The God Of Small Things: Arundhati Roy

It is the debut novel of Arundati Roy which is about a family (basically a mother and her twins), about their bond, their struggle, their love and their lives! The book won the Booker Prize in 1997.

The novel shifts back and forth from 1969, when the twins Rahel and Estha are seven years old, to 1993, when the twins are reunited at age 31.

Apart from the story of Ammu and the two twins (Rahel and Estha), the author has very vividly described the Indian history, politics, cultural tensions and social discrimination

This novel is actually about love, love and love. The first and foremost the love between the 2 twins Rahel and Estha, which is not normal which author has described very beautifully:

Esthappen and Rahel thought of themselves together as Me, and separately, individually as We or Us. As though they were a rare breed of Siamese twins, physically separate, but with joint identities.

The love between their mother and Velutha, a untouchable which has lead to a very painful ending

The love of Cheku (Ammu’s brother) for his ex-wife and his daughter

The love of Mammachi (Ammu and cheku’s mom) towards her son where everything and anything done by her son was right

After divorce, Ammu come over to her mother’s place, with her 2 kids. Her mother and brother had a business of pickles. The life for them was not so easy here but it was ok till they all had each other. The story takes a tragic turn with Cheku’s ex-wife and his daughter’s visit to Ayemenem

All the bad things started with that. Estha’s harassment, Sophie’s death, end of Ammu and Velutha’s love and then the painful change in the fate of Velutha.

After all these incidents, Estha is sent to her father and stepmother’s home and thus, fracturing the bond. It’s the saddest part. Ammu, Estha and Rahel dreams of getting together again where Ammu will be a teacher and they will live happily ever after but this dream never came true as Ammu died after few years and Rahel goes to America.

Estha character is completely changed after that. He becomes a very quiet and introvert person.

Then they met after many years at the age of 31! Estha is silent and Rahel has a haunted look in her eyes. It becomes apparent that neither twin ever found another person who understands them in the way they understand each other.  The twin's renewed intimacy ultimately culminates in incest

It probably sounds weird now but it doesn’t sound so when you read it in the novel, Roy has described it so beautifully:

“They were strangers who had met in a chance encounter. They had known each other before life began. There is very little that anyone could say to clarify what happened next. Nothing that (in
Mammachi’s book) would separate Sex from Love. Or Needs from Feelings.”

The two relationships (Ammu- Velutha and Rahel- Estha) are forbidden by the "Love Laws” which Roy describes as "The laws that lay down who should be loved, and how. And how much" (Roy 311)

Roy has shown that love is such a powerful and uncontrollable force that is hard to be put in the bars of love laws

Amazing book… Awesome story… marvelous narration which is non sequential… completely different and you will love it, if you like reading those books with “deep” meaningJ

I am in love with this book and can read it again…

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