How to read a shattered story?
Sitting in an ordinary rusted general couch for unreserved in the Chennai Mail, crammed with passengers who complain about how it’s like the wagon tragedy (ofcourse they don’t know how wagon tragedy really was like);
Munching on the staple food of the train – the Uzhunnuvada with a hole in the middle (that’s important: you won’t find it everywhere and a vada without a hole can make you extremely uncomfortable, trust me) occasionally letting it run over the red chutney, sipping a typical railway station coffee that tastes more of water and milk than coffee itself;
Old Urdu Gazal and Sufi music playing through headset to save you from the conversations around you (more apt word would be bitching, but let’s not go there for now), periodically outvoiced by the train hauls;
Rubbing hands, forehead and chin against the cotton fabric of your own dress, trying in vain to save yourself from the sweating on a sunny monsoon day at thirty two degrees;
The unrecognisably unique odor that formed by the syncing of smells from literally everything – the sweat and heat of tightly packed humans to countless food varieties and snacks ranging from the overboiled rice with a yellow curry made of butter milk and some colorful but stale side dishes survived together in the same Tiffin for half a day already to the just bought ready to eat chips, surging in through your nostrils with every drag of oxygen…
That’s how you slowly become everybody;
No, that’s how you slowly become everything.
Oh Roy! See what you’ve made of me!
~ This was my first reaction after reading The Ministry of Utmost Happiness by Arundhati Roy. The wait of many years for this book was worth it. I enjoyed reading every bit of it and the writing style of non fiction like fiction. I read it in a slow pace, taking in everything word by word; and I might write a review as well, a humble try of sorts; but again, no promises. 🙂
Love and Regards, Aishah ~