A journey through the pages of Indian history, intense political drama understanding the basics of the Indian Class System, social obligations to love, discrimination and betrayal seen by the eyes of a disabled family based in Kerala is the shortest explanation one can give for The God Of Small Things by Arundhati Roy. The book won the Man Booker Prize in 1997 and has been considered as the face of Indian Cultural Society in the South Indian state of Kerala, by many critics.
The God of Small Things is a painful story about seven years old Estha and Rahel, two-egg twins born tor Ammu (mother) who live together in their maternal grandparents’ house in Ayemenem (Kerala) following Ammu’s divorce. Ammu works in the family’s pickle factory in spite of which she and her kids are denied any rights, let alone love, by her Oxford returned brother Chacko who considers them nothing less than dogs to be fed. The story goes further when Chacko’s ex-wife Margaret brings their daughter Sophie to Ayemenem on a visit from London. The ill-fated visit ends in the demise of Sophie for which Estha and Rahel have to pay a heavy price. The kids are the biggest victims as they are snatched of their childhood, their happiness sought in small things. The story reveals History’s cruel way of taking revenge at people who break the Love Laws.
The laws that lay down who should be loved, and how and how much.
Arundhati is known for her unique writing style crafting words to appeal to the reader. The book has its own exceptional language with lyrical parallels to every condition that is a completely lyrical experience till the last page. She has a skill of dragging you to the place and the time as she imagines. The transit between places and times is seamless and delightful to say the least. The story grips you with an aching desperation to know the unknown till the end which very few writers are capable of invoking. Her characters touch your soul and melancholy washes over as you cry even when the kids laugh. It might come off as a slight task to amateur readers. They could perhaps read it once they are more comfortable with the language. For proficient readers it is 340 pages of pure indulgence!
Meant for serious readers who give a thought to the content and issue of the book, Roy deserves the required time and brains for her work. Her debutant novel, it laid down the road to many more.
Overall Rating: 9/10
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Jai is a vital combination of bones, blood and brains haunts this earth with a pen and camera capturing the various dimensions prevailing on this planet. With flare for sarcasm he writes for politically correct reasons. When he gets time from gym, discussing, networking and reading he also participates in writing and composing songs. His ambition is to become the head of United Nations and BTL is his way.