“Looking back now, to Rahel it seemed as though this difficulty that their family had with classification ran much deeper than the jam-jelly question.
Perhaps Ammu, Estha and she were the worst transgressors.”
“As for a divorced daughter – according to Baby Kochamma, she had no position anywhere at all. And as for a divorced daughter from a love marriage, well, words could not describe Baby Kochamma’s outrage. As for a divorced daughter from an intercommunity love marriage – Baby Kochamma chose to remain quiveringly silent on the subject.”
“Their beautiful mother’s mouth, Estha thought. Ammu’s mouth.
That had kissed his hand through the barred train window. First class, on the Madras Mail to Madras.
‘Bye Estha, Godbless, Ammu’s mouth had said. Ammu’s trying-not-to-cry mouth.
The last time he had seen her.”
“Frightened eyes and a fountain looked back at Ammu.
‘D’you know what happens when you hurt people?’ Ammu said. ‘When you hurt people, they begin to love you less. That’s what careless words do. They make people love you a little less.’ ”