“May in Aymenem is a hot, brooding month” these lines elucidate the magnificent lyrical prose of Arundhati Roy s first novel.The God of Small Things, narrates the story of twins’ Estha and Rahel born to a Syrian catholic mother and a Bengali father. The journey of their childhood in the sleepy town of Ayemenem forms the apex of this narration. The story begins with Rahel coming back to Ayemenem to visit her identical twin Estha (Esthappen); this takes her back into the memory lane to the childhood which was weaved together of small events, events which eventually shaped her whole life. It doesn’t work on the usual “once upon a time” narration. The confused narrative at times makes u fidgety but it compensates with some strenuous text and sarcastic humor, comprehensively.
Miss Roy s characters are real but mesmerizing, making them crawl out of the book and stay with you till the end. Rahel (the autobiographical character) being the most fascinating of the lot. The story though simple carries a mystical veil drenched over your mind. It immerses its soul on the protagonists (Esthappen and Rahel) yet stitches your psyche to the lush and vivid backdrop. Characters like Orangedrink Lemondrink man epitomize the over the top libido of some Kerala men. The dilemma of a disturbed childhood losing its innocence is caged in with absolute resonance. There is an ironic and sad backdrop carved from the beginning, treating tragedy with mature and dark humor; at times leaving you with a smile and a moist eyes
The book does not fall into the category of the typical romance and suspense, it belongs to a starkly distinct genre, difficult to characterize. The politics of Kerala and the forced communism lights the path and makes the reader decipher the complexity of this Land. Arundhati Roy uses Malayalam words generously to make the text more pragmatic and convey culture. It criticizes the politics of Kerala and mocks the caste system and ambiguity of some religions. God of Small Things doesn’t make you think of too many things and it doesn’t give out loathing philosophies; it just purely confabulates on life and why the small things in life changes the outlook towards people ;with witty audacity. The incessant feel of a disturbed childhood, the tang of the pickled mangoes and the banana jam, rings with you even during the devastating end. It crosses the barriers of religion and plays with your emotions, exemplifying human foreboding, betrayal and the ties of blood with an outstanding conviction. I turned the last page of the novel and found myself turning back to the very first page all over again gasping for more of Miss Roy’s orchestrated heartbreak.
** The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy of the GLF Circle.