Any guesses which is book I am referring to? Yes, it is the Man Booker 1997 Prize Winner – The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy. To be honest, I am cannot say for certain if I really understood the book in the complete sense for I am still wondering does the twin exist? One thing for sure, if you are picking up this book to read, finish it off in one go or with minimal breaks in between. The story line runs in flashback, present, future in flashback. It took a while (every time when I returned after a break) to be in sync.
An unconventional story set in the Indian political and cultural backdrop. It’s said, an author hits the nail when the readers are able to visualise the story in their minds and so has Arundhati Roy in this book. The way situations are explained, the places and the characters are described really puts in front of your eyes (in your mind) the village in Kerala, the composed-from-outside-but-turbulent-from-within personalities of Estha and Rahel, the dilemma of Ammu, the cynical Baby Kochamma, the unfortunate Velutha, Kathakali dance, the impact of loose statements made in fit of anger in front of kids and so much more. You can hear people talking as you read through. And at times as an objective observer and person-knowing-it-all, you feel if you could just intervene to clear misunderstanding or pacify the kid.
For me, the childhood days of Estha and Rahel, were the most appealing and also made me introspect how I deal with my young one as mother. (Fully being aware what I was reading was a fiction). Kids are very sensitive towards what you tell them and how. If at a very young age, your mother tells you something (without actually meaning it) which creates impression in your mind of being the less loved child, imagine the state of that child.
A little less her mother loved her.
And when the child, with this notion in mind, is trying to behave and do certain things, so that you can love them equally, you feel (as a mother) of being so silly for having said that.
“What will Sophie Mol think?” Week.
Basically, how we want to present ourselves (show-off) when we have visitors at home. This has registered in my mind now and I had to mention it.
Hope I have not created the impression that the book it about parenting styles or lessons. Rather it’s about people, their desires, and the unwritten rules of society. Some let go off their dreams and desires, while some rebel. Some are happy to lead a simple, personal and non-controversial life, while some aim to change the society. Some parts of the story may sound controversial and difficult to aspect and understand the unconventional perspective. I struggled to justify myself my own ideas which are not in sync with the book. And that’s probably why I liked this book. It helped me widen my perspective, even though I still may not agree to certain things.
The font style and case used, I think does meet the purpose of emphasising quite well. Be it italics, words spelled in local language style (Amyerica.. For America), mix of small and capital letters in a single word (rejOice) etc. It had a nice sound-effects, if I can say.
Overall, it was a good reading experience and definitely a recommendation from my side to read and comprehend the author’s idea of how small things matter more, give more happiness and are remembered than larger ones. (May not be always, but surely most of the times)