Arundhati Roy’s The Ministry of Utmost Happiness has been getting mixed reviews. And there are some reviews where the author is blasted, but doesn’t look like the reviewer has read the book. With the plethora of reviews giving all the details of the plot, characters, editing, fiction, non-fiction, anger, nothing much is left to imagination.
I had read The God of Small Things (GOST) atleast a decade ago and I had forgotten how good Arundhati Roy, the writer is. I was reading an excerpt of her story in the book ‘Where the Rain is Born’ and am amazed at her use of words. She paints a vivid picture with her minimal words. I think I should read this book again. But here are a few lines for you to sample and decide on. She writes so beautifully, I have put in multiple lines. It was difficult for me to choose the best lines.
“Downriver, a saltwater barrage had been built, in exchange for votes from the influential paddy-farmer lobby. The barrage regulated the inflow of saltwater from the backwaters that opened into the Arabian sea. So, now they had two harvests a year instead of one. More rice, for the price of a river. ”
“So they went ahead and plugged their smelly paradise – ‘God’s own country‘ they called it in their brochures – because they knew, those clever Hotel People, that smelliness, like other people’s poverty, was merely a matter of getting used to. A question of discipline. Of Rigour and Air-conditioning. Nothing more.”
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