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. 

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