But what was there to say?Only that there were tears. Only that Quietness and Emptiness fitted together like stacked spoons. Only that there was a snuffling in the hollows at the base of a lovely throat. Only that a hard honey-colored shoulder had a semicircle of teethmarks on it. Only that they held each other close, long after it was over. Only that what they shared that night was not happiness, but hideous grief.Only that once again they broke the Love Laws. That lay down who should be loved. And how. And how much.
It turned out to be a war which, unfortunately for Comrade Pillai, would end almost before it began. Victory was gifted to him wrapped and beribboned, on a silver tray. Only then, when it was too late, and Paradise Pickles slumped softly to the floor without so much as a murmur or even the pretense of resistance, did Comrade Pillai realize that what he really needed was the process of war more than the outcome of victory. War could have been the stallion that he rode, part of, if not all, the way to the Legislative Assembly, whereas victory left him no better off than when he started out.He broke the eggs but burned the omelette.
They visited him in saris, clumping gracelessly through red mud and long grass ... and introduced themselves as Mrs. Pillai, Mrs. Eapen and Mrs. Rajagopalan. Velutha introduced himself and his paralyzed brother Kuttappen (although he was fast asleep). He greeted them with the utmost courtesy. He addressed them all as Kochamma [an honorific title for a woman] and gave them fresh coconut water to drink. He chatted to them about the weather. The river. The fact that in his opinion coconut trees were getting shorter by the year. As were the ladies in Ayemenem. He introduced them to his surly hen. He showed them his carpentry tools, and whittled them each a little wooden spoon.It is only now, these years later, that Rahel with adult hindsight recognized the sweetness of that gesture. A grown man entertaining three raccoons, treating them like real ladies. Instinctively colluding in the conspiracy of their fiction, taking care not to decimate it with adult carelessness. Or affection. [emphasis mine]It is after all so easy to shatter a story. To break a chain of thought. To ruin a fragment of a dream being carried around carefully like a piece of porcelain.To let it be, to travel with it, as Velutha did, is much the harder thing to do.