4. Who what am I? My answer: I am the sum total of everything that went before me, of all I have been seen done, , of everything done-to-me.
This quotation appears in Book Three, at the end of the chapter “Sam and the Tiger.” Saleem has just finished recalling the rage he felt upon realizing the fundamental unfairness of life. This passage is a perfect expression of Saleem’s narrative. He begins his life story thirty-two years before his birth, and from that moment, considers everything that has happened as being somehow related to his life. There is a connection between past and present, between the state and the individual. History is never past. It plays an active role in shaping the present, and Saleem’s story is an attempt to capture that dynamic relationship.