Saturday, October 7, 2017

Rangoonism

In 1991, Aung San Suu Kyi was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for her non-violent struggle for democracy and human rights. In her acceptance speech, she called for the world to be “FREE OF THE DISPLACED, THE HOMELESS, AND THE HOPELESS.”
Suu Kyi, a student from the Convent of Jesus and Mary School in New Delhi, had graduated in Politics from Lady Shri Ram College. Suu Kyi later obtained a BA in Philosophy, Politics and Economics and an M.A degree in Politics from St Hugh's College, Oxford. She was also later elected as an Honorary Fellow of St Hugh's in 1990.

After graduating, she lived in New York City and worked at the United Nations for three years, primarily on budget matters and shortly thereafter married Michael Vaillancourt Aris, a British historian who wrote and lectured on Bhutanese, Tibetan and Himalayan culture and history. He was the then State Counselor of Myanmar.

Unfortunately, Aris died of prostate cancer on his 53rd birthday in 1999, in Oxford.

After 1989, when his wife was first placed under house arrest, he had seen her only five times, the last of which was for Christmas in 1995, after Suu Kyi had been released for the first time.
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Today, Suu Kyi is under attack for not taking a stand against the brutality and wave of terror unleashed on the Rohingya Muslims.
Am not going to details here, but according to UN reports there have been close to 300,000 Rohingya Muslims, who have crossed over to Bangladesh to escape persecution by the MYANMAR ARMY. Furthermore, it is reported that over 1,000 Rohingya people have also been killed.

Oxford Council had bestowed the freedom of the city on her in 1997, when she was being held as a political prisoner by Myanmar’s military junta for her "struggle for democracy."

Well, what I now find funny is that it is the same Oxford Council that is stripping Aung San Suu Kyi, of the Freedom of Oxford over the Rohingya Muslim crisis. The governing body of St Hugh’s college has also decided to remove the painting of the Nobel laureate from its main entrance. According to Beebs, the council leader, Bob Price, had supported the motion, reportedly calling it an “unprecedented step” for the local authority. They believe that the City's reputation has been 'tarnished by honoring those who turn a blind eye to violence.

What I find it even more amusing is that a number of British institutions say they are reviewing or removing honors bestowed on Aung San Suu Kyi during her campaign for democracy.

Little do people realize Beebs has a love-hate relationship with Suu Kyi?

It is claimed that Suu Kyi made an angry 'Muslim' comment after a tense exchange with BBC presenter Mishal Husain
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Mishal, whom I personally knew as a kid while in the Middle East has blossomed well… Born to an erudite Pakistani Doctor, and an even more charming wife, Shama!

Like the usual story, Tazi Husain and his wife were neighbors in Rawalpindi. They got married and moved to the UK where he specialized to become a Surgeon and later moved on to the Middle East.after getting his FRCS.

Mishal was their progeny and if I remember clearly, she had a brother too. She was there during my time in Middle East, and like all Expat children, she did her schooling in the International School. Little did I realize she would go on to become a News Anchor and that too with Beebs…? All I remember about her was a shy girl with ponytails laughing off at parties with big eyes.

Having said that, I am not taking sides here, Mishal is a good presenter and can stand her ground. Adding to Suu Kyi’s misery, the whole issue was just blown out of proportion.

I wish it was some other presenter who had done this... I sometimes shudder to think, if it was Christianne Amanpour.

Anyway, this should not in anyway deviate from our main issue.

For someone who has spent over 15 years in Prison, I think there is something wrong somewhere… Of course, I could always be wrong.

Besides, I have this habit of mouthing myself off in the wrong places.

Aung San Suu Kyi‘s STORY IS ONE OF COURAGE AND DETERMINATION, ESPECIALLY THE WAY SHE TOOK ON THE MIGHT OF THE MILITARY JUNTA FOR RESTORING DEMOCRACY.

Now, that takes a lot of spunk!

She also spend over 15 years in prison... that takes even more guts!

Although in the 1990 general elections, Suu Ki’s party, the National League for Democracy (NLD), witnessed a resounding victory, the MILITARY JUNTA refused to recognize the results.

The military kept Suu Kyi under house arrest for 15 years. In spite of her captive years, she kept fighting for the restoration of democracy and for ensuring the fundamental rights of the people.

In the 2015 general elections, her party once again achieved a landslide victory. This finally forced the military junta to call Suu Kyi to form the government, and consequently ended 50 years of military rule.

Funnily, she was unable to become President because of a constitutional amendment her father had formulated, which debars citizens married to foreigners from taking the Presidential office. Therefore, she now holds the position of the State Counselor, a position akin to a Prime Minister.

Tell me, Rangoonwala… is there not something fishy?

For someone who studied in India, imbibed its culture, went to the UK, and qualified in multiple specialties and worked in the UN…it just isn’t right (personal opinion, you might say)… Married to a English Historian who specialized in Bhutanese, Tibetan and Himalayan culture and history…

And now being blamed for ethnic cleansing...

Ethnic cleansing is something you associate with Hitler, or Heinrich Himmler, or Joseph Goebbels or in the modern day times… Radovan Karadzic, or the Bosnian Serb military commander, General Ratko Mladic….not some lady who spent 15 years in prison.

There is something wrong somewhere.

Besides, this is not surprising given Myanmar’s history with the Military Junta. It had been in power for over 50 years.

They say that Nawaz Sharif is just a puppet in the hands of the Army, and he virtually has little control in the running of the state. Now that is no state secret. I am not saying that it could be a similar scenario in Myanmar, but it is a possibility, and this needs to be sorted out at the earliest.

Isn’t it strange that a Buddhist country have abandoned the teachings of Gautam Buddha, who advocated non-violence, compassion, and brotherhood?

Now they want to strip her off her Nobel Prize as well.

If Suu Kyi fails to act, she will go down in history as an unworthy recipient of a Nobel Peace Prize. She should heed the advice of fellow Nobel Peace Prize winner, Archbishop Desmond Tutu. In his open letter to her, he said,

“If the political price of your ascension to the highest office is silence, the price is surely too steep… We pray for you to intervene in the escalating crisis and guide your people back towards the path of righteousness.”

IN THE MEANTIME, THE UN SHOULD PRESSURE MYANMAR’S MILITARY JUNTA TO PUT AN END TO THE KILLING AND FIND A SOLUTION TO RESTORE PEACE IN THE REGION.

I think it would be nice if someone traveled to a neighboring country, Malaysia, and interviewed Mahathir Mohammed and the supposed sodomizer Mr. Anwar Ibrahim. The poor bloke has been serving term for close to 19 years, and for what… Sodomy!

Maan, here we are talking about ethnic cleansing and Suu Kyi!

Mahathir has recently stated that he has no objection to Mr. Anwar Ibrahim being Premier and will support him in the coming elections. What a joke, after 18 years Malaysia’s Mahathir plans to support Anwar.

Hoo La… what a Backing (pardon the pun)!

The world has truly become a place of hate.

To quote Bob Geldof in a recent interview…and to think that I once admired this bloke (perhaps it could be senility... am still willing to forgive him for his rant!)

Bob Geldof says Aung San Suu Kyi has become 'one of the great ethnic cleansers'.

I am sick of these leaders. I am sick of Putin. I’m sick of Xi Jinping. I’m sick of Trump. I’m sick of Erdogan. I loathe these people. I despise them. How dare they behave in the manner they behave?

Geldof also took aim at the current problems facing the world and said that the “old traditions have failed us.” “They give us this imbecilic inequality,” he said. “How did we allow it to happen? How is that just? And, how is it human? It is a world without leadership.”

Monay Boba...you tell us!

He closed by urging the young people in attendance to come up with the ideas that would change the world for the better.

Pinne…

Young guys to come up with ideas, so that you can point fingers later.

Nee Poda…

Pappa Baranam Vendappa!

Saturday, September 30, 2017

Where Do You Go To My Lovely When You Are Alone In Your Head

Now that I have written a small piece below for the ever non-dominating,  non-controlling and non-resistant Dr. Jekyll, I reckon it would be unfair if a piece was not written for Mr. Hyde, (pardon me if he resembles any living character, as this was out of pure Saturday blues).

Jekyll And Hyde

Mr. Hyde is a control freak and does not being liked laughed at!

But unfortunately, control dramas, never work the way that we want.

Unless you are dealing with a child, and even then control tactics only causes resistance. You are not running a boot camp, you could be running an organization even a country.

Begin by trusting the employees, who by nature, want to do good work. Be always available to give them advice.

It is also important to realize that it has virtually become very difficult to function with images nowadays, i.e., on a virtual reality basis. Most visions end up as hallucinations....as a result, people who end up trying to execute their visions, eventually fail.. So, remember, it is the ability to distinguish the vision from the hallucination that really matters...

It's a thin thread that separates Hyde and Jekyll, and one slip could easily end up classifying Jekyll as a Mr. Hyde!

Jekyll And Hyde

Now returning to where we started... the market at present works on AI (Artificial Intelligence), and works on a funny code, that is, a 1, 2, and 1, 2, 0 and a 1, 2, 3 standards. More like a binary code as they call it in in computer lingo.

For somebody, not familiar with “AI” (which seems to be used quite freely nowadays), and binary code, you basically have to write down each move [i.e., if you have the TIME]. Now if you are not quick on the uptake, by market standards, you are lost!

So, where were we now?

NLP or neuro-linguistic-programming should be a lot more organized... as few seem to understand it.

Now did someone say something?

Yes, I heard it... you said something!

Must make an appointment with my Psychiatrist!

So, how do we solve this?

Now let us create A as the demand, and B as the supply, and C as the constant, so that whenever there is a break in communication we can always move over to the other side. In other words, you have to know both sides...

Oops... ego beckons.... Let us bathe in it... or else one cannot control the neurotic... I mean Hyde!

Now where do the male and female elements fit in such a process?

One of the hottest ideas in today’s minds, or let me put it in a better way "the current market mindset" is driven by female masturbation...

P1ersonally, I have nothing against it, nor in anybody pleasuring herself, it is just the fact that I don’t own a vibrator store, or else, I could have at least made a killing out of this market mindset.

Leaving bad investments and dreams aside, if this mindset continues we can definitely expect many ideas to "flow".

The most interesting and humorous aspect is that the female community is going at it with no "hang-ups" let alone, any qualms in discussing it. It is just another "finger in the pie" aspect. Worst case - fingers in different pies, at least from their point of view...

They do not even need a Gynecologist these days...

Does this mindset extend to the male species, some of you may ask?

Most definitely, the male has been at it for centuries.

Unfortunately, this turn of mindset has been quite shocking for the member. He for one, has never thought of competition from the opposite species. In a way, the male member has lost its usual regalia and position, and as a result needs some coaxing to even to get in to his previous position, let alone get going...

The jamming is so much that he misinterprets any ideas and as a result, he ends up in the manhole... this for sure is not the right path to ecstasy.

It is funny that all this while... the male species had their fingers in any hole they could find and suddenly, they are out of a job and landing in their own.

Absolutely a drastic thought...

We need a change...

They are even making movies out of it now...

"Toilet Ek Prem Katha!"

Now, Where Do We Go My Lovely?


After the glitter fades, beneath the leather and lace, we are just scared, trying to learn how to love, amid the gaudy after images. And when darkness falls, and we crouch naked and are alone in our slack, aging bodies, snuffling with fear, and snarling at the grinning phantasms of our toilet-flushed dreams, with a fistful of pills to keep us company.

For starters, we could try and think the opposite... with their members and the male manhole...

Masturbation apart, let us take on another issue - to use our ability to laugh.

It is the most powerful thing that we have been given, and it is our greatest gift, especially if we can "laugh at ourselves."

When you make fun of what frightens you, you get a mastery over it and gain control.

So go ahead, act silly.

When you throw your head back and laugh, you are not thinking of anything else.

So, here is an anecdote for the day...

It is a beautiful spring day and a man and his wife are at the zoo. She has on a close-fitting, low-cut, summer dress with spaghetti straps. As they walk through the ape exhibit, and pass in front of a very large gorilla, it goes ape.

He jumps up on the bars, he grunts, he pounds his chest. He is obviously excited at the sight of the young lady in the sundress. The husband, noticing the ape’s excitement, suggests that his wife tease the ape.

The husband suggests that she pucker her lips and wiggle her bottom.... She does, and the ape gets even more excited, making noises that would wake the dead...

Then her husband suggests that she let one of the straps of her dress slips down... She does and Mr. Gorilla is about to tear down the bars...

Her husband suggests she lift her dress up her thighs and she does. This about drives Mr. Gorilla crazy...

Then quickly the husband grabs his wife, rips open the door to the cage, flings her inside with the Gorilla, slams the door shut and gleefully rubbing his hands together says...

Now, tell him you have a HEADACHE!

Laughter is the best thing you can do for your health.

"The old saying that 'laughter is the best medicine,' definitely appears to be true when it comes to protecting your heart," says Michael Miller, M.D., director of the Center for Preventive Cardiology at the University of Maryland Medical Center and associate professor of medicine at the University Of Maryland School Of Medicine.

If not only protects your heart, but also prevents a stroke!

So, go ahead and laugh at yourself and just appreciate the importance of laughter...

Jekyll And Hyde
Where Do You Go To My Lovely When You Are Alone In Your Head... I Know The Thoughts That Surrounds You, Cause I Can Look Inside Your Head!

Friday, September 29, 2017

I Read Playboy For The Articles

As a semi-struggling writer, I would just like to say a few words about Hefner, the quintessential Playboy…

Let's also take a moment to remember that "I read Playboy for the articles" is more than just a joke.

Way back when I was up to the nose in puberty and the Internet didn't exist for us commoners, when I did happen to come across a 'Playboy', I'd ... err ... peruse the pictures quite a bit… After a while, the reading addict I am, would inevitably get caught up in one of the articles and start reading it. And then all of them. To be honest, I was surprised at how well written some of those were.

That said, I've never bought a 'Playboy' or similar magazine as an adult… (Much as some college friends might disagree!)

The Playboy's literary aspect was vast... most readers would agree with me on this aspect.

Mentioned below are some of the many such pieces that further substantiates this, and just does not view Playboy with the brand marketing it is associated with.


  Ayn Rand's Playboy Interview


 Stephen King publishes poem in Playboy




Now to highlight the literary aspect… (I just copied this from the net about a ’68 Playboy issue) …

It's December 1968 and you grab a mag at the local newsstand. (picture given below)

The table of contents includes the following... A quartet of short stories by Alberto Moravia... a symposium on creativity with contributions from Truman Capote, Lawrence Durrell, James T. Farrell, Allen Ginsberg, Le Roi Jones, Arthur Miller, Henry Miller, Norman Podhoretz, Georges Simenon, Isaac Bashevis Singer, William Styron and John Updike.. Humor pieces from Jean Shepherd and Robert Morley… An article on pacifism in America by Norman Thomas… A piece on how machines will change our lives by Arthur C. Clarke…An essay on "the overheated image" by Marshall McLuhan… Contributions from Eric Hoffer and Alan Watts…An article in defense of academic irresponsibility by Leslie Fiedler…A memoir of Hemingway by his son Patrick… Eldridge Cleaver interviewed by Nat Hentoff…A travel piece by the espionage novelist Len Deighton…And the first English translation of a poem by Goethe.



Yes, folks, that was Playboy!

And lest you think that issue was a fluke, an overstuffed Christmas goodie, the ad for the January 1969 issue promises a story from P.G. Wodehouse, an article by Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas, fiction from Robert Coover and Sean O'Faolain, and a never before published tale by Lytton Strachey.

Phew!

Now back to Hef and Playboy...


 1973 Playmate of The Year party at the Playboy Mansion with Hefner


Playboy's pages became cherished terrain for writers who wanted to experiment and stretch their boundaries. Playboy "was bold and frank… Contributors over the years have included a galaxy of stars, among them Kurt Vonnegut, Jack Kerouac, Margaret Atwood, Shel Silverstein, Norman Mailer, Jimmy Breslin and Joyce Carol Oates.

Sure, the reason most of us started reading Playboy was for the girls!

Still, Playboy did appeal to a much broader audience than its advertising and brand identity suggested “If you take nudity out, what’s left?”

Over the years, to be fair, Playboy faced the same issues that porn companies have faced for years. How do you make money in a landscape overflowing with free pornography?

Adult-industry experts lament at the porn glut and wonder how to stay alive. Playboy finds itself now just as disposable as the beautiful women who have worked for it as models over the years.

Hugh Hefner, once told Playmates at a reunion: "Without you, I'd be the publisher of a literary magazine."

Playboy Editorial Board 1970


And then what is any piece nowadays without the mention of the Big T!



 Donald Trump and 'Playboy': A lengthy history


People may never be a fan of Hugh Hefner, but I will say his publication has and had more intellectual merit than many realize.

Of course, when buying one and checking out, remember to ask for a brown paper bag!

Saturday, December 31, 2016

Sociopaths, Narcissists and Empaths

The misconception that sociopaths and narcissists are smarter than empaths is wrong!

To many people’s surprise, empaths are intellectually superior to sociopaths and narcissists.

Empaths are grounded in reality, capable of abstract thought, and they are creative.

Narcissists and sociopaths lack all three of these traits. Empaths have the intellect and the creativity to manipulate and even exploit the narcissist 1000 times worse than they could ever imagine. Just because targets don’t exploit does not mean they can’t, or that they couldn’t, do an even better job than the sociopath.




Being a shallow user is its own punishment. As we see in many politicians, they might achieve power and wealth while being narcissistic and sociopathic, but at what cost? Constant need for approval, multiple failed relationships, and being surrounded by sycophants rather than true friends. Having empathy is smart and it pays on a deeper level.

On a lighter note…. there is no need to control or dominate… nothing can overcome a non-resistant person – this would only surprise the sociopaths and narcissists… but they rarely notice… because they are too busy admiring themselves!

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

The God of Small Things - Ammu’s Dream and Details of Death

Was just leafing through Roy's novel once again the other day, and it appeared more meaningful now, rather than the first time...

I know that only reading it once is not nearly enough to grasp the importance and understanding of everything. I would like to discuss two things that really stuck out to me.


Ammu’s Dream

The chapter highlights Ammu and the relationship between her body and her cremation. Roy delves further into analyzing Ammu’s body during Chapter 11. She dreams of the one armed man (Velutha) that she cannot touch. The ultimate struggle in her dream is that “If he touched her he couldn’t talk to her, if he loved her he couldn’t leave; if he spoke he couldn’t listen, if he fought he couldn’t win” (p. 207).  The first problem with their desire was that they could not touch each other. This brings in the obvious caste difference because of Velutha being a dalit. The other aspects of their relationship presented in this quote (love, communication, future success of the relationship) are not given much attention. The physical barrier is too strong to overcome. Also at this point in the novel, the most interaction that we have seen between Ammu and Velutha was eye connect and unvoiced desire.

Ammu’s dream is interrupted by the twins. But they are afraid to directly wake her up because “she says you should never wake dreaming people suddenly…she says they could easily have a Heart Attack” (p. 207). She is dreaming about her physical reaction to Velutha while the twins are concerned about her physical reaction to them. I believe that Roy brought extra attention to Heart Attack because of it would be a physical death to her being as well as a romantic death to her dream of Velutha.  *Pappachi died of a heart attack (p. 49).

The twin’s reaction to their mother’s dream is also important. Estha thought that she looked like she was dying but Rahel was certain that she was having an “afternoon-mare” (p. 208).  To her children, she appeared sad and distressed during her dream even though she felt happy.  I felt like this was an accurate description of pending relationship with Velutha. Love should bring happiness but between Velutha and Ammu it is bound to bring death and sadness.

The question is that after the dream she recognizes that the one armed man, Velutha, was “the God of Loss, the God of Small Things” (p. 210). Why are loss and Ammu and Velutha’s affair classified as a “small things” in this novel?

The details of the deaths in the novel

All of the deaths in this novel involved destruction or dis-figuration of the body. As I previously noted, Pappachi died of a heart attack. The physical demolition surrounding his death was that which he inflicted on other bodies, not his own. He beat Mammachi and when he could no longer do that he destroyed his favorite rocking chair. As the novel continues, the family does not escape the trend of deadly destruction that he started. We have already spent a decent amount of time discussing Ammu’s death and cremation. Not only is her body decimated but so is her capability to invoke desire and lust. Sins of the body paid for by erasing her body.

But in Chapter 13, we finally learn the details of Sophie Mol’s death, the most central one to the narrative. When her body was laid out, “it was obvious that she was dead” and did not look like her living self (p. 238).  She had weeds in her hair, her face had been nibbled on by the fish, and she was wrinkled. She was completely disfigured. Her drowning had transformed her into a “spongy mermaid who had forgotten how to swim” (p. 238). The body that was hers now belonged to death.

I don't know about you, but if one had to pick the character that most people dislike in the novel, it would probably be Baby Kochamma. She's selfish, self-centered, snippy, and just downright mean. Still, a novel without an antagonist would be like chocolate chip cookies without the milk, or karaoke without a Kelly Clarkson song: it just doesn't seem to work as well if that key piece is missing. As much as we want to tell Baby Kochamma to get over herself and take a hike, we actually need her. In a novel that covers such a big stretch of time, Baby Kochamma's history is the longest of any other character.

But then, who is Baby Kochamma?


First, a little back-story: Baby Kochamma is not a baby, and her last name is not really Kochamma. We never find out exactly why she takes on the name Baby, but it's how everyone knows her. Her real name is Navomi Ipe, and Kochamma is just a title of respect and honor for a woman. Baby Kochamma's acts of getting Velutha and Ammu in trouble and manipulating Estha and Rahel after Sophie Mol's death are key moments that show us just how insecure she is when it comes to social status. Here's a woman who knows exactly what she's doing: she's a total snake in the grass, even if she acts like she truly cares about everyone else.

The Baby Kochamma of 1993 lives a pretty simple life in comparison. There's not really anyone left to manipulate. Ammu and Mammachi are both dead, and Chacko has moved to Canada. She's totally addicted to satellite TV, and as a result she's let the house fall to pieces around her. She sits around wearing all of Mammachi's old jewelry as though she's playing dress-up. Rahel observes that it's like Baby Kochamma is "living her life backwards" (1.136). All in all, Baby Kochamma is hard to like, but all in all, she's a complex and interesting character.

Who is Estha ?

Estha, short for Esthappen Yako, is the other half of our dynamic twin duo. He was born eighteen minutes before his twin, Rahel, which is sort of fitting since in many ways he seems like he's her older brother. Even as a child, Estha is almost painfully earnest and sincere. He loves his mother and Velutha, and he's protective of Rahel. Because he's such a sweet boy, it can be hard to watch what happens to him throughout the novel.

First, a look at Estha in 1969. He is a seven-year-old who loves Elvis Presley (he wears his hair in a puffed-up style to imitate him) and has a very childlike view of the world. He loves The Sound of Music, and one of the book's most heartwarming moments is when he sings so happily from the top of his lungs that he has to leave the movie theater.

fast forwarding... Estha's reunion with Rahel brings back a number of painful memories that up until this moment he has kept packed away. Estha and Rahel end up delving through many memories of their childhood, and he notices how much she looks like their mother. At the end of the novel, he and Rahel have sex – though it happens so quickly and quietly that we barely notice it – and grieve together for all that they've lost...

Who is Reverend E. John Ipe/ Punnyan Kunju ?

He's Baby Kochamma and Pappachi's father. He was a well-regarded priest in the Mar Thoma Church. He became known as Punnyan Kunju (Little Blessed One) after the Patriarch of Antioch, who is the head of the Syrian Christian Church, personally blessed him. His portrait hangs in the Ayemenem House.

Who is Urumban ?

Urumban is not a real person. He is the fake "twin" that Velutha makes up when Rahel claims she saw him in the Communist march.

Does the details of these deaths classify as small things? Why does Roy primarily use tragic and non-normative deaths?

We know Ammu best as Estha and Rahel's mother, but it's important to look at her early life when we examine her character. Ammu isn't just a mom; she's also Pappachi and Mammachi's daughter and Chacko's younger sister. Through a number of flashbacks in the novel, we get a good sense of how her past helped shape who she is as an adult.

While Chacko, as the son of the family, is proudly sent off to school and eventually to Oxford to study as a Rhodes Scholar, Ammu doesn't get the same kind of treatment. In fact, it seems like she doesn't have all that many options. Life at her parents' house is tough. Pappachi is kind of a drunk jerk, terrorizing Mammachi and Ammu. Feeling like there's nothing left for her in Ayemenem but to wait around for a husband, Ammu gets permission to go to Calcutta for a summer. She meets and marries Baba, which turns out to be a bad choice.

Ammu divorces Baba and moves back to Ayemenem when the twins are toddlers. Ammu is both a strict and loving mother. What's interesting about her is her resistance to social norms. She doesn't feel like she needs to be ashamed of her divorce. Instead, she feels like she wasted her best years. This quality sets her apart from the other women of the household, who are totally preoccupied with looking better than others in society.

Ammu doesn't think too much of social rank. In fact, she's kind of proud that Velutha was spotted at the communist march, figuring that they both find society's norms oppressive and wrong. This doesn't mean Ammu doesn't care about appearances altogether; she wants her kids to behave well so that everyone can see that a woman on her own can be both independent and a good mother.

Ammu's affair with Velutha is a great escape for her, and we can tell that she has really strong feelings for him, even though she knows their love can never be public. In a way, it's their love that brings about both of their downfalls. Baby Kochamma wouldn't have had to make up stories about Velutha to the police if they hadn't had an affair. Ammu's life after Velutha's death is unimaginably bad. She's lost the only man she ever loved, and she's separated from her kids. She dies alone, likely of tuberculosis, in a dirty hotel room. Still, when she is cremated, Rahel doesn't remember her as the disgusting, hacking, slightly loony woman that she ultimately becomes.

Summarizing..

  • Ammu has kind of a rough upbringing.
  • Pappachi runs Ammu and Mammachi out of the house from time to time.
  • One night, he tears up her rubber boots, her most prized possession.
  • Ammu's parents don't think it's necessary to send a woman to college, so she spends her young adulthood living at home and waiting for marriage proposals.
  • One summer, Ammu's parents allow her to move to Calcutta. She meets Baba, who proposes to her five days after they meet. She accepts.
  • Ammu gives birth to Estha and Rahel in 1962.
  • When the twins are 2 years old, Baba loses his job. He tells Ammu he can keep his job if she agrees to sleep with his boss. He punches her when she says no. After this happens a few times, she takes the kids and moves back to Ayemenem.
  • Ammu gets mad at the twins for misbehaving when Sophie Mol comes to visit. She thinks they make a bad first impression.
  • Ammu sees Rahel run off to talk to Velutha.
  • When Margaret Kochamma makes an ignorant comment about the local culture, Ammu gets angry and storms off.
  • Ammu falls asleep and has a dream about a man she calls "The God of Small Things" (actually Velutha).
  • That night, Ammu goes out for a walk in the dark. She encounters Velutha, and they make love.
  • Ammu and Velutha meet every night for the next thirteen nights.
  • After Vellya Paapen rats Velutha and Ammu out, Baby Kochamma locks Ammu in her bedroom.
  • Ammu yells through the door at Estha and Rahel that it's their fault she's locked in.
  • After Sophie Mol's funeral, Ammu goes to see Inspector Thomas Mathew to clear Velutha's name. He tells Ammu that Velutha is already dead.
  • Ammu is forced to leave Ayemenem. She becomes severely ill.
  • Ammu dies alone in a hotel room. Chacko and Rahel take her to be cremated.

Basically... Ammu is remembered as lovely and, most importantly, loving....

Quotes from Arundhati Roy...The God of Small Things....

“Perhaps it's true that things can change in a day. That a few dozen hours can affect the outcome of whole lifetimes. And that when they do, those few dozen hours, like the salvaged remains of a burned house---the charred clock, the singed photograph, the scorched furniture---must be resurrected from the ruins and examined. Preserved. Accounted for. Little events, ordinary things, smashed and reconstituted. Imbued with new meaning. Suddenly they become the bleached bones of a story.”

“Ammu said that human beings were creatures of habit, and it was amazing the kind of things one could get used to.” Besides, careless words make people love you a little less.”

The trouble with families is that like invidious doctors, they know just where it hurts.......

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Its Time We Stopped Hurting Each Other And Joined The Fun

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? ... As we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others…Isn’t it time we stopped hurting each other and joined the fun…