Wednesday, January 07, 2015

God of Small Things

I finally read Arundhati Roy's "The God of Small Things".  The book was very very engaging although it was going back and forth in time. And Roy doesnt inform us which time zone she is in. Which is Ok. Because this switching back and forth created some sort of suspense and building of a crescendo for the reader to look forward to. They keep talking about the "incident". We dont know what. We know that. this "incident" caused  the death of a small girl Sophie. It is her funeral the story starts with . 

The story itself runs on the multiple themes. Roy jam packs mutiple problems ( We face in Indian society) into  one single book and she is quiet successful in pushing her thoughts across to the readers. The first theme she  has worked on is the rules of Love. According to her Love does not know whom to love and how much to love. Love just loves.  This love she shows between the twins and  their mom's love for Velutha.  Rahel and Esthappen are nonidentical twins  and their mom Ammu is a rebel.   Velutha belongs to a so-called lower caste and Ammu a Syrian Christian.  They both fall in love and consequence of which the little girl Sophie faces.  Sophie is Ammu's brother's daughter.  Ammu's brother Chacko and Baby Kochamma(Ammu's aunt) blame Ammu and her kids for their recklessness and indirectly hold them responsible for Sophie's death.  

This scar remains with Esthappen for ever , so much that he never speaks again. Rahel feels lonely. Ammu dies. 

The final  scene is how the twins become one again through their consummation. They both assuage each others souls that way. 

The second theme is a political one with lots of communism in it . It typically depicts Kerala of of 1960s. How Velutha ( a communist) is not given any support when he needs by his own mentor is haunting. Velutha's fate is sealed with this act of his mentor.

The book has many descriptions. And I will be very honest here, I was not able to comprehend everything. I  would definitely want to know what Roy meant. 

Roy's depiction of Kerala is beautiful. I could constant feel the wetness of the rain and the back waters of Kerala :).

I also want to ask Roy one more question. Was consummation the only way for Esthappen to get peace? Was there no other way?  Did Ammu have to suffer so much? She was a rebel. She could have found another job and looked after her children well. Why listen to Baby Kochamma and "return" Estha?

All in all the book was a fine read. 

Tuesday, January 06, 2015

Few people I admire

There are some people whom I have always admired

First  is AR Rahman. His music is amazing no doubt. He is world class. But what makes him stand apart from the rest is his heart. What a human being he is. Wherever he goes he spreads love. His speeches are all about love and nothing else.  They are hardly about music. Somehow I feel , for him music just a medium to reach God. And when he composes music with such a good intention , only the best will come out .  He is always smiling, humble and most of all looks like a normal person. I never feel he is a star. He has won an Oscar(which we Indians feel is the benchmark for achievement)  and yet I never see any swagger in him . To see what I mean look at this video:

He  downplays the whole oscar thing and convinces us that music is great everywhere . He requests his fans not to abuse anybody nor spread hatred. What a man!

Second one is Sachin Tendulkar : His  farewell speech tells all about this little gentleman of cricket. Not once have  I seen him behave in a snooty way. His extraordinary work in helping the cancer patients shows what a great human he is . His simple , unassuming way of speaking has bowled me over. In his farewell speech, he makes sure to pass the message that he has not got there alone. He thanks all the important people of his life . Hats off Sachin. You  are indeed India's gem.

Third is Bill Gates. I mean that man never gives up! Whatever you say about Microsoft, it is still used extensively. And Bill Gates is the sole reason. But what is Bill Gates known for now. He has surpassed his previous entrepreneur skill to become the biggest philanthropist we know now. He is still relentlessly pursuing the Ebola virus spread and is spreading awareness all over the world. His silent visits to India (When media is reporting if Kim K's visa is approved or not) is a testimony of his honesty and genuineness.

I also admire the Army,Navy and Air Force who are protecting our country day and night. When we lose a loved one , we cant get over it for life. And yet when we hear the headlines like " three BSF jawans killed"  , for us it is merely a number. How callous of us. Each Jawan is a human being who had the guts to choose this profession and stand  at the border and protect our country. Each Jawan has a family. He has children too. But we downplay their lives so easily. Here is my respect to each and every one of them . Without you we are nothing.