Martyrs, Padma! Heroes, bound for the perfurmed garden! Where the men would be given four beauteous houris, untouched by man or djinn; and the women, four equally virile males! Which of your Lord's blessings would you deny? What a thing this holy war is, in which with one supreme sacrifice men may atone for all their evils! No wonder Lahore was defended; what did the Indians have to look forward to? Only re-incarnation - as cockroaches, maybe, or scorpions, or green-medicine wallahs - there's really no comparison.
Salman Rushdie (speaking through Saleem Sinais's thoughts); or Saleem Sinai, Padma!, saying what Salman Rushdie tells him to - but where, where, Padma, where did all this happen? And what came next? Let us not rush, Padma, my two-headed goddess, let us stick to the present, let us stick to Midnight's Children, 1981 - for that's where it's written, and we will stick to the facts here (the multiple voices in my head distracting me, so often!, from my point).