Chronological timeline of "Slumdog Millionaire"
The Burden of a Priest:
A baby boy is left at the Church of St. Mary's. He is adopted by the Priest Mr. Thomas (Father Timothy). Father Timothy gives the boy the name Ram Mohammed Thomas to satisfy the "All-Faith-Committee". Ram lives with Father Timothy until he is eight years old. Eventually another Priest (Father John) arrives and starts living with them. He turns out to be a drug addicted homosexual and rapes a boy from England who turns out to be Father Timothy's son. Ram, who instantly informs Father Timothy, catches him in the act. On the following day "Father John" shoots Father Timothy and himself in front of the altar. Ram finds their dead bodies and is send to a juvenile home.
Because of Father Timothy's profession Ram is later on able to answer the 2nd question of the quiz show.
A Thought for the Crippled:
After Father Timothy's death Ram lives in a juvenile home at Turkman Gate in Delhi. The deputy, Mr. Gupta, likes young boys and sends for them at night. He never sends for Ram but his newly found friend Salim nearly is raped by him but Ram saves him by quietly alarming the other workers in the juvenile home. While visiting a ferry on a day trip, the boys visit a fortuneteller who tells Salim that he will be famous one day and gives Ram his special luck coin. One day the rich man Sethji who wants them to work for him chooses the two of them. He teaches them to sing well to earn money through begging. Ram realizes that Sethji cripples the boys so that they earn even more money. As it is they turn, Ram and Salim flee via train to Mumbai.
The intense learning of the songs meant for begging allows Ram to answer the 4th question.
Ram finds a job as a servant with Neelima Kumari, an old actress who cannot handle the fact that her bright days are over. Salim is not accepted as a servant because of him being a Muslim. Neelima Kumari's mother does not want the boys to live in the house with them. They move into a chawl but after the death of Neelima Kumari's mother Ram moves in with her. Neelima is only offered roles for old side characters and dwells on her past as a famous actress. As a burglar presents himself as one of her biggest fans she allows him to stay and spends a whole night talking to him. Eventually Ram learns that she is abused and mistreated by her lover. He wants to talk to her about it but she shoos him away. One day she tells him to go to the market while she spends hours on looking beautiful and young. Ram does not realize what is going on as she swallows a massive amount of painkillers and leaves her for his shopping. He finds her corpse afterwards, dressed in her most beautiful Sari and with her favourite trophy in her hands. Panicked he flees the house and finds work in a foundry. Neelima's dead body is discovered a month later, already rotten.
Neelima Kumari's self-obsession and her dramatic death lead Ram to the right answer of the 10th question.
A Soldiers Tale:
War between India and Pakistan breaks out. Ram and Salim stil live in the chawl together. During a curfew a veteran tells them stories about his heroic fight in one of the last wars and complains that he hasn't gotten any credit for it. Later on, as soldiers visit the bunker, he is recognized by one of them and called out as a deserter. The old man hangs himself in a lonely room of the bunker.
The soldiers story and his complaining about him not getting any army awards make Ram able to answer the 8th question.
The Death of a Hero:
Salim and Ram are still living in the chawl. Salim is great fan of the filmstar Armaan Ali. His whole room is covered in posters, he collects every article about him and goes on a rampage as rumours about his homosexuality get loud, homosexuality being the thing Salim hates most, due to his experience with Mr. Gupta. While watching one of Armaan Ali's movies in the cinema, Salim gets harassed by an old man. As Salim defends himself, the old man looses his beard and the boys recognize Armaan Ali. The posters in Salim's room vanish after that incident.
Salim's intense knowledge about Armaan Ali and his films allows Ram to answer the 1st Question.
A Brothers Promise:
New neighbours move into the chawl. The father of the family was an astronomer but lost his job due to his drinking problem. He seems nice in the beginning and teaches his daughter about the stars and the planets, with Ram and Salim listening through the thin walls. But his drinking gets worse and he starts abusing his wife and his daughter. He even burns his daughter's face with tea and kills her cat, Pluto. Ram tries to help Gudiya and comforts her through a space in the wall. As her father tries to rape her, he calms her and promises to protect her. He eventually pushes her father down the stairs. Believing Gudiya's father to be dead, Ram starts to panic and flees to New Delhi.
The lessons of Gudiya's father and his explanation of the cat's name are the reason why Ram is able to answer the 3rd Question.
How to Speak Australian:
Ram starts working for the Taylor family. Mr. Taylor is a Australian politician with two children and a wife and has many other servants, besides Ram. Ram befriends his children, he even tries mimicking their Australian accent, and lives a comfortable life but he also feels guilty for leaving Salim behind. Eventually the servants get fired one after another after Mr. Taylor finds out several of their secrets, including that one of his servants was lusting after his daughter. As the servant is confronted with this accusation he blames Ram and even hides the daughter's bra in Ram's bed. But Mr. Taylor still knows that it was not Ram and protects him from his wife. Ram stumbles upon a secret room in the house and finds out that Mr. Taylor uses cameras to spy on his servants and family. He also learns that he buys top-secret information from a defense minister. Ram informs the police about this in his best Australian accent and leaves the Taylors with his payment of 52,000 rupees.
Due to his crimes, Mr Taylor is declared a "persona non grata" which helps Ram to find the answer to the 5th Question.
Murder on the Western Express:
Ram travels back to Mumbai on a train, having all of his payment stuffed inside a package under his shirt. He brags about his money in front of a boy in his department. As the train is robbed, the boy mentions the money to save himself, causing Ram to loose it all. To save one girl from being raped, Ram shoots one of dacoits. He panics again and jumps of the train and travels without a real destination until he ends up in Agra.
The engraving on the dacoits colt allows Ram to answer the 7th Question.
X Gkrz Opknu (or a Love Story):