The 118th death.
[Text by Ajin K Thomas; photo by Shebin Benson]
Writer Ajin K Thomas was found dead on the banks of the Punnapuzha River in Malappuram, with a paperback edition of The God of Small Things lying on his chest. He had gone to the river to read and watch the children play football, and then listen to the maghrib prayers from the mosque just across while he swam in the river.
The still laying body, with Arundhati Roy’s novel on it, was found by one of the returning children a few minutes before the maghrib had begun. Several personal details of Mr Thomas’s were later obtained from an erratically kept diary.
As a young child, Mr Thomas read very little and tried his best to inculcate himself into all societal vacuities present. As an adult, he had begun to deride them and started reading with greed. He loathes his reading-less childhood and his filthy upper caste privileges.
He passed college without plenty of friends and now chooses to remain a recluse. Apart from Arundhati Roy, he is currently in love with Franz Kafka and John Berger. For the past several months he had been re-reading The God of Small Things, and cried each time he finished reading a particular sentence from the seventh chapter called ‘Wisdom Exercise Notebooks’.
The sentence is: ‘She was their Ammu and their Baba and she had loved them Double.’
With Rahel, Estha and Ammu in his mind, Mr Thomas died loving The God of Small Things so ardently. He, too, tampered with the laws that lay down who should be loved and how. And how much.
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