and ramblings on everything in between
This novel continues to floor me again and again. Our little Read Along with Me group is marching towards the end and there are still so many twists to be resolved. I’m positive the last chunk of chapters will be filled with a wave of emotions. I highly recommend this book for anyone out there who hasn’t read it yet!
Chapters 17 – 21
From Claudia: The one part of this section that left a memorable aftertaste was Bhima’s and Gopal’s back story; in fact, I was completely engrossed. Having said that however, I was completely taken back by the bar scene with Bhima’s response in light of Gopal’s abuse of alcohol! I mean, in a sense I was 100% supporting her rage and outburst, but then I didn’t see it coming, I didn’t think she would have the nerve to explode the way she did. With that in mind, do you think that Gopal’s decision would have differed if things did not play out the way they did? Do you feel that Gopal’s decision is justified?
Yes, I definitely believe that things would have played out differently if she hadn’t publicly humiliated him. And as far as the latter part, no I don’t think it was justified. Gopal was dealing with larger demons – a company that wrote him off after an injury, a maimed hand, no steady work, the demands of his family when he couldn’t provide – and Bhima’s outburst at the bar was his tipping point. He couldn’t face that life anymore and chose to leave it behind at the cost of his marriage and his relationship with his daughter. It seems like a cowardly thing to do – run away when the going gets tough.
If Bhima hadn’t marched into that bar, I don’t think Gopal would have been pushed to leave. With his crippled hand and inability to work, he probably felt like the scum of society as it was. Add in humiliation from his wife, in a culture that is male dominated, and he more than likely felt he could never come back from that. He would always be a laughingstock around town. On the flip side, think of the pain and rage and destruction that would have ensued if Gopal had stayed at home. The pain of one outcome might not outweigh the potential pain of another. Would things have been better if he stayed? It’s hard to say.
From Sam: Before reading on, what are your thoughts on the Maya/Viraf situation? Do you think she was seduced or a seductress? How do you think she feels about Dinaz seeing another woman pregnant by the same man?
I’m leaning more towards the side of she was the seducer. Thinking about her past behavior, her reaction to the situation doesn’t come off as she was raped or that Viraf promised her things and then didn’t deliver on them. She shows extreme irritation towards Sera during the abortion process, and if Viraf had forced her into anything I think her emotions would be more along the line of fear or anger. This assumption is probably completely wrong, as I was completely wrong about Viraf!
I thought it funny that Viraf was concerned about taking care of the baby, but he wasn’t doing it in such a way that seemed desperate or extreme as he might have done if he knew 100% that it was his and he needed to cover it up. Is he such a slimy creature that he would make his mother-in-law abort his bastard child? Or does he even know the baby is his? I can’t wait to read the next set of chapters!