An excerpt From Arundati Roy’s ‘The God Of Small Things’

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.

12 thoughts on “An excerpt From Arundati Roy’s ‘The God Of Small Things’

  1. farhan

    I’m glad that you’re reading this novel. It is very poetic, and I loved the characters! I particularly enjoyed Esthappens and Rahels adventures, and their meeting with Sophie Mol. Great read.

  2. Pingback: An excerpt From Arundati Roy’s ‘The God Of Small Things’ | Tea Break

  3. kashkin

    Aadil
    Definitely a great piece of fiction. And I will agree with farhan, the journey is poetic and almost magical at times.

    I remember reading this when it came out. Your description of it and the actual words brought back some good old memories…….

    Have you finished it yet or reading it like as if it were the ” drip effect”

  4. @ naperville mom … Did she not? Am not aware of that. Her admirers must be waiting for another book for another book of hers for so long.
    Welcome to my blog!🙂

  5. Ayesha

    I am glad you picked up this novel. It’s one of those books that I’d like to read again and again because every time I read it I learn something positive in terms of creativity.

    Don’t miss the joke I had posted long ago on Chowk about the optimist. Will come later in the novel🙂

    It’s a wonderful and well deserved Booker winner novel to say the least.

    Enjoy reading!

    PS: She didn’t write any other fiction. She has another book titled An Ordinary Man’s Guide To Empire, which is based on her political articles. And there is other non-fiction book as well, I have forgotten the title. So I know about three books written by her.

  6. @ Ayesha .. hmm, quite an informative comment, I’d say. Now, I’m looking forward to the joke you mentioned🙂
    And yes, you’re right, she’s got such a class as a writer that one always get inspiration to write and write well. Will try to get my hands on her other books as well. Thanks for the comment!

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