal parts,
drained of blood.
But that makes the
stories less juicy,
and this was ajuicy part.
So it must be told.
Try again.
What's going on?
- Abba,
- Move!
Abba, abba,
please don't tell them anything...
this house for far too long.
Abbajan... please, what's wrong?
What's wrong? What's wrong you
say - I'll tell you what's wrong!
My daughter tells
me she is still a virgin!
That's what is wrong.
I love my husband.
- I love him, abba.
The other thing will come, right?
It will.
A marriage should
not depend on this thing,
but on love.
This should not have been mentioned.
Down there!
Weapons out!
- No!
You'll thank me later,
just wait and see.
Stay tight!
Follow me, boys!
Women must marry men, not mice.
So you found your voice.
Whose crazy fool's
scheme was this...
...to allow this coward
who hides underground...
...like a worm, into our home?
The bird has turned!
The worm has flown!
After all that,
he actually got away?
I divorce thee,
I divorce thee,
I divorce thee.
That sweet man...
...he set me free.
Please look over here, sir.
Big smile!
Thank you.
Thank you. Thank you.
It's a... It's a beautiful wedding,
sir, really.
Most grateful.
Damn glad I chose
not to charge you...
...with harbouring
a wanted criminal.
Married your daughter instead.
Thank you, sir. Thanks very much.
Go away!
You know,
I've always loved children.
Me too.
But never had any.
My former wife couldn't.
Oh, I'm sorry.
But, you could always still...
Marry again.
Well, if I found the right girl.
And, if she would have me,
if I asked.
And move to Bombay with me.
We're moving to...?
I mean, you're moving?
Safer for a family, no?
Big smile!
I've got something for you.
What? A present?
Better than that. A new name.
Do you like it?
Nadir and Mumtaz
are in the past now.
Better to leave them behind, no?
A new name for a new beginning...
Mrs Amina Sinai.
Whatever you say.
Why did she marry him so quickly?
For solace?
For the children they
both wanted so much?
My mother Amina Sinai,
in her new incarnation,
resolved to forget the poet Nadir...
...and fall in love with my father,
Ahmed Sinai.
But love is a rare thing...
Ah Bombay!
Bombay, of which the old tunes sang,
"Prima in Indis!
Gateway to India!
Star of the East with
her face to the West!"
Ah Bombay!
Ah, Mr Methwold.
Mr Sinai. How do you do?
Very well, and you? My wife.
Well, Mr Methwold, I must say...
...the price you're asking
for Buckingham Villa, it's...
It's rather...
well, it's absolutely...
Yes, a ridiculously low price.
We're giving the whole blasted
country away, in point of fact.
Hundreds of years of decent,
...government and then
all of a sudden it's up and off.
You must admit,
though, we weren't all bad.
Not at all.
We built your schools...
...railway stations...
...trains, so forth...
I was just telling my
wife what a fine man you are!
Look here, Willie,
do me a favour, man, will you.
I've got this terrible headache.
And if you could nip
down to Kemp's corner
...and ask the chemist
to give you some pills.
Servants are all down with a cold.
Otherwise I wouldn't have asked.
Yes, sir. Of course, sir.
Good man.
My own little transfer
of power will also take place...
at midnight on August
the 14th, 1947.
When India rids itself of us...
Buckingham Villa...
...will be free of
William Methwold. Me.
...And the grass must be
sprayed every single night.
Well, absolutely, Mr Methwold.
Well, as you say in Hindustani,
Sab kuch ticktock hai.
Everything is tickety-boo.
And another small detail, Mr Sinai.
Nothing in the house must
change until Independence.
It must be bought complete
with its entire contents.
Janum, everything?
Not even a spoon can be thrown?
And this lamp... for two months?
Well, Mr Sinai?
Yes sir, Mr Methwold?
One other little condition.
We will take a cocktail here,
in the grounds of Buckingham Villa,
every evening until
my departure from India.
Very well.
Good night ladies,
good night, ladies...
This is Wee Willie.
Local tramp and his wife, Vanita.
You'll be seeing a lot of them.
farewell ladies, farewell ladies...
farewell ladies...
...we're going to say goodnight.
Good night ladies...
Good night ladies...
Sings well, your Wee Willie.
Damn silly name, though.
But you gave it to him.
So I did. Amongst other things.
Good night ladies...
...good night ladies...
we're going to leave you now.
We're going...
...to say good night!
Very good, Willie.
Wee Willie Winkie is my name;
to sing for my supper is my fame.
I hope you are com-for-table
...or are you come-for-tea?
Oh, joke-joke ladies and ladahs!
Bottoms up.
Fix you another one?
How kind. Thank you, Mr Sinai.
Pretty girl, that.
Must be due around
about the same time as you.
Sab kuch ticktock hai.
Everything is indeed, tickety-boo.
I think, Madame,
you're going to have a baby boy.
Joe! My God!
What are you doing here?
You and your politics!
Against the rich.
The rich need to become poor,
and the poor rich.
Understand, Mary?
You need money?
- No.
Pakistan and India were born washing
themselves in one another's blood.
The empire on which
the sun never sets.
But I will not describe it.
I will avert my eyes
from the violence.
Selfish perhaps,
but excusably so in my opinion.
After all,
one is not born every day.
Long years ago we made
a tryst with destiny.
And now the time comes when
we shall redeem our pledge...
...not wholly...
...or in full measure,
but very substantially.
Busy night!
I need to get out of Bombay.
They're after me.
We need to do it now, Mary.
The real revolution.
Say you love me.
Say it once.
At the stroke of the midnight hour,
when the world sleeps...
India will awake
to life and freedom.
A moment comes,
which comes but rarely in history...
...when we step out...
...from the old to the new.
When an age ends,
and when the soul of a nation,
long suppressed, finds utterance.
At the precise instant of
India's arrival at independence.
On the stroke of midnight,
as a matter of fact,
I tumbled forth into the world.
Oh, Jesus.
Poor baby...
...poor thing.
Mommy no more.
Oh Mary, so many babies...
Give it to me.
Private room number four. Sinai.
Two babies in her hands.
Two lives in her power.
She did it for Joe;
her own private, revolutionary act.
"Love me, Joe," was in Mary's mind.
And then it was done.
Okay, Joe?
When she gave the
child of my mother's womb
to Wee Willie Winkie,
Mary knew she was condemning
the rich born boy...
...to a life of
accordions and poverty.
As Joe had said,
let the rich be poor...
...and the poor, rich.
Thank you.
Saleem. Saleem Sinai.
Look, janum. Poor fellow,
he's got his grandfather's nose!
Go call the newspapers.
Tell the photographers to come!
"A charming pose
of Baby Saleem Sinai,"
"born on the exact moment
of our nation's independence. "
"We shall be watching over your
life with the closest attention. "
"It will be in a sense,
a mirror of our own. "
"The happy child
of the glorious hour!"
Hold it up.
Look at me.
come, let's go home.
Mary, unable in her
fright to confess her crime,
realized she had been a fool.
She cursed herself...
...but kept her secret.
And decided to make
amends of a kind...
...to a motherless boy.
Mary, isn't it?
- Yes.
From Dr Narlikar's clinic?
- Yes.
Is something the matter?
No. I just wanted to
know if you need any Nanny.
Well, yes, actually I do.
Thank you.
First time I saw him
I was just done for him.
Who has come?
can I come?
- come.
Please go give him some money.
Hold this.
Bless you, baby.
come, come. There there.
Saleem. Baba.
Anything you want to be...
you can be...
you can be...
you want.
...Anything you want to be...
By our tenth birthday,
India and myself...
...were both under
a lot of pressure.
There was growth, there were gains,
there were five-year
plans and good exam results.
Anything you want to-
Mary, please can
you stop singing that.
You can be...
Please, Mary.
But there was also...
...the weight of expectation...
Please, Mary.
...It was a lot to live up to.
Aren't you forgetting
something, Saleem?
Where's my morning hug?
come on!
come on. come on. come on! Yes!
Stop it, Abba, it's embarrassing!
What nonsense.
Great things in store for you,
my son! I love you.
And me Abba?
Yes you, too, Jamila.
Jamila, Abba's just joking.
You want green chutney, baba?
Yes, sure. Of course.
What a fine boy!
See if I care.
Yes, Ammi?
Hey, Saleem.
Suppose it turns out
that you're not that special.
Suppose in the end
you're just normal.
I know.
Anything you want to be...
- Shut up! Stupid.
Freeze a Muslim's assets they say,
and he'll run back to Pakistan.
Leaving all his wealth behind.
But we must do something!
- What?
Something. We have law courts.
We have to fight!
Fight? How?. With what?
They have shoved my
balls into an ice bucket.
Janum, please.
Though some of his
assets eventually unfroze,
from that moment,
my father entered a deep solitude.
And a strange perfume started wafting
out from under his study door.
Jamila said it was
the smell of stale food,
but it's my belief that
it was the aroma of failure.
When I say 'doggie',
you'll say 'woof, woof'.
What will you say?
Woof, woof!
Woof, woof. Let's go. Woof, woof.
How much is that
doggie in the window?.
Woof! Woof!
The one with the waggily tail...
How much is that
doggie in the window?.
Woof! Woof!
I do hope that dog is for sale...
Shiva, get the money.
Give Shiva some money.
What happened?
Let's go.
I said, let's go.
Bloody rich boy.
Saleem, quickly. come.
Look there.
You see it? It's Sputnik.
Great achievement for Man.
Listen, Saleem,
my achievements have been small,
my ambitions thwarted.
But you, my son,
yours must be big.
Do you understand?
- Yes, Abba.
Hello. No. It's the wrong
I told you this is the wrong number!
Who's..? Who's in there?
Ammi, I swear, I didn't
see anything! Wait a minute, Ammi!
There are voices in my head!
Ammi, I...
Not one word for one whole day!
- Ammi, I...
Not one word.
Shhh.. Not one word.
- Mary, listen...
Shhh... shhh... SHHH!
Saleem! Saleem, listen to me.
We are your friends. We're just
like you! Listen to me, Saleem.
We are your friends.
We're just like you!
We are your friends.
We're just like you!
By the morning,
I had discovered that...
...I could somehow control
the volume of the voices
...through my nose!
Fear left me,
and I was thinking, "Man!
This is better than
Abbu, Ammi:
Mary, please can
I have your attention?
You have something to tell us?
An apology, I hope.
Ammi, something really
big has happened finally!
But first, please call Abba.
Most certainly not.
What's going on?
I'm hearing voices.
Voices are speaking
to me inside my head.
I really think that Archangels
have started to talk to me.
What's wrong?
Has your brain gone raw?.
Are you growing into a madman?
Oh, Jesus.
What is it?
- Please, move aside.
What happened son?
You're hearing voices
inside your head?
Still hearing those voices, ha?
Still hearing the voices?
That was necessary...
...to avoid repetition.
Saleem, listen to me!
Saleem listen to me!
Saleem listen to me!
Saleem listen to me!
We are your friends!
Saleem listen to me! Saleem.
Saleem, Saleem listen to me!
Saleem, Saleem listen to me!
Saleem, Saleem listen to me!
Saleem listen to me! Saleem.
Go away!
I don't want you!
Did you see what Abbu did?
Hello? No, it's the wrong number.
It's the wrong number!
And now she'll go out by herself.
Once upon a time,
there was an underground husband...
...who fled,
leaving loving messages of divorce.
After a lost decade...
...he emerged from
I watched my mother
and Nadir Khan...
...and I saw the kiss.
The indirect kiss.
I'll be gob-smacked.
Saleem? What on earth
are you doing here?
Don't talk to me! I hate you!
What's happening, darling?
You know what's happening!
I saw everything. I saw it all.
I saw what you did!
What did I do?
No more of these wrong-number calls,
okay, Amma?
Don't go out to see other men!
No more of this glass-kissery!
I hate you!
Saleem, listen to me! Saleem!
Go away!
I told you! Get out of my head!
Saleem! We're your friends!
We're like you!
We're not friends.
I don't even know you.
Never call on this number again.
Saleem, we are your friends.
We're like you.
We were born then, on that night.
You mean my midnight?
That midnight?
Yes, in that first hour.
All of you?
Yes, all of us!
But how can I hear you all?
How can I see you?
We all have gifts.
The closer to midnight
our birth-times,
the greater our gifts.
Who's there?
Saleem and Shiva. Shiva and Saleem.
Both born on the stroke
of midnight both alike.
Same to same.
My gift...
...is to fight.
He's the only one who
can bring us all together.
He's overthrow a government.
Aren't you...
Wee Willie's son?
How's your father anyway?
Talking to yourself?
Ammi is right,
your brain has really gone raw.
Get lost!
See if I care!
Where are you all going?
Why you are leaving?
You'll get better at this.
At what?
children of midnight? No.
Midnight's children.
You see this man?
This man brought
civilization to savages.
And he commanded respect.
With his...?
Sword, sir?
- correct!
So, today's subject
- Human Geography.
This is what, Sinai?
Sir, I don't know, sir.
Ah, you don't know, my friend!
come with me.
So, I ask again...
Do you know what is Human Geography?
Oh! Sir, please! Sir, please, sir!
Regard, please, the hideous
face of this primitive creature.
It reminds you of...?
- Sir, the devil, sir!
Sir, a vegetable, sir!
A cousin of mine, sir!
I don't know which one-
Silence, sons of baboons!
This object here is human geography.
How, sir? Where, sir?
In the face of this ugly ape, you
don't see the whole map of India?
No, sir!
See, the Deccan
peninsula hanging down?
And the stains!
These stains are Pakistan.
The birthmark on the
right is East Pakistan,
and this horrible stain is where...?
Tell me what you are!
An animal, sir?
Tell me what you are!
Er, accidents will happen,
Mrs Sinai.
What's wrong with you, Mr crusoe?
I'm here because
one of your teachers...
...pulled out a clump
of hair from my son's scalp...
and this is what
you have to say to me?
Just shoo!
Let's have a look, shall we?
This won't hurt a bit.
We've a given him a mild sedative.
It'll make him a little groggy,
but it'll help him get better.
You'll be fine soon, okay?
By the way...
Your blood type,
A and O - you're sure?
Why do you ask?
I... Excuse me.
You see...
...he's neither one nor the other.
You're sure he's your son?
Not adopted?
Yes, of course he's our son, Doctor.
Excuse me.
I don't understand.
What is there not to understand?
He's neither one nor the other.
Somebody else's blood is involved.
You see he's neither
one nor the other.
Look at his face.
Where am I in the face?
That bloody nose.
I should have known.
I will not let you
say such things about me!
I'll kill myself!
I will make you all the
green chutney in the world.
Excuse me, sir, would you
like to have something? Ma'am?
No, thanks.
Excuse me,
would you like to have something?
My blood was wrong. My wrong blood
turned my father's love to hate.
And though it caused
my mother much pain,
I was sent away.
Ah, Saleem. Right-o.
Let me be clear.
My sister asked me to take you in,
I can't refuse...
...whatever my own personal
inclinations may be.
Thank you, Emerald aunty.
Your cousin Zia will
show you the ropes.
What did you do to get kicked out?
I hear you still wet your pants.
Watch it, snotty!
Everything ready, Em?
Yes, darling.
The time is close now.
Very well.
Discretion is the watchword.
Of course, darling.
Dad, what's going on?
And you, boy. Here on sufferance.
Don't act smart. Understood?
And forget everything
you've just heard.
Yes, Uncle Zulfi.
Yes, sir, General Zulfikar.
Yes, sir, General Zulfikar.
"Uncle" is hardly appropriate...
...given the circs.
Are you there?
All of you, are you there?
Hi, Parvati.
Hello, Saleem.
Any new tricks?
I was born seven
seconds after midnight.
This is too good!
We've got to organize ourselves.
Gangs need bosses, rich kid.
I've been running a gang for years.
It's me that's bringing
you all together in my head.
...everyone does what I say.
Let Saleem be!
Shut up. Hm!
How are you doing all of this?
It's somehow because of this.
One thousand and one.
...four hundred and
twenty are already dead.
And everyone else?
Do you know what they can do?
In Orissa, there is a girl,
...and whoever sees
her falls in love with her.
And you, from Goa!
You can multiply fish!
And you, from Kerala!
You can step through mirrors...
...and reappear through
them wherever you want!
And you...
...a werewolf from Nilgiri Hills!
And you from the Vindhyas...
...you can make yourself
bigger and smaller.
And you can fly.
So if we have these gifts, then...
...we must ask why?
There must be a reason, na?
I think we should figure
it out and dedicate-
What's the reason that
you're rich and I'm poor?
What's the reason I'm starving, man?
I'll tell you.
You gotta get what you can,
do what you can with it,
and then you gotta die.
That's the reason, rich kid!
And everything else
is mother-sleeping wind.
Stop it Shiva.
- Shut up, slut.
I'm gonna take this
gang of freaks over.
Not without me. Without me, they
won't even be able to listen to you.
Just try and stop me.
Good evening. Please...
Mr commander-in-chief,
be welcome in our home.
come, Emerald,
no need for such formalities.
You shouldn't be watching.
Neither should you.
Wow! If he's here,
then this is something really big.
What is the meaning of this?
Perhaps they should
be permitted to attend.
It's their future that
we're making after all. come on.
come on, boys.
Gentlemen, here, in our Pakistan,
our Land of the Pure...
...there is impurity on every side.
Tonight, therefore on my command,
we assume control of the State.
Hear! Hear!
Martial Law is imposed
with immediate effect.
The constitution is abrogated.
All political parties are abolished.
General Zulfikar!
- Sir!
Kindly map out the procedures.
Zia! come here.
You, Saleem. come up here and help.
Excuse me.
At this moment...
...the national radio
station has been surrounded...
...by hand-picked units.
Loyal armoured units...
...are simultaneously seizing
control of the airport.
Key points in the city...
...are now secure.
And finally...
...crack troops...
...have taken charge...
...of the Presidential palace.
...the day is ours!
Well done, young man.
Mr President...
You're a lucky man.
It's only exile for you.
"Only exile...?!" In exile,
I learned about power.
After all, I had helped
to overthrow a government.
Also I learned about loneliness.
Years with no friends...
...except for Midnight's children.
That dream again.
come, please. All of you.
Now what, cucumber-nose?
come on, Shiva. It's time
for the conference, everyone.
Yaar not that story again.
Haven't you worked out
that it's the same every time?
"We must be here for a reason.
We're all here for a higher purpose.
maybe we should just use
our powers to help our parents. "
"We must keep it a secret... shh... "
"If they find us,
they will come after us
and they will kill us!"
Huh? What do you suggest,
Mister "I'm very strong?"
What's your bloody plan?
Don't kill me with your broom.
- No, stop!
We all have to stay together, na?
Isn't that right?
I mean, don't you all see
everything else is breaking apart?
Languages, religions, countries...
We can show people
a new way of being.
Get up.
Now listen to me.
Nobody can stop us. Hm?
We can blind people. Make gold. Fly.
Read minds. Dojaadu.
How will they fight us?
Get off...
...we're not getting hitched.
The world is not ideas rich kid.
The world is things.
If you have things,
you have time to dream.
Hm? If you don't...
...you fight.
No, Shiva. No, no fighting.
Look, people aren't things, man.
People need each other.
And it's not about flying,
or blinding, or gold... or magic!
And our powers aren't for fighting.
It's this.
I'll beat the hell out of you.
Shiva, stop!
You don't understand.
They don't care about us!
No fighting, guys! Please.
I think Saleem's right!
We should start a coup!
No! Enough! No coup!
Shut up.
Hey, rich kid!
Shiva, don't do this. Stop!
Try to understand, Shiva!
Don't do this!
Shut up.
Shh. Shut up!
How about I finish this right now!
The Midnight's children
conference is hereby dissolved!
Its constitution is abrogated!
Its Assemblies are suspended!
I abolish it!
Good morning, General Zulfikar.
You wanted me, Emerald aunty?
How long has it been now, Saleem?
Quite a long time, you'll agree?
Such a helpful boy. Love you.
I told your ma,
she must have you back.
To be fair,
she's been on your side all along.
Your pater wants to make
a fresh start here in Pakistan.
So you'll be joining them...
...at Alia's place, in Karachi.
Oh, sorry!
What are you doing?!
Out! Idiot, out of my sight!
Yes, Emerald aunty.
cheerio, Uncle Zulfi!
Did your aunty feed you properly?
Her food is horrible.
I missed your cooking so much.
Green chutney.
She didn't come, Mary?
She's waiting at home. Let's go.
Give it to me.
My child.
Terrible things happen
in life and we don't know how.
Forgive me.
Be kind to your abba.
He's not been very happy these days.
Hello, Abba.
Abba. Hi.
Hi, Saleem.
Welcome back.
Thank you.
What happened to me, Mary?
How can my blood be wrong?
Nothing wrong with your blood.
It's my mother's fault.
Don't say that.
She was with other men.
Shut up, baba!
I saw it Mary. I saw it all.
Please, Joe. Help me.
Ah, Jamila the singing
star has arrived.
She sings very well.
Thank you, abba.
You're welcome, darling.
Five-letter word for "singer"...
Mary. A little more toast, please.
- Ah, "tenor".
Sir. Madam.
Madam, please.
What's wrong, Mary?
What happened?
Baba is not your son.
He's Winkie and Vanita's son.
No, he is not.
Vanita's child's father is not Winkie.
It's that... that Englishman...
- Methwold.
- Methwold.
He's gone back to England
and poor Vanita, she's dead now.
She died at midnight.
I was there, Madam.
I gave your child to her...
...and hers to you.
Sorry, Madam.
Your son is Shiva.
Not a nice boy at all.
I'm sorry, Madam.
Let the rich be poor... Poor, rich.
Please, just... leave now.
I love you, baba. Like my own son.
No! No!
Stop it, abba!
Let him go!
Stop it, abba!
Get him out of my
sight before I kill him.
What did you say?
He will not go.
Once before you sent him
away and I didn't want him to go.
Love is not just born, it's made.
He is my child!
If he goes, I'll go.
Despite the revelation
of the midnight swap...
...never once did I have any desire
to search for the Englishman, Methwold
And never once, to my knowledge...
...did Ammi and Abba set out to
look for the true son of their blood.
I like to think,
that in spite of all the heartache...
...my parents loved me.
Where were you? - I know who I am now.
I'm not my ammi's son.
What do you mean?
Then her child is...
Saleem, he'll kill you.
You stole his life.
It's not your fault.
- He must never know.
Excuse me.
...what are we doing here?
Abba, why have you brought me here?
come with me, Saleem.
No, I'm not coming.
- Saleem...
- I'm not coming.
No! Why am I here?
Look, can't we just talk
about this like grown-ups?
They mustn't touch my nose, okay.
Do you understand?
- Sit down!
- No, no, no.
Take him away.
You understand,
Abba, they mustn't touch my...
You hear that? You are not to touch my
Abba! Abba!
Listen to me. Don't.
You don't know what you are doing.
You can't!
Look, look, you cannot touch my nose.
- It's okay.
- Please, don't! You don't know!
Just be a good fellow
and count to ten.
Ten. Nine. Eight. Seven. Six...
Five. Four. Three. Two.
One. That's it.
Are you there?
All of you?
Parvati? Where are you?
It's me.
They've all gone.
I can't call them anymore.
Who's gone? Who's Parvati?
Saleem. Just relax.
- Hey, put that back!
- No, no, Jamila.
I can smell.
Through that, you can smell?
Yes, I can smell everything.
What can you smell?
I can smell yourjasmine.
I can smell traffic on the street.
I can smell medicine.
I can smell other things, like...
I can smell love.
There's going to be a big war,
you know.
Yeah? So?
Yeah so!
So which side are we on?
I know which side I'm on.
You're the one who's confused
- with your Bombay this, Bombay that.
- I'm not confused.
- Aren't you?
War draws closer every minute.
The Indian enemy rises in strength.
But we too are strong...
...and beti,
your voice will make us stronger.
It will inspire our
soldiers to victory!
crazed by the war fought by both the
countries to which I had belonged...
...I rode the night
streets of Karachi...
Final warning!
...looking for death.
What are you doing!
Bring him! Bring him! Bring him!
Because of me you see!
Because of my crime.
What crime?
It's nothing, yaar.
The poor man is cracked.
The bombs are looking for me..
- Take it easy, okay.
And don't ride that thing anymore.
Everything is tickety-boo.
Most of my family died in that war.
I, orphaned, survived.
For six years, I slept,
brained by a silver spittoon.
Wiped clean, remembering nothing.
After six years, I awoke,
and was shipped off to another war.
Torch, please.
This time, a civil war.
Awake, are we?
Right on time to get
shipped off to East Pakistan.
Pakistan's East Wing fighting for
its independence against the West.
No memory
Refuses to talk.
All he's good for is sniffing, yaar.
- He gives me the creeps, yaar.
- creeps?
Hear that? Empty.
Nobody's home.
In three short weeks,
Pakistan had lost half its navy
a third of its army, and a
quarter of its air force.
By the time I tumbled into the war,
it was all over.
Good. That's that.
I'm sorry for your
loss in the battle, Zulfi.
Thank you, sir.
Our most decorated officer.
He fought quite a battle
Good show, major.
When General Zulfikar
surrendered to his old friend,
General Aurora of India...
...Pakistan also lost more
than half its population...
...who became citizens
of Bangladesh.
In those days, all our
wars were fights between friends.
Magicians had been brought from
India to entertain the crowds...
...and that day,
everyone believed in magic.
Parvati the witch! Parvati!
Parvati! Parvati the witch!
Saleem! That's it!
And I thought I was
dreaming the whole thing.
come up.
Hey, you there! Hurry up, they're
boarding the plane.
What's in this?
Don't disturb her.
It's a personal snake.
And this one?
It's empty, sir. Take a look.
Very good.
Gather your belongings and board the
Is it okay?
And so it came to pass that without
passport or permit...
...I returned in Parvati's basket of
invisibility to India.
My India. The land of my birth.
Abracadabra. Abracadabra.
- Bye, Saleem.
- Bye.
"Picture Singh... "
"... the Most charming
Man in the World... "
"charm your friends with
that Eastman Kodak. " That's me.
Parvati is a good girl.
Very sensible girl.
But she's an orphan.
She's your good friend.
How to take care of her?
Any idea?
Do you want tea?
Then go make some.
Karan, don't.
Finally, I have someone
who knows my magic is real.
Why don't you tell the others?
Have you ever met...
...magicians who
believe in real magic?
They don't want witches around here.
Not even Picture Singh?
Not even Picture Singh.
Midnight's children.
You and me. That's something else.
- Parvati, please talk to me.
- No, you talk to me, Saleem!
It... it changes.
I'm sorry.
Are you too grand for me?
Remember I know a secret about you.
You haven't told anyone.
I could have.
I met the other one.
The other one?
The one you're scared of.
He was there at the victory parade.
The biggest hero of the whole war.
Your old buddy.
- You met him?
- Yes.
And you told him.
But maybe I should send for him.
Send for him?
And you think he'll come to you?
To hell with you!
No further, Picture-ji.
come to me. Abracadabra.
come to me.
certain ironies must
not pass unnoticed,
for had not Shiva risen as I fell?
Which of us became a slum-dweller,
and who was the hero; the most
powerful of Midnight's children?
There's nothing like war...
...for the reinvention of lives.
Who are you, hmm? Woman?
I'm the witch.
Another Midnight's child.
I have nothing to say to you.
I'm leaving.
come back to me.
Woof woof.
How much is that
doggie in the window?.
I do hope that doggie's for sale
I had many families and no family.
There were the parents
I never knew who gave me life.
And the parents who raised me,
whom I lost.
And Midnight's children,
who were taken from me for a time.
I wandered among them all,
and at last I was ready.
I called him because
I was angry with you.
I know.
He left his child with me.
Parvati. Maybe it's not his child.
What do you mean?
When we get married,
it will be ours.
When we get married, it'll be ours.
Your face.
What about my face now?.
Parvati, it's so beautiful.
June 12, 1975, will be
remembered as a historic date.
At 2:15 this afternoon
the Prime Minister was found
guilty of electoral malpractice.
From a specially built podium, Mrs.
Gandhi told
the crowd that she was a victim...
"Emergency. "
The word "Emergency"
was heard for the first time.
The censorship of the press,
arrest of subversive elements...
...and forced sterilization.
Some things were ending,
something was being born.
It's a baby boy!
Look at your ears, they're so big!
Who knows what things you'll hear?
Aadam Sinai.
Anything you want...
...to be, you can be...
You can be...
...just whatever you want.
With the declaration
of the "Emergency,"
and the birth of a new,
unfree India, a dark night fell.
A continuous midnight
that would last...
...for years.
What's happening?
Where is the daylight?
A curse has come upon us.
I have never seen such a thing.
No doubt about it, Madam.
Your horoscope clearly states that
you are one with the Motherland.
India is the Prime Minister,
Prime Minister is India.
And we started to think
of her as "Devi"
"The Mother Goddess. "
Those who would be gods
fear all other potential deities.
And that's why she hated us.
The magical children of midnight.
It is astrologically proven...
...a threat to the nation, Madam...
...is a threat to
the Prime Minister also.
- Huh?
- Huh?
Did you hear that?
A civic beautification has
been authorized in this sector.
This slum contains subversive
elements, it's an eyesore...
...and a public scandal.
All persons must vacate immediately!
Why are you doing this?
Parvati! Parvati! Aadam!
Go save them!
Rich kid.
Shiva! Shiva, stop!
Now tell me where
the other children are.
Where are they?
- Little Aadam!
He's your son!
The "Emergency"...
...was necessary and justified.
Democracy was under threat.
It had to be protected.
We think you're very dangerous.
Or what you might be capable of,
What you're plotting to do.
Or might be plotting
at a future date.
We're going to nip you in the bud.
cut you off at the source.
Prevention is better than cure.
This is an "Emergency. "
Your gang of freaks?
It will have to be
smashed... With your help.
Of course.
Names. Addresses.
Physical descriptions.
Nature of peculiar capabilities.
All of it.
Thank you in advance.
Thank you very much.
No. Never.
That wasn't too bad, was it?
Not so bad at all.
...he's really me.
You two, out.
What the hell are you talking about?
Two babies.
Born together.
Same place, same time.
Swapped, see? Swapped.
Speak up.
I stole your life.
Rich boy.
Saleem and Shiva. Shiva and Saleem.
Shiva. No! Stop!
Let them go!
Let them go! Let them go!
Forgive me.
I'm sorry to inform you
that we're obliged to operate.
Operate? What, what... what operation?
"Sperectomy. "
I'm going to take your life away...
...bit by bit, like you took mine.
No! Don't! No, stop! Stop!
Don't do this! Don't do this!
Stop... Stop. Stop.
Take the pyjama off.
The "Emergency," everyone called it...
...but it was really a betrayal.
Her betrayal...
...of her father's dreams.
Who were we? We were
the promises of independence.
And like all promises,
made to be broken.
In a stunning upset,
the Prime Minister
Indira Gandhi has been...
flung out of office.
Sure of a triumph,
she called an election,
only to have it backfire on her.
The Emergency is over.
Four hundred and twenty of us stood,
blinking in the sunlight.
And then dispersed into
the healing privacy of the crowds.
And what of Shiva?
Shiva, who was now a wanted man.
Unfortunately, she...
But captain... you have a son.
come. come with me.
She didn't even use
her magic to save her life.
You see, Picture-ji, Parvati gave
up all of that before he was born.
She didn't give it up.
I found Aadam in her
basket of invisibility.
The soldiers looked
inside and shouted...
It's empty! It's empty!
I heard them with my own ears.
But you saw him?
I believed in her magic.
Always knew it was not a trick.
He's a fine child, child of dignity.
No matter he doesn't
speak but he will,
when he has something to say.
This chutney!
What's this? Where's it from?
Here, sir.
Oh! One from famous
Braganza Pickles of Bombay.
Picture-ji, we must go to Bombay.
Just now?.
Parvati was gone.
But in the five-syllable
monotony of the wheels,
I heard her magic spell.
abracadabra, abracadabra,"...
...sang the wheels,
as they bore us back to Bombay.
Is Mrs Braganza here?
Yes, but you can't meet with her.
Where are you going?
Who is it?
You've become so thin.
Let me kiss you.
Mary, this is my son, Aadam.
And Aadam...
come here.
come, Little Baba.
Blow. Blow.
Happy birthday.
Bless you.
He spoke!
He's speaking.
My God.
He's calling me "father".
Speak son, speak.
What did you say?
Another magic child.
So. A new generation...
but more careful.
A child and a country were
born at midnight, once upon a time.
Great things were
expected of us both.
The truth has been less
glorious than the dream.
But we have survived
and made our way.
And our lives have been,
in spite of everything,
acts of love.