Sunday, December 28, 2008

Release of the Spirit

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Reading Arundhati Roy

[Excerpts from The God of Small Things; picture by Mayank Austen Soofi]

So long as she wasn't noisy about it, she remained free to make her own enquiries; into breasts and how much they hurt. Into false hair buns and how well they burned. Into life and how it ought to be lived.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Human Nature

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Reading Arundhati Roy

[Excerpts from The God of Small Things; picture by Mayank Austen Soofi]

Of the four things that were Possible in Human Nature, Rahel thought that Infinnate Joy sounded the saddest.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Pleasant-looking

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Reading Arundhati Roy

[Excerpts from The God of Small Things; picture by Mayank Austen Soofi]

He wore old-fashioned spectacles that made him look earnest and completely belied his easy-going charm and juvenile but totally disarming sense of humor.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

How Precious a Feeling

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Reading Arundhati Roy

[Excerpts from The God of Small Things; picture by Mayank Austen Soofi]

Rahel giggled. Ammu giggled. Baby Kochamma giggled.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Aching Desire

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Reading Arundhati Roy

[Excerpts from The God of Small Things; picture by Mayank Austen Soofi]

Velutha with his back against the mangosteen tree watched her walk away.
She had a dry rose in her hair.
She turned to say it once again: 'Naaley.'
Tomorrow.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

The Cost of Living

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Reading Arundhati Roy

[Excerpts from The God of Small Things; picture by Mayank Austen Soofi]

They all crossed into forbidden territory. They all tampered with the laws that lay down who should be loved, and how. And how much.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

My Sweetheart

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Reading Arundhati Roy

[Excerpts from The God of Small Things; picture by Mayank Austen Soofi]

Ammu held out the crisp matching knickers for her. Rahel, with her hands on Ammu's shoulders, climbed into her new knickers (left leg, right leg) and gave Ammu a kiss on each dimple (left cheek, right cheek).

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Young and Cheeky

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Reading Arundhati Roy

[Excerpts from The God of Small Things; picture by Mayank Austen Soofi]

When Ammu and her husband moved to Assam, Ammu, beautiful, young and cheeky, became the toast of the Planters' Club. She wore backless blouses with her saris and carried a silver lamé purse on a chain.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Genuine Bourgeoise

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Reading Arundhati Roy

[Excerpts from The God of Small Things; picture by Mayank Austen Soofi]

Ammu smiled and they shook hands, as though she really was being awarded a Certificate of Merit for being an honest-to-goodness Genuine Bourgeoise.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Release of the Spirit

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Reading Arundhati Roy

[Excerpts from The God of Small Things; picture by Mayank Austen Soofi]

Rahel grew up without a brief. Without anybody to arrange a marriage for her. Without anybody who would pay her a dowry and therefore without an obligatory husband looming on her horizon.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Sexual Excitement

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Reading Arundhati Roy

[Excerpts from The God of Small Things; picture by Mayank Austen Soofi]

Father Mulligan was more than merely flattered by the emotion he aroused in the attractive young girl who stood before him with a trembling, kissable mouth and blazing, coal-black eyes.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Jazz Tune

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Reading Arundhati Roy

[Excerpts from The God of Small Things; picture by Mayank Austen Soofi]

Her wild hair was tied back to look straight though it wasn't. A tiny diamond gleamed in one nostril. She had absurdly beautiful collarbones and a nice atheltic run.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

The Twins

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Reading Arundhati Roy

[Excerpts from The God of Small Things; picture by Mayank Austen Soofi]

The twins were too young to understand all this, so Baby Kochamma grudged them their moments of high happiness when a dragonfly they’d caught lifted a small stone off their palms with its legs, or when they had permission to bathe the pigs, or they found an egg – hot from a hen. But most of all, she grudged them the comfort they drew from each other. She expected from them some token unhappiness. At the very least.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Cold Knowledge

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Reading Arundhati Roy

[Excerpts from The God of Small Things; picture by Mayank Austen Soofi]

She was twenty-seven that year, and in the pit of her stomach she carried the cold knowledge that for her, life had been lived.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Outdoorsy

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Reading Arundhati Roy

[Excerpts from The God of Small Things; picture by Mayank Austen Soofi]

People got used to seeing him on the road. A well-dressed man with a quiet walk. His face grew dark and outdoorsy. Rugged. Wrinkled by the sun. He began to look wiser than he really was. Like a fisherman in a city. With sea-secrets in him.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Happy Man

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Reading Arundhati Roy

[Excerpts from The God of Small Things; picture by Mayank Austen Soofi]

Anybody could see that Chacko was a proud and happy man to have had a wife like Margaret. White.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

His Own Inconsequence

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Reading Arundhati Roy

[Excerpts from The God of Small Things; picture by Mayank Austen Soofi]

Inured by the confirmation of his own inconsequence, he became resilient and truly indifferent. Nothing mattered much. Nothing much mattered. And the less it mattered, the less it mattered. It was never important enough. Because Worse Things had happened.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

An Average Student

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Reading Arundhati Roy

[Excerpts from The God of Small Things; picture by Mayank Austen Soofi]

Estha finished school with mediocre results, but refused to go to college. Instead, much to the initial embarrassment of his father and stepmother, he began to do the housework. As though in his own way he was trying to earn his keep.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Blend into the Background

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Reading Arundhati Roy

[Excerpts from The God of Small Things; picture by Mayank Austen Soofi]

Over time he had acquired the ability to blend into the background of wherever he was -- into bookshelves, gardens, curtains, doorways, streets -- to appear inanimate, almost invisible to the untrained eye.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Solitary Form

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Reading Arundhati Roy

[Excerpts from The God of Small Things; picture by Mayank Austen Soofi]

In each of the schools she went to, the teachers noted that she:
(a) Was an extremely polite child.
(b) Had no friends.
It appeared to be a civil, solitary form of corruption.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Release of the Spirit

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Reading Arundhati Roy

[Excerpts from The God of Small Things; picture courtesy: MSN]

So long as she wasn't noisy about it, she remained free to make her own enquiries: into breast and how much they hurt. Into false hair buns and how well they burned. Into life and how it ought to be lived.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

A Photogenic Man

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Reading Arundhati Roy

[Excerpts from The God of Small Things; picture by Mayank Austen Soofi]

On his dressing table, next to his cologne and silver hairbrush, he kept a picture of himself as a young man, with his hair slicked down, taken in a photographer's studio in Vienna where he had done the six-month diploma course that had qualified him to apply for the post of Imperial Entomologist.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Reading Aloud

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Reading Arundhati Roy

[Excerpts from The God of Small Things; picture by Mayank Austen Soofi]

'Anything's possible in Human Nature,' Chacko said in his Reading Aloud voice. Talking to the darkness now, suddenly insensitive to his little fountain-haired niece. 'Love. Madness. Hope. Infinite joy.'

Friday, October 17, 2008

Sexual Excitement

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Reading Arundhati Roy

[Excerpts from The God of Small Things; picture by Mayank Austen Soofi]

Of the two men, only one recognized the sexual excitement that rose like a tide in the slender girl who hovered around the table long after lunch had been cleared away.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

It was Velutha

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Reading Arundhati Roy

[Excerpts from The God of Small Things; picture by Mayank Austen Soofi]

It was Velutha. That much Rahel was sure of. She'd seen him. He'd seen her. She'd have known him anywhere, any time.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

That Look

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Reading Arundhati Roy

[Excerpts from The God of Small Things; picture by Mayank Austen Soofi]

He was exasperated because he didn't know what that look meant. He put it somewhere between indifference and despair. He didn't know that in some places, like the country that Rahel came from, various kinds of despair competed for primacy. And that personal despair could never be desperate enough.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Truly Indifferent

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Reading Arundhati Roy

[Excerpts from The God of Small Things; picture by Mayank Austen Soofi]

Nothing mattered much. And the less it mattered, the less it mattered. It was never important enough. Because Worse Things had happened. In the country that she came from, poised forever between the terror of war and the horror of peace, Worse Things kept happening.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

A Cloudy Kiss

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Reading Arundhati Roy

[Excerpts from The God of Small Things; picture by Mayank Austen Soofi]

She pulled his head down towards her and kissed his mouth. A cloudy kiss. A kiss that demanded a kiss-back. He kissed her back.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

The Most Beautiful Woman

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Reading Arundhati Roy

[Excerpts from The God of Small Things; picture by Mayank Austen Soofi]

On that skyblue December day, her wild, curly hair had escaped in wisps in the car wind. Her shoulders in her sleeveless sari blouse shone as though they had been polished with a high-wax shoulder polish. Sometimes she was the most beautiful woman that Estha and Rahel had ever seen. And sometimes she wasn't.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Jazz Tune

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Reading Arundhati Roy

[Excerpts from The God of Small Things; picture by Mayank Austen Soofi]

There goes a jazz tune, Larry McCaslin thought to himself, and followed her into a bookshop where neither of them looked at books.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Stubborn Single-mindedness

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Reading Arundhati Roy

[Excerpts from The God of Small Things; picture by Mayank Austen Soofi]

Displaying a stubborn single-mindedness (which in a young girl in those days was considered as bad as a physical deformity - a harelip perhaps, or a club foot), Baby Kochamma defied her father's wishes...

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Unbearably Precious

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Reading Arundhati Roy

[Excerpts from The God of Small Things; picture by Mayank Austen Soofi]

He held her as though she was a gift. Given to him in love. Something still and small.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Capable of Anything

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Reading Arundhati Roy

[Excerpts from The God of Small Things; picture by Mayank Austen Soofi]

She didn't even trust the twins. She deemed them Capable of Anything. Anything at all.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

How Precious a Feeling

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Shhh, I'm Reading

[Excerpts from The God of Small Things; picture by Mayank Austen Soofi]

Rahel giggled. Ammu giggled. Baby Kochamma giggled.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Banana Jam

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Reading Arundhati Roy

[Excerpts from The God of Small Things; picture by Mayank Austen Soofi]

Crush ripe banana. Add water to cover and cook on a very hot fire till fruit is soft.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

One Thing at a Time

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Reading Arundhati Roy

[Excerpts from The God of Small Things; picture by Raluca]

If he held her, he couldn't kiss her. If he kissed her, he couldn't see her. If he saw her, he couldn't feel her.

Friday, September 5, 2008

May in Ayemenem

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Reading Arundhati Roy

[Excerpts from The God of Small Things; picture by Nishat Fatima]

The days are long and humid. The river shrinks and black crows gorge on bright mangoes in still, dustgreen trees. Red bananas ripen. Jackfruits burst. Dissolute bluebottles hum vacuously in the fruity air. Then they stun themselves against clear windowpanes and die, flatly baffled in the sun.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Vernacular Architecture

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Reading Arundhati Roy

[Excerpts from The God of Small Things; picture by Mayank Austen Soofi]

It was while she was at the School of Architecture that she met Larry McCaslin who was in Delhi collecting material for his doctoral thesis on Energy Efficiency in Vernacular Architecture.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Around Her

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Reading Arundhati Roy

[Excerpts from The God of Small Things; picture by Mayank Austen Soofi]

But, around her, the air was sad, somehow. And behind the smile in her eyes, the Grief was a fresh, shining blue.

Friday, August 29, 2008

We or Us

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Reading Arundhati Roy

[Excerpts from The God of Small Things; picture by Mayank Austen Soofi]

In those early amorphous years when memory had only just begun, when life was full of Beginnings and no Ends, and Everything was For Ever, Esthappen and Rahel thought of themselves together as Me, and separately, individually, as We or Us.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

It was Velutha

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Reading Arundhati Roy

[Excerpts from The God of Small Things; picture by Mayank Austen Soofi]

That much Rahel was sure of. She'd seen him. He'd seen her. She'd have known him anywhere, any time. And if he hadn't been wearing a shirt, she would have recognized him from behind.

Sitting Down

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Reading Arundhati Roy

[Excerpts from The God of Small Things; picture by Mayank Austen Soofi]

Rahel drifted into marriage like a passenger drifts towards an unoccupied chair in an airport lounge. With a Sitting Down sense.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

My Wife, Margaret

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Reading Arundhati Roy

[Excerpts from The God of Small Things; picture by Mayank Austen Soofi]

Anybody could see that Chacko was a proud and happy man to have had a wife like Margaret. White. In a flowered, printed frock with legs underneath. And brown back-freckles on her back. And arm-freckles on her arms.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

It was Velutha

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Reading Arundhati Roy

[Excerpts from The God of Small Things; picture by Mayank Austen Soofi]

Vellya Paapen feared for his younger son. He couldn't say what it was that frightened him. It was nothing that he had said. Or done. It was not what he said, but the way he said it. Not what he did, but the way he did it.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Lucky Rich Boy

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Reading Arundhati Roy

[Excerpts from The God of Small Things; picture by Mayank Austen Soofi]

Finish the drink.
Watch the picture.
Think of all the poor people.
Lucky rich boy with porketmunny. No worries.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Release of the Spirit

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Reading Arundhati Roy

[Excerpts from The God of Small Things; picture by Mayank Austen Soofi]

Rahel grew up without a brief. Without anybody to arrange a marriage for her. Without anybody who would pay her a dowry and therefore without an obligatory husband looming on her horizon.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Bands of Love

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Reading Arundhati Roy

[Excerpts from The God of Small Things; picture by Mayank Austen Soofi]

His thoughts returned to Margaret Kochamma and Sophie Mol. Fierce bands of love tightened around his chest until he could barely breathe.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Jazz Tune

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Reading Arundhati Roy

[Excerpts from The God of Small Things; picture by Mayank Austen Soofi]

He first noticed Rahel in the School library and then again, a few days later, in Khan Market. She was in jeans and a white T-shirt.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Unbearably Precious

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Reading Arundhati Roy

[Excerpts from The God of Small Things; picture by Mayank Austen Soofi]

But when they made love he was offended by her eyes. They behaved as they belonged to someone else.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Wiser Than He Really Was

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Reading Arundhati Roy

[Excerpts from The God of Small Things; picture by Mayank Austen Soofi]

People got used to seeing him on the road. A well-drssed man with a quiet walk.