Author: Arundhati Roy
My Rating: 3.5 / 5
If you ask me to summarize the entire book into a single line, I would say it as ” An ugly story written in a remarkable style of writing. “ As if like the author is trying to entertain us with tragedy weaved with innocence by introducing us to a woman who could not resist her sexual desires, an Indian who marries a foreigner against the dislike of his parents, a paravan ( a sect of backward caste ) who could not realize his limitations in the society and most importantly two twins: Ambassador Elvis Presley and Love in Tokyo who represent themselves as “we” and “us”, as if they are one soul residing in two bodies. I would like to mention the highlights of the book.
1. Siblings affinity: Truly,things can change in a day. Separated and united by destiny, the author illustrates the love between two twins of opposite gender who knew each other even before they began life. I loved a particular line in the novel where Rahel opens the door for Estha though he didn’t knock the door. Strange and almost difficult to understand how a person can realize the presence of other, when they come close to us. I felt a little uneasy when I came across such lines or like a white moth spreading its wings on my heart, if I had to say in the style of author. Because I never had or seen someone else experience love to such an extent !!
2. Indians of 80’s and 90’s: Or perhaps I should mention as Keralites specifically. Right from childhood I always loved Kerala due to its low population growth rate compared to other states which I personally believe as a good factor in the growth of India. Let it be the influence of Christianity and its education or the history of the world’s first democratically elected communist government or the oppression of people belonging to backward and scheduled castes or the Plymouth car or the tangerine radio, Roy gives a brilliant narration of all the tangible and non-tangible things of the late 20th century which are adored by a reader of early 21st century, someone like me.
3. Needs vs feelings: Sex, perhaps one of the most uncontrollable desires of mankind, the root of many wars and casualties, the reason for many pages in the books of history finds its way into our story too. A young teenager who lusts a Christian father and expects him to satisfy her, an woman, most importantly a widow and mother of two children creeping through the shadows of night to quench her desires, a divorced man who uses the special door of his house for his secret visitors or his man’s needs are all real characters in the world just represented as a fiction in the book. But, astonishingly you will also find this natural desire making its way between two twins when they meet after years of separation !! Where all the above cases were needs, this one was a feeling and where all the above cases were sex, this one was a way of expressing love !!!
Who can buy this book ? If it wasn’t for Roy, I would have rated this book much lower. If you are a kind of person who enjoy a good storyline ( unless you admire tragedy ), you can move on without looking at it. But if you are a kind of person who fancies the narration of an author and the way he/she uses the language to picture the characters and their inter-connections, or the beauty of story-telling as to simply put it, then definitely add this book to your cart for a literature sized hole in your heart !!!