Even now, I remember details from the book as though I lived through everything depicted there. As though I was the optimistic Rahel, the lovelorn Ammu, the touchy-untouchable Velutha, the quiet Estha, the drowned Sophie Mol, the angry Kochamma, the dreamer Chacko and the servant Kochu Maria all at once. Or perhaps have been each of them at some stage in my life.
I'am awed by the writer. How did the story come to be this? Was Rahel sitting in Ms Roy’s head and compelling her to write? Or perhaps Estha was guiding her pen? Was it all fiction? Or has Ms Roy been each of the characters at some point in her life?
Todate, I have read it three times. And I can read it again. It is as if the sentences and paragraphs engrained in my memory call me to find new meanings. As if every year that I grow, I see Rahel and Estha from a different point of view. As if they grow with me. And a 8-year-old child gains maturity of a 26-year-old woman.
It is simply ingenious. Meant to be. Neither crafted nor drafted. But something which had a life of its own before it came to exist.
Write some more Ms Roy. I have been keeping a watch for the next one. Do not disappoint me please. I want to experience the same exhilaration again. For a different Estha and a different Rahel from a different Ms Roy…