The Ministry of Utmost Happiness - Chapter 2: Khwabgah (pages 11-33) Summary & Analysis

Arundhati Roy
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Summary

When Anjum was born, the fourth of five children, the midwife mistakes her for a boy. For six years, Anjum’s parents had waited for a boy, who they would name Aftab. They give Anjum this name. However, baby’s Aftab’s mother, Jahanara Begum, soons discovers that her baby has a “girl-part” (11) “underneath his boy-parts” (11). Terrified, the world no longer making sense, Jahanara Begum considers killing herself and her child. She thinks about Urdu, which has a gender for every noun, and wonders, without articulating the question, if it is “possible to leave outside language” (12).

Inspecting, Jahanara realizes that the “girl-part” is more like an “appendage, a baby-thing” that she hopes will eventually go away. She decides to go with her baby to visit the shrine of Hazrat Sarmad Shaheed, a Jewish Armenian merchant who once traveled from Persia to...

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This section contains 1,186 words
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Buy The Ministry of Utmost Happiness Study Guide
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