Saleem Sinai: the protagonist and narrator; a telepath with an enormous and constantly dripping nose, who is born at the exact moment that India becomes independent of complex and confusing parentage. He is referred to variously as The Nose, Snotnose, and Sniffer referring to his nose ; Stainface ,Mapface and Piece of the Moon referring to his birthmarked face; Baldy referring to the bald patch on his head where the hair was pulled out by a violent school teacher; and the buddha during the time he looses his memory. He later develops a hyper-sensitive sense of smell. He is deaf in one ear from a blow received from his father, and has lost the tip of one finger in a bullying incident at school.
“We all owe death a life.”
“Who and what am I? Answer: I am the sum of everything that happened before me, of everything I've been, seen and done, of everything done to me. I'm every thing and every being whose existence in the world have affected and were affected by my existence. I'm everything that will happen after I leave and everything that wouldn't have happened if I never came.<..>I repeat for the last time: you have to swallow the whole world.”
“'Mourn for the living,' I rebuke her gently. 'The dead have their camphor gardens.'”
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