A Passage to India Chapter 7
Fielding has come to India late in his life. He was over 40 when he first set foot in the country. The longer Fielding remains in India, the larger the gulf grows between himself and his fellow Englishmen. His countrymen see him as a controversial figure because he interacts with Indians. Fielding has matured differently than the other Englishmen and never leaned to follow the crowd: "[H]e did not realize that 'white' has no more to do with a colour than 'God save the King' with a god, and that it is the height of impropriety to consider what it does connote." Chapter 7, pg. 65 Mr. Fielding thinks it is possible to be friends with both English men and Indians, but not possible to be friends with both English women and Indians.
Fielding invited Mrs. Moore and Adela to tea because they are new to India, and uncorrupted, seeing things with an equal eye. Aziz arrives at Fielding's while Fielding is still in the shower. They begin to talk, though they cannot see each other. Aziz is very excited to finally meet Fielding. While Fielding is dressing, he drops his collar stud and steps on it. Aziz offers him the stud off of his own collar. They become immediately intimate and dispense with all formalities.
Mrs. Moore, Adela, and Professor Godbole, a Hindu who is Fielding's assistant, join Aziz and Fielding. Adela and Mrs. Moore bring up their blunder with the Bhattacharyas to Aziz and ask what they have done wrong. The Bhattacharyas never sent the carriage to pick up the ladies to go to their home on the date on which they agreed. Aziz blames the Indian couple's lack of manners on the fact that they are Hindus.
He also says that they might have been embarrassed by the poor quality of their home. Mrs. Moore finds their behavior mysterious. "A mystery is only a high sounding term for a muddle. No advantage in stirring it up, in either case. Aziz and I know well that India is a muddle." Chapter 7, pg. 73
Aziz feels comfortable in this company and starts to tell them about Indian history, though his tales are inaccurate. Adela is very captivated by what Aziz has to say. Her affability pleases Aziz and Godbole. Azis feels so comfortable that he invites everyone to his house. Realizing that his quarters are substandard, he later offers to take the ladies on a tour of the Marabar Caves, even though he has never been there. Ronny interrupts their conversation. He ignores the Indians on his way into the room and notices that Fielding is not with them. He asks one of the servants to find Fielding because he is worried that his mother and Adela were left alone with Indians. He insists on taking the women to a polo match, although they are not interested in watching the match. The group parts ways, all a bit irritated after Ronny's interruption.