The God of Small Things
Author: Arundhati Roy
Price: Rs. 395
Genre: Literary Fiction
Publishers: Random House
On the next bed, his niece and nephew slept with their arms around each other. A hot twin and a cold one. He and she. We and Us. Somehow, not wholly unaware of the hint of doom and all that waited in the wings for them.
They dreamed of their river. Of the coconut trees that bent into it and watched, with coconut eyes, the boats slide by. Upstream in the mornings. Downstream in the evenings. And the dull, sullen sound of the boatmen’s bamboo poles as they thudded against the dark, oiled boatwood.
Maithili Speaks (Feb 9, 2012):
The book is about two twins, two egged twins as they are called, Esthappen and Rahel. The story is written in pieces and alternates between the present and the past. Estha and Rahel are about 31 now. Estha doesn’t speak at all and Rahel is lost. An emptiness seeped into their lives ever since they were separated years ago following the death of their cousin- Sophie Mol.
Years back, Rahel and Estha lived with their Ammu (mother) in their ancestral house along with their uncle Chacko and grand aunt Baby Kochamma. Ammu was divorced and worked in the Pickle factory which was started by her mother. The little arguments, jealousy and prejudice is a part of life for the twins and their mother. Only when Chacko’s ex-wife- Margaret and their daughter Sophie come down to live with them, the twins feel unloved and worry about their standing. What follows next changes their life forever. Sophie is dead and everyone feels it best to send Estha away to his father. Ammu is broken and Rahel has to live without a part of her.
It is a sad story narrated in a heart wrenching way. It will make you smile at the innocence and bonding of the twins, it will make you disgusted with the ways of society and it will make you wince in pain at the injustice done. The writer has a poetic way of writing and sometimes you start predicting the next lines. Some lines repeat but in a pleasant way.