Half the fun is getting there, they say. Certainly, visiting the roads less travelled has always fascinated me and drawn me to new adventures. This is why, for our honeymoon, Dany and I chose India, a country we had never been to before, but somehow seemed to know through our Indian friends’ stories. We travelled from Agra to Cochin, saw crowded cities and remote villages, witnessed congested bazaars and found cows hacking their path through vegetable markets. We spent time with our friends in Delhi, sharing typical spicy dishes with their families. We travelled the rocky roads of Rajasthan on our own, rode camels along the Pakistani border, got soaked under the Mumbai rain, and finally took part to our friends’ wedding in Kerala. Step by step, we realized how legendary stories are attached with every place and how strong our emotions could get.
What struck us the most was VARANASI, a holy city located on the banks of the river Ganges, a pilgrimage site for hindus. People come here to die and be cremated at the burning ghats along the river. It’s very different from what we had known and seen before. It’s a unique place where you smell joy, hope, life and death. All at once.
Have you read Arundhati Roy's book, The God of Small Things? Some stories draw us in by making us wonder how they will end. This novel begins by telling us how it ends, and has a living, breathing rhythm to it. It’s a very melancholic novel, and it paints a picture most of the people probably wouldn't sympathize with. This is one of those books that left an indelible mark on me---the words dance and merge, and take in the sad memories of a story that is tragic, but hopeful in a way. The hope lies in the possibility of new beginnings.
Writer's Words - Arundhati Roy, The God of Small Things
“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.” 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.
It is curious how sometimes the memory of death lives on for so much longer than the memory of the life that it purloined. Over the years, as the memory of Sophie Mol slowly faded, the Loss of Sophie Mol grew robust and alive. It was always there. Like a fruit in season. Every season. As permanent as a government job.
On Small God.
So Small God laughed a hollow laugh, and skipped away cheerfully. Like a rich boy in shorts. He whistled, kicked stones. The source of his brittle elation was the relative smallness of his misfortune. He climbed into people’s eyes and became an exasperating expression.
Varanasi As I Saw It.