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Saturday, Oct 16, 2021
Outlook.com

Sleepy Aymanam

Arundhati Roy's ancestral village has still not awakened to their Booker celebrity

Sleepy Aymanam
Sleepy Aymanam
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+05:53

WITH its "greygreen" veil, the Meenachil river spills straight out of the pages of The God of Small Things. But Aymanam—Arundhati Roy took the liberty to change it to Ayemenem—the somnolent village that comes alive in the book, is a picture of still life. The Booker Prize has left the village folk serenely unmoved.

But in Corpus Christie, the school run by Arundhati's mother Mary Roy where the social elite of Kottayam send their children to pick up a fashionable western liberal education, the atmosphere is electric. The institution has emerged as a post-Booker control room where information about the book and its author disseminates, where an embarrassed press corps is greeted with the query: "Have you read the book?"

Here is where Arundhati spent her crucial early years. It was in this informal and somewhat avant garde setting that she discovered the joy of reading and of going off on freewheeling explorations of the mind. Mary Roy recalls this phase with a sense of vindication: "She joined a formal school only at eleven. I...

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