One Amazing Thing by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni Summary Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of One Amazing Thing

Plot Summary Part 1

A bunch of people are at the Indian embassy in America when there is an earthquake and they are trapped in the embassy and forced to share their feelings with each other. In the process of learning how screwed up they all are, they bond together and become sensitive (sigh!).

Uma is going to visit her parents in India. But she hates India because of "The heat, the dirt, the noise, the crowded buses, the beggars, the bribes, the diarrhea, the bootlicking, and the streets littered with garbage that never got picked up." But Uma's mother assured her that things have changed and that there is no longer diarrhea in India, heh heh heh. So Uma is trying to get a visa to visit them.

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Suddenly an earthquake hits the embassy and Uma thinks of a guy named Ramon. She thinks about how much she liked his nipples, heh heh.

A muslim named Tariq goes crazy and a black guy named Cameron smacks him hard in the head. Cameron apologizes for beating up the muslim. He saw Tariq trying to open the door to leave and Cameron says it is not safe to open a door after an earthquake.

What? According to whom? Cameron thinks that the ceiling may collapse if they open the door. He prefers to just stay trapped in the little room with all the other people at the embassy. What a retard!

Cameron feels guilty for hitting the muslim in the head. "Don't be afraid of me," he says to the other people who he has not yet hit in the head.

Malathi is an embassy employee. She wants her boss Mr. Mangalam to bone her with his bureaucratic Indian p_nis. One day Mr. Mangalam pulled her close and kissed her. Unfortunately, he kissed her next to a smiling photo of Mrs. Mangalam. Looking at the photo made Malathi's v_gina dry up instantly. She pushed Mr. Mangalam away.

Malathi went crazy when the earthquake occurred. Mr. Mangalam helped her out by shaking her like a rabbit until she calmed down.

Cameron the black guy wants Malathi to take off her dress so he can tear it up into strips to make bandages for the wounded people. You notice he doesn't ask any guys to take off their clothes for this purpose. I think Cameron wants to see Malathi nude. Someone hands Malathi a sweatshirt and she reluctantly gets out of her dress.

Tariq, the Muslim who Cameron smacked in the head, says he intends to kill Cameron. Luckily for the others he doesn't have an explosive vest handy.

Tariq believes he needs to pray to God five times a day and he has missed two times. He worries that God will cut off his balls for failing to pray enough.  He got his prayer mat out but doesn't know which direction Mecca is in. He always has to point it towards Mecca. This is odd for two reasons. (1) Can't God hear his prayers regardless of what direction he is facing? And (2) If he is on the other side of the planet from Mecca, isn't the most direct line to Mecca down, through the center of the earth? These factors are not considered.

Tariq starts moaning, "Allah Ackbar!" and the others are very glad he is not wearing a suicide vest. Tariq has a big fundamentalist beard that makes him look scary.

Malathi had tried to seduce Mr. Mangalam by leaning against a wall and sticking out her breasts.  She was such a slut that she hoped Mr. Mangalam would invite her into his private bathroom to bone her. But after their kiss and seeing the photo of Mrs. Mangalam, Malathi changed her mind and closed her legs.

An old woman named Mrs. Pritchett is insane. She had previously tried to kill herself. When she failed doctors put her on mind control drugs which made her smile like a retarded person.

Finally they got up the courage to open the door. As soon as they opened it, Tariq ran out the door at top speed, leading the reader to wonder if he had planted a bomb. But Tariq didn't get far when another part of the ceiling fell down, collapsing on top of him. When they looked down the corridor they found more debris blocking their way.

They dig Tariq out of the debris. He's still alive.

They are all supposed to pool their resources, all the food they have left. But Mr. Mangalam is holding out, hiding some whiskey he is drinking on his own. Malathi knows about the whiskey and taunts Mr. Mangalam about it. Mr. Mangalam smacks her in the head, just like Cameron smacked Tariq in the head. The head seems to be the favorite place to hit people in this book.

A woman named Lily, seeing what happened, hit Mr. Mangalam in the head as well. Then Tariq hit Mr. Mangalam in the face. Wack wack wack!


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