Aug 6, 2010

The God of Small Things

Just finished reading ‘The God of Small Things’ by Arundhati Roy. Well, it is a very touching novel. Very different. Very real. It’s sure to wet your eyes at least a couple of times. Or more if you’re more emotional.
It’s about a pair of twins - a boy and a girl, whose father would have betrayed his kids and their mother, after which, the well educated mother brings up the twins being both their mother and father.
At the age of eight, the twins are separated from each other due to circumstances. For no real fault of theirs. Well as the author says, for them, there was no each. There was no other. There was no each other. They were one. And a part of them was gone. .

And they’ll be away and incomplete for 23 long years. All their childhood is lost. Their youth is lost. In fact, their life is lost. They lose their mother and their beloved untouchable companion - for having violated a law. A law set by the clean, touchable society. Of who should be loved, how and how much.

The author touches upon all these minute yet strong details in her story.
Untouchability, Communism, Marxism, Religion, Male dominated society, Domestic Violence, Political brutality, Selfishness, Children, Their dreams, Their abuse, Punishments for doing wrong and for not doing wrong, Well Acceptable Men’s Needs, and of course Unacceptable Women’s needs.

Every character in the book has their own story. The narration is quite unique. She takes the readers back and forth in time. She reveals bits and pieces of the history and comes back to the present. Leaves the rest of it for later.
‘Lay Ter’ as she calls it.
The ‘later’ filled with the most unexpected.

Her style of writing is quite different too.
With regular sentences.
With one word sentences.
With two word sentences.
With three word sentences.
With no word sentences. The most important of all. Where there are no words to tell, yet lies a big story there.

One of the lines that touched me: “When you hurt someone with careless words, they begin to love you less”.
Careless words make people love us a little less. How true!

The story is put up very well. Very touching. It is a sad story. But then is that not what most of the stories are, in the real world?


  1. I have received very mixed comments about this book, but I just love this book. I have read this book at least 10 times by now, and can actually see these characters in my head..Ammu, Velutha, Margaret Kochamma, Chako, Paapaachi.. I almost feel like I have known them for ages. Credit goes to the writer for sure.
    Like you've mentioned, its the distinctive style of writing, where the author says a lot without really getting emotional..or describing the pain..and these characters are not unrealistic, these are like the people we meet everyday.. I too love this book!

  2. Good to know you too loved the book, Preeti. Yes, the characters stay vivid in the memory for quite long...