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...Twenty years of ranting against mammoth dams, nuclear bombs and the Leviathan Indian state would have, one assumed, cured her of polemic and, when finally news arrived that her second novel was on its way, it appeared to herald her return to that rare talent evidenced in her maiden novel. The God of Small Things, whose sentences, like two-egg twins, combined childlike precociousness with adult presentiment was essentially a story about love and loss, the first forbidden, the second inevitable. It was a story about individuals, ordinary ones, and the war of loss and longing occasioned in their souls. The big bad world was always there, but always as an outcrop, a backdrop. On the contrary, what we have with The Ministry of Utmost Happiness that just hit bookstores is an unabashed history lesson, where individuals are mere pawns in a larger-than-life plot. ...TOI on June 15, 2017, 2 a.m.
...A chill draft of air came off the river and with it the smell of reeds. A furlong from his house he stumbled on something and looked down at the beige feathers of a dead bird glinting like tinfoil. Picking it up and turning it over he thought it looked like one of those ruse birds that distract predators with their neat camouflage. He was wondering if this was a new type of peregrine or hoopoe when he heard a woman scream. He looked at the bridge in the middle distance and thought someone had fallen into the canal. With the dead bird and duffel bag and sickle, he ran to the bridge, taking a shortcut, tearing through an overgrown patch of ‘communist pacha’. He saw no one on the bridge, only a vague shape like an ornamental gourd in the middle of the road. Coming closer it took him a full moment to register what, or rather, who it was. ...TOI on Oct. 15, 2016, 7 a.m.