Guide Small Things

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  1. 31 Comments
  2. Welcome to Small Things
  3. Small Things
  4. Small Things – Creative Projects

We had an amazing time meeting you and are so grateful for your wonderful support and commitment to literacy. Our thanks to everyone who stopped by to purchase shave ice and lemonade to support our literacy program. Thanks also to our wonderful members and volunteers Declan, Sam, Wasani, Miduo, and Diana for their hard work and enthusiasm!

STM is grateful to all of our awesome donors and partners that make our school-wide distributions possible. Thanks to their bulk rate pricing we able to supplement our collections and serve local schools in the community. Our deepest thanks to Edgeworth Economics, L. The books you donated will help us provide brand new books at Title I schools in MD.

We enjoyed sharing our mission with your students and engaging them in a small service project making bookmarks for our literacy program. We also enjoyed meeting other wonderful nonprofits doing good in our community. Their family life is told. There is much here on Indian history, the caste system and how that continues to manifest in Arundhati Roy - image from Slate This is a wonderful, image-rich novel told over several generations of a family in India.

There is much here on Indian history, the caste system and how that continues to manifest in the modern world. It won the Booker prize, and is very satisfying. View all 26 comments. As I stand just outside the compound with the untended garden - an uninvited, random visitor - the darkened Ayemenem House resembles a haunted mansion, belying the truth of the lives it once nurtured with maternal protectiveness in its cozy interiors. But I remember. I remember the lives lived, and the loves which were birthed by circumstances, loves which breathed for a while before perishing on the altar of conformity.

I remember Chacko and Sophie Mol. Ammu and V As I stand just outside the compound with the untended garden - an uninvited, random visitor - the darkened Ayemenem House resembles a haunted mansion, belying the truth of the lives it once nurtured with maternal protectiveness in its cozy interiors.

Ammu and Velutha. Rahel and Estha. And, most of all, I remember You. You, the painter of this portrait of a family's downward spiral into oblivion. You, the creator of this life-sized painting of a city and a nation, and all of human civilization in turn. I see You as an iconoclast, persistent in your demand for liberties we are too submissive to dream of acquiring. You ask for things so heedlessly, so powerfully.

The right to love whom we want and how much we want. The right to be equal. The right not to be discriminated against. The right not to be left languishing in solitude, battling painful memories. The right not to lose, at any cost, one's faith in the goodness in human beings. You are the rebel we never considered becoming. We do not have courage like yours you see. Your opinions aired on national television are so often misinterpreted. The sun inside of You that refuses to be subdued by the drear of political machinations, by the evil lurking in the human heart, by the sham of 'development' perpetrated under the helpful charade of nonexistent liberty, equality, fraternity, by every one saying 'No no no, you ask for too much.

The world cannot ever be a fair place. That light gives me hope. Your Small God gives me hope. He augurs that the overlooked small, mundane cruelties will only snowball into a tragedy of life-altering proportions later on, a gigantic boulder hurtling down the slope of a mountain crushing everything in its path into an unrecognizable gory pulp of flesh and blood. Small God's wrath will eventually consume Big God's apathy and reduce it to mere cinders. I hope your Small God is right.

You speak the esoteric language of children, whose inner worlds are but their own, beyond the reach of the sharpened claws of the Love Laws - worlds which are free and infinite, where fables, dreams and terrifying realities churn into a nonsensical lovely mass, worlds not tethered to earthly considerations. The two-egg twins' interlinked worlds, which stubbornly rejected the continued tyranny of the cycle of injustices perpetuated outside, were the same.

Their combined muteness throbbed with the dull ache of longing, loss and irreparable damage. Their collective passivity stood out as a blistering denouncement of humanity always coming second to zealously preserved blind prejudices. And You spoke through Rahel and Estha's silence which rung much louder than a giant church bell chiming away nearby. We stew in our own insecurities and the irrelevance of small personal outrages, unable to take a step forward, helpless captives in the iron grip of the status quo of the world.

So in this space, I thank that God for the Arundhati Roys of the world. View all 61 comments. The Great Stories are the ones you have heard and want to hear again. The ones you can enter anywhere and inhabit comfortably. They don't deceive you with thrills and trick endings. They don't surprise you with the unforeseen. They are as familiar as the house you live in. Or the smell of your lover's skin. You know how they end, yet you listen as thou "It didn't matter that the story had begun, because Kathkali discovered long ago that the secret of Great Stories is that they have no secrets.

You know how they end, yet you listen as though you don't. In the way that although you know that one day you will die, you live as though you won't.


In the Great Stories you know who lives, who dies, who finds love, who doesn't. And yet you want to know again. This was one of the books I read at the right time and when you do read books at the right time they often hold more meaning for you. This is one of the books that had me hooked from the start.

Arundhati Roy is a brilliant storyteller and I fell in love with the structure, the content of this book, the humour, the cultural reflections. This book was a reminder to me of how when I first started looking for diversity in literature, Indian literature was one of the first genres I sought and felt comfortable in despite the fact that it's not my culture. I knew I could relate to the depictions of life in the tropics, life in a former British colony with Britishness being seen as central and something to strive towards as well like I'd previously experienced was very much on my mind while reading this.

I found this to be a very compelling, beautiful, sad book, with rich imagery. The historical background was compelling. I had little knowledge of the Kerala area which was the backdrop to twins Rahel and Estha's stories but Roy managed to make the story very compelling with her discussion of Indian social issues and the history of colonialism.

And it was not difficult to remember how history shapes us. Insane in the way she sifted through dark things in a closet and emerged with the most unlikely ones-- a fleeting look, a feeling. The smell of smoke. A windscreen wiper. A mother's marble eyes. Remembrances often aren't linear, and with each chapter more of the mystery is revealed and I find that to be an interesting metaphor in our own lives.

There was so much profoundness in this book, and short sentences that, despite their length, had me thinking in all sorts of directions, for example, "Toy Histories for rich tourists to play in" to depict history and rich cultural heritage being lost, and which reminds me of false histories. The wordplay, although it did get admittedly a bit repetitive, was also interesting, and I loved so much of the imagery, especially that of the moth: "The moth on Rahel's heart spread its velvet wings, and the chill crept into her bones.

Definitely worth the read. And things that cannot--that sit on dusty shelves like stuffed birds with baleful, sideways-staring eyes. Shelves: have-read. This is, without a doubt, the single worst book ever written. It makes virtually no sense, jumping from past to present tense so often and without warning that you have no idea whats going on. Out of nowhere the writer mentions filthy disturbing sexual things for no reason. I could not even find a story in there, just meaningless jibberish.

The thing that amazes me most though, is that while i am yet to meet a single person that LIKES this book, it makes it onto all the top lists etc.

Welcome to Small Things

I can o This is, without a doubt, the single worst book ever written. I can only believe that this is because there is NO point to the book, but the reviewers and people that complile the book lists feel that no book can be written without reason and so they must be missing the point of it, and therefore rate the book very highly, so they seem as though they are incredibly intelligent and gained some sort of deep understanding from this book of garbage.

End Rant. View all 41 comments. May 11, Jake rated it did not like it. I'm all by myself here, but what the hell.

This reads like a graduate writing class exercise blown from 20 pages to The metaphors, while occasionally fresh and unexpected, are tedious and frequently stand in for something that could be much less complex. The writing is self-conscious and precious. There is really no good reason to tell the story in such a disjointed fashion. Roy's attempts to recreate the way children view the world were cute for about 10 pages, and then became tiresome the I'm all by myself here, but what the hell. Roy's attempts to recreate the way children view the world were cute for about 10 pages, and then became tiresome there's a reason children don't write novels.

Beautiful insights and revelations are buried beneath so much willful density and elaboration that I was just bored. Too much effort, too little editing. View all 9 comments. Recommended to Dolors by: Aubrey. Shelves: dost , read-in I tried to stay afloat with all my willpower but the unchained maelstrom gurgling in Small Miracles and Big Calamities sprouting from this novel proved to be far too violent for my feeble arms and my fragile heart.

So I drowned. I died a thousand deaths engulfed by the swelling waters of this lush river of flowing allegories and rippling parables that washed my being over and over again in waves of piercing beauty and unbearable sadness. Mimicking the natural cycle of the lunar tide, Arundhati Ro I tried to stay afloat with all my willpower but the unchained maelstrom gurgling in Small Miracles and Big Calamities sprouting from this novel proved to be far too violent for my feeble arms and my fragile heart.

Mimicking the natural cycle of the lunar tide, Arundhati Roy fills the meaningless river of existence with steady repetitions of insignificant details in Small Lives to disclose unutterable Big Losses that leave no footprints in a Godless shore where only raw lyricism exists, a lyricism that kicks the reader in the gut with its brutal magic realism. Small Things. Small Lives. Unimportant People. Grand-aunt Baby Kochamma, to whom happiness eluded a long time ago, poisons the minds of the abandoned souls around her like a slithering snake that bites back in stealthy bitterness.

His sister Ammu is a divorced mother of two-egg twins, whose golden skin transpires a stirring restlessness when she sits on the riverbed with stars in her eyes, bathed in silver moonbeams and aching to be cherished. Velutha, the Untouchable carpenter of a lower caste, carries the river inside him and dives gracefully to wistful shores of vulnerable dreams made of pieces of porcelain where fair and dark can melt in streams of unforbidden passion ignoring the Love Laws that lay down "who should be loved, and how.

And how much". Not Young. But a viable die-able age" two eggs to fuse into one will they find fading relief and slippery consolation. I tried to swim, but I drowned. I drowned in beauty and sadness. All that was left was a dripping heart-shaped hole in my fluid universe and a faltering hope that things can change in a day and that there is still Tomorrow. Or Maybe not. View all 43 comments.

Small Things

May 01, Cecily rated it it was amazing Shelves: miscellaneous-fiction , indian-pakistani-heritage. A lyrical, mysterious tale of misunderstanding and pain, echoing through the years. At its dark heart, it demonstrates how small things can have multiple and major consequences, meaning that everything can change in a single day. It's best to be prepared. It is set in Kerala southern India in when twins Rahel girl and Estha boy are aged 7 and 23 years later, when the twins return to the family home.

As the narrative A lyrical, mysterious tale of misunderstanding and pain, echoing through the years. As the narrative switches periods, hints become clearer and eventually become facts: you know bad things will happen, but it's not initially clear who will be the perpetrators. There is beauty, but always brooding menace of nastiness to come, or echoes of trauma long ago. Caste, communism, Conrad's "Heart of Darkness", "The Sound of Music", whom to love and how , and insects especially moths are common threads. The grandfather Pappachi was the Imperial Entomologist and in later years his wife Mammachi and their son Chacko started a pickle factory a pickle factory is also significant in Rushdie's Midnight's Children.

Their daughter, Ammu, is the divorced mother of the twins, and has "the infinite tenderness of motherhood and the reckless rage of a suicide bomber". The twins' great aunt Baby Kochamma lives there as well. She is a bitter woman, who loved, but never had, Father Mulligan, so retreats into false piety.

She seeks and relishes opportunities to gloat at the misdemeanours and misfortunes of others: on hearing of scandal, "She set sail at once. A ship of goodness ploughing through a sea of sin". The big event is when Chacko's English ex wife Margaret is widowed and she brings Chacko's 9 year old daughter Sophie Mol to visit. The other key character is Velutha son of Vellya Paapen , a clever untouchable, a couple of years younger than Ammu. The family pay for his education and he becomes indispensable at the factory for maintaining the machines, though carpentry is his true skill.

There is also Kochu Maria, a house servant, who becomes more like Baby Kochamma's companion in later years. Estha and Rahel thought of themselves together as Me, and separately, individually, as We or Us When returning as an adult, "now she thinks of Estha and Rahel as Them Edges, Borders, Boundaries, Brinks and Links have appeared. You're the Sinned Against. However, ghosts are everywhere, mainly in the memories of the dead and the ramifications of their deaths, but also in other forms of loss: opportunities, love, names the twins are without a surname when their parents split and even the power of speech.

Her death "stepped softly around the house Like a fruit in season. Every season. Just the end of living. Baby Kochamma, once an skilled gardener, lets her plants wither or go wild, while she devotes her life to vicariously living the lives of ghosts she sees on satellite TV. There is also an abandoned house across the river that the twins nickname The History House. There are many explicit comparisons with The Heart of Darkness: it was the home of Kari Saipu, and Englishman who "went native" and "captured dreams and redreamed them".

Eventually, he shot himself when his young lover was taken away. The twins are raised by their loving but strict mother, but they are haunted by a fear that she will cease to love them. Their "willingness to love people who didn't really love them They all crossed into forbidden territory. They all tampered with the laws that lay down who should be loved and how.

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Gradually, "Estha and Rahel learned how history negotiates its terms and collects its dues from those who break its laws. Estha would keep the receipt for the dues that Velutha paid. Silence slid in like a bolt. Someone switched off the light and Velutha disappeared.

The God of Small Things. Most are pairs of adjectives or adjective plus noun: sourmetal, oldfood, fishswimming, chinskin, deadlypurposed, longago, suddenshutter, sharksmile, orangedrinks, steelshrill, suddenshutter, stickysweet. However, things like cuff-links are written with a hyphen. Cuff-links also hint at an explanation: when the young twins are told they are "'to link cuffs together' Then they stun themselves against clear windowpanes and die, flatly baffled in the sun. It sent its stealthy, suckered tentacles It stripped his thoughts of the words that described them and left them pared and naked.

It came out jagged. Like a piece of tin. Like an elf eating toast. Not a cloudy kiss full of questions. Feb 03, Samra Yusuf rated it it was amazing Shelves: historical-fiction , asian.

Creative Projects

What comes is the memory, of a long gone face, of a broken smile, of a silenced voice in a dark cell, a man, an untouchable pravaan,a communist of lowly cast, the shimmering swimmer of the waters of passion who leave no footprints when walks in dark, the man of big heart, the God of small things. The vague incest between twins, darts the attention away from the murky flow of the story,Book is encumbered with coinages and innovative phrases that only add to frustration on the part of reader that is fueled by the never-ending elaborations of the words used.

Bigotry has to be uprooted at the basis immediate as is done filtration of the air, in places contaminated with plague, we have to become receptive, or indifferent in the attempt, at the very least, to save the Gods of small things! View all 38 comments. May 11, Petal X rated it did not like it Shelves: fiction , reviewed , reviews , dnf-or-never-read. I remember trying to read this book half a dozen times. Well now I find in Dropbox. I exported my books June 1th and this is the file and the book is on it. So how did it disappear?

I've never had proof before that I really had added a book that GR removed. I've had them tell me I must have removed it in error, but so many? Of course not. Besides I don't remove books from the boo I remember trying to read this book half a dozen times. Besides I don't remove books from the bookshelves but only from the review page this one so it would be extremely unlikely to be in error. I loathed the characters and didn't want to read about them so although I would regularly make it to about pages, more than that I couldn't do. Maybe I should have perservered, but life is too short and there are too many 5 star books to discover out there.

What is the expression, ars longa, vita brevia? View all 15 comments. I recognize that when it comes to this book, platitudes are worth even less than usual when it comes to the conveyance of something with actual meaning. So on that note I will spare both you and I that. Instead, I will comfort myself in the core of metaphor, and go from there. To say that this book resonated with me is akin to saying that ingestion of arsenic does a decent job of causing multi-system organ failure.

To say that I read it at the right time is akin to saying that the added latex to I recognize that when it comes to this book, platitudes are worth even less than usual when it comes to the conveyance of something with actual meaning.

Small Things – Creative Projects

To say that I read it at the right time is akin to saying that the added latex to the cord did a decent job of being the exact amount required to turn a free fall finality into a sustained oscillation, one that is holding strong to this day. Rather than spill guts that are still too close for me to speak of in comfortably distanced terms, I will simply say that on the first day of this rereading, I went back after finishing and played video games until I could trust myself with serious mental activity again, for if there's one thing I've learned from 'Infinite Jest' is that, sometimes, thinking your way out of something is the worst decision you could possibly make.

But before that, I wrote the above. Now that I've finished, and have all the resources at my disposal, I can bring you this: And there it was again. Another religion turned against itself. Another edifice constructed by the human mind, decimated by human nature. It's absurdly hilarious, almost, how many times the book hurls its meaning at you in very discreetly concrete packages. Religion, culture, foreign relations, politics, family, belief, blood, and binding. It would come off as trite and pretentiously overdone, were it not for the systematic destruction of every storytelling methodology usually used to deliver such life lessons.

Industrialization, information, travel, passionately, monetarily, and so many other pathways of escape usually offered up on the altar of the 'happy ending', or anything but a 'thoroughly debilitating reality of an ending', and the most popular, love. Love, its How and its How Much. But more important than all that is Growing Up. The Bildungsroman, the promise Time gives to its more helpless constituents. Or at least, a promise humanity likes to think exists. Tell me, how much resonance would these menacing Facts of Life have, Facts that are as rampant in India as they are in America, will continue to be so anywhere as long as humanity crawls and craves its way across this modern day society of ours, if any of these escapes had succeeded in bringing about content complacency?

How many reviews have I read that mentioned Tragedy of it All, an emotional dagger that will latch on in grim urgency when everything else has faded to a brief recollection of word and thought, guarantee a remembrance of pain if nothing else? About as many as I've read that mentioned the Prose. The Prose. Something I believe set the stage for how far I was drawn into this novel, unconsciously resonating with the viewpoint it conveys. For of all the books I have read over the years, and I have read many, there are very, very few that I can think of that look at children in terms of reality.

Not childhood. It is the makeup equivalent of heading the boardroom meeting or walking into the party, shoulders back, chest out. From Abba to the Arctic Monkeys, the perfect pop songs have one thing in common. There is a reason radio edits last about three minutes: because that is how songs should have been born. It is not uncommon for me to end up playing Scrabble with people on the next table over, exchanging niceties and numbers. Even with sandy spines and smudged type, reading on the beach is a pleasure.

Go on, scratch that itch, and give yourself a mini serotonin boost. There is nothing more rewarding than a problem solved, and one of the finest examples of this is a satisfactorily scratched itch. Suspended between dreams and consciousness, I love the moment after waking. From the rollerball to the quill, the pen will always be mightier than the keyboard. I love the smell of rain after a heatwave. And now I love the word for it, too.