Life of Pi Part 1 (Toronto and Pondicherry) Chapters 28 - 36 Summary

     In Chapter 28 Pi is baptized, as he wished. Also, he got his praying rug and immediately fell in love with it. He enjoyed praying outside, while his family stood and watched until they got used to the scene.

     Chapter 29 brings a major change in his life. The mid-1970s were troubled times in India. Political changes brought uneasiness among people. To make the zoo prosper, they had to be above the law, which was impossible in that period. It was also impossible to run the zoo on the margins of the law. In Pi's parents minds, India had already fallen apart. Worried that they will not be able to support the family, Pi's parents decided to move to Canada, although they were very poor for Canadian standards. However, the decision was made in hope for the better life.

     In chapter 30, the narrator comes to realization that Mr. Patel is married. He meets Meena Patel on her way out to work. She is a pharmacist. Now when the narrator knows that Mr. Patel does not live alone, he start noticing signs of conjugal existence.

     In the following chapter, Pi goes further in past, while his life in India was still unshaken. He tells a story about how Mr. Kumar and Mr. Kumar met. He says that Mr. Kumar, the baker from the mosque, wanted to visit the zoo for the first time, and Pi was excited to be his guide. They agreed to meet on the main gate, which turned out to be hilarious, as Pi had difficulties in remembering Mr. Kumar's ordinary face. He had to be focused on each person who came his way, but constant intruders impeded him. Finally, Mr. Kumar approached Pi, to Pi's relief and their tour could start. During the visit, Mr. Kumar marveled at everything, ignorant about animals and how the zoo worked. When they got closer to zebras, Mr. Kumar was unsure about the origin of their black lines, wondering if they would melt in the rain. While they were feeding zebras with carrots, Mr. Kumar, the biology teacher, came and they spent the rest of the visit together.

     Chapter 32 is on zoomorphism, where an animal takes another animal, or a human, as one of its kind. To make a reader understand the concept, Pi gives an example of a dog who becomes a foster mother to lion cubs. Even when they grow up and become several times larger and stronger, they never represent a threat to dog's life. Another example are circus lions who do not treat a human as a human in their relationship, as they know that they need that human to survive.

     The next chapter switches to the intrusive narrator who is getting to know Pi better. He is obviously in Pi's home, as Pi is showing him photos. Those are wedding photos, family photos, photos from the college. When they get to the end of the album, Pi admits that he cannot remember how his mother looks, nor he can recall her voice.

     In Chapter 34, Pi narrates about the preparations for the trip to Canada. He says that their zoo had to be closed, all animals sold. In order to make more money, they decided to sell their animals to American's zoos, which required a lot of paperwork. Most of animals were ready to go, while the other needed further care before they were allowed to leave India. When it comes to Pi and his family, they left India on June 21st 1977, by cargo ship Tsimtsun. It was hard to leave India, family, friends and the life as they knew it and to ship to unknown. Although Pi was terribly excited by the new life adventure, it seemed that his mother was a bit pessimistic and sad.

     In the following chapter, we learn that the intrusive narrator is actually a writer. He still does not reveal the nature of visits to Pi, but is quite interested in his life. Beside meeting Pi's wife, during their next meeting, he meets Pi's son, whom he sees for the first time. The boy's name is Nikhil, but prefers to be called Nick. He is in a rush and does not say much. In the living room, he notices a little girl with a cat, assuming that she is Pi's daughter. Her name is Usha, and she is four.

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