The God of Small Things (in Swedish "De små tingens gud") is pure poetic magic and spot-on analysis of the power dynamics in every day life and on the larger scale. I've cried my way through the whole book riding on an emotional rollercoaster. And the whole message, although being sad, is so strong that it's almost made me change my mind about never having children. And IF I do, I will be their Ammu and their Baba and I will love them double. Maybe even triple.
Anyways. Here is my favorite quotes from the magic which is "The God of Small Things" (however to understand the whole magic of it all you must read the whole book for yourself):
"It was, they whispered to each other, as though she didn't know how to be a girl"
"And that Personal despair could never be desperate enough. That something happened when personal turmoil dropped by at the wayside shrine of the vast, violent, circling, driving, ridiculous, insane, unfeasible, public turmoil of a nation. That Big God howled like a hot wind and demanded obeisance. Then Small God (cosy and contained, private and limited) came away cauterized, laughing numbly at his own temerity. 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."
"Ammu was considering changing back to her maiden name, though she said that choosing between her husbands name and her fathers name didn't give a woman much of a choice".
"With children you never know. Ammu said that Estha could grow up to become a male chauvinist pig".
"Ammu's soft mouth would twist into a small, bitter smile at the memory - not of the wedding itself so much as the fact she had permitted herself to be so painstakinglydecorated before being led to the gallows. It seemed so absurd. So futile. Like polishing firewood".
"What was it that gave Ammu this Unsafe Edge? This air of unpredictablity? It was what she had battling inside her. An unmixable mix. The infinite tenderness of motherhood and the reckless rage of a suicide bomber. It was this that grew inside of her".
"A war that has made us adore our conquerors and despise ourselves".
"The whole of contemporary history, the world wars, the war of dreams, the man on the moon, science, literature, philosophy, the pursuit of knowledge - as no more than a blink of the Earth Woman's eye... They would grow up grappling with ways of living with what happened. They would try to tell themselves that in terms of geological time it was an insignificant event. Just a blink of the Earth Woman's eye. That Worse Things had happened. That worse things kept happening. But they would find no comfort in the thought".
"She had never vomited. Estha had, and when he did, his skin grew hot and shiny, and his eyes helpless and beautiful, and Ammu loved him more than usual".
"Do you know what happens when you hurt people?" Ammu said. "When you hurt people, they begin to love you less. That's what careless words do. They make people love you less".
"Love. Madness. Hope. Infinite Joy. Of the four things that were Possible in Human Nature, Rahel thought that Infinnate Joy sounded the saddest. perhaps because of the way Chacko said it. Infinnate Joy. With a church sound to it. Like a sad fish with fins all over."
"The rehearsals had been rehearsed. It was the day for the play. The culmination of the What Will Sophie Mol Think? week"
"Me? What d'you love me for?" Sophie Mol said. "Because we're firstcousins. So I have to," Rahel said piously."
"She was their Ammu and their Baba and she had loved them double".
"And once again, only the Small Things were said. The Big Things lurked unsaid inside".
"She looked away. He did too. History's fiends returned to claim them. To rewrap them in its old, scarred pelt and drag them back to where they really lived. Where the Love Laws lay down who should be loved. And how. And how much."
"How marvellous!" Margaret said. "It's a sort of kissing. Do the men and women do it to each other too?" She hadn't meant it to sound quite like that and she blushed. An embarrased schoolteacher-shaped hole in the Universe. "Oh, all the time!" Ammu said, and it came out a little louder than the sarcastic mumble that she had intended. "That's how we make babies." Chacko didn't slap her. So she didn't slap him back. But the waiting air grew Angry. "I think you owe my wife and apology Ammu", Chacko said, with a protective, proprietorial air. "Oh no!", Margaret Kochamma said. "IT was my fault I never meant it to sound quite like that... What I meant was it is fascinating to thnk that..." "It was a perfectly legitimate question", Chaock said, "And I think Ammu ought to apologize". "Must we behave like som damn god forsaken tribe that's just been discorvered?" Ammy asked. "Oh dear!" Margaret said. In the angry quietness of the Play, Ammu walked back to the Plymouth, took out her suitcase, slammed the door, and walked away to her room, her shoulders shining. Leaving everybody to wonder where she had learned her effrontery from. And truth be told, it was no small wondering matter. Because Ammu had not had the kind of education, nor read the sorts of books, nor met the sorts of people, that might have influenced her to think the way she did."
"Ammu had developed a lofty sense of injustice and the mulish, reckless streak that develops in Someone Small who has been bullied all ther lives by Someone Big. She did exactly nothing to avoid quarrels and confrontations"
"Mammachi's tolerance of "Men's needs" as far as her son was concerned, became the fuel for her unmanageable fury at her daughter"
"It was a composure born of extreme provocation. It stemmed from a lucidity that lies beyond rage"
"It is in the party's interests to take up such matters. Indiviudals interest is subordinate to the organization's interest. Violating party discipline means violating Party Unity... And there it was again. Another religion turned against itself. Another edifice constructed by the human mind, decimated by human nature. Comrade Pillai shut the door and returned to his wife and dinner."
"State the reasons for your preference. She didn't hesitate. Tangy taste. Fresh Breath. She had learned the smart, snappy language of television commercials. She filled in her name and lied about her age."
"One admiring policeman watched and wondered briefly about the dynamic of dragonfly sex, and what went into what. Then his mind klicked to attention and Police Thoughts returned. Onwards".
"Only that they held eachother close long after it was over. Only that what they had shared that night wasn't happiness, but hideous grief. Only that once again they had broken the Love Laws. That lay down who should be loved. And how. And how much."
"The cost of living".
"Kochu Maria watched with her cake-crumbs.
The Fond Smiles watched Fondly.
Little Girls Playing.
One Loved a Little Less."