Perfidious Samosa

As a poet one can only pray to write couplets akin to “sly snacks”. And present them as “perfidious samosas.”

From Arundhati Roy’s “The Ministry of Utmost Happiness.”

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Utmost Hapiness

I knew Jennifer Egan was speaking at Greenlight Bookstore on Fulton Street last night, but that’s not why I went. Sure, it was good to see what a Pulitzer Prize winning author looks like, but that’s not why I went.

I went to get a book I’d been waiting on for a year. It had come out in paperback a while ago, but last night was the night I needed it definitively in my hands.

There was a crowd packed right up to the door, which I had to both ignore and sift through to find my book, not on the alphabet shelves but stacked upon the table of valuable reads. I wonder if Jennifer thought me rude as I grabbed a book not hers from the big center table and mazed back to the cashier. Nah. Jennifer is cool.

Plus, book desperation is a legitimate cause of the uncouth.

The book in my hands is signed by its author, the reclusive Arundhati Roy, whose “God of Small Things” landed in my lap in Kerala, the place where its story is set. Circumstantially, Roy became my favorite. The more so because there was just the one, the Man Booker Prize-winning one.

Now, the book in my hands makes two. “The Ministry of Utmost Happiness” is not new. But of course it lasted a while in its three-pound-hardcover-version, prohibitive to the laptop-baby-water-bottle-carrying-mom-backs of the book-buying-world.

The book in my hands is signed by the hands of its author. It is no longer on the big wooden table in front of Jennifer Egan’s microphone. It is on the candlelit counter where I sit, alone, to begin to read.

The God of Small Things is Not Big

 

Arundhati Roy wrote a book that won the Booker

It was her only book her only Booker

 

Then

Roy wrote no more books

No more Booker

 

This is what makes us sad

 

Makes us think that her god

Has forgotten her things

 

This prayer is for her god

 

May he remember

The small things he saw

When he was the god

Who shared it bigger

 

Written 2013