I haven’t finished it yet. I’m in the midst of the novel and I’m totally awestruck by the sheer class of Arundati’s writing style; the structure of her sentences, the diction, the punctuation and the similies– Ah! the magnets!.
I couldn’t resist to share with you an excerpt where the writer details the procedure of the electric incineration of Ammu; the mother of Rahel, 7 and Estha, 11. Look at the melancholy oozing out of the paras.
The steel door of the incinerator went up and the muted hum of eternal fire became a red roaring. The heat lunged out at them like a famished beast. The Rahel’s Ammu was fed to it. Her hair, her skin, her smile. Her voice. The way she used Kipling to love her children before putting them to bed: We be of one blood, ye and I.Her good night kiss. The way she held her faces steady with one hand (squashed-cheeked, fish-mouthed) while she parted and combed their hair with the other. The way she held knickers out for Rahel to climb into. Left leg, right leg. All this was fed to the beast, and it was satisfied.
She was their Ammu and their Baba and she had loved them Double.
The door of the furnace clanged shut. There were no tears. The crematorium ‘In-charge’ had gone down the road for a cup of tea and didn’t come back for twenty minutes. That’s how long Chacko and Rahel had to wait for the pink receipt that would entitle them to collect Ammu’s remains. Her ashes. The grit of her bones. The teeth from her smile. The whole of her crammed into a little clay pot. Receipt No. Q498673.