Question 1 Report
May in Ayemenem is a hot, brooding month. The days are long and humid. The river shrinks and black crows gorge on bright mangoes in still, dust green trees. Red bananas ripen. Jackfruits burst. Dissolute blue bottles hum vacuously in the fruity air. Then they stun themselves against clear windowpanes and die, fatly baffled in the sun. The nights are clear but suffused with sloth and sullen expectations.
But by early June the southwest monsoon breaks and there are three months of wind and water with short spells of sharp, glittering sunshine that thrilled children snatch to play with. The countryside turns an immodest green. Boundaries blur as tapioca fences take root and bloom. Brick walls turn mossgreen. Pepper vines snake up electric poles. Wild creepers burst through laterite banks and spilt across the flooded roads. Boats ply in the bazaars. And small fish appear in the puddles that fill the PWD potholes on the highways. It was raining when Rahel came
back to Ayemenem.
Slanting silver ropes slammed into loose earth, ploughing it up like gunfire. The old house on the hill wore its steep, gabled roof pulled over its ears like a low hat. The walls, streaked with moss, had grown soft and bulged a little with dampness that seeped up from the ground. The wild, overgrown garden was full of the whisper and scurry of small lives.In the undergrowth, a rat snake rubbed itself against a glistening stone. Hopeful yellow bullfrogs cruised the scummy pond for mates. A drenched mongoose flashed across the leaf-strewn driveway. The house itself looked empty. The doors and windows were locked. The front verandah bare. Unfurnished.
But the sky blue Plymouth with chrome tail fins was still parked outside, and inside, Baby Kochamma was still alive. She was Rahel's baby grand aunt, her grandfather's younger sister. Her name was really Navomi, Navomi Ipe, but everybody called her Baby. She became Baby Kochamma when she was old enough to be an aunt. Rahel hadn't come to see her, though.
Neither niece nor baby grandaunt laboured under any illusions on that account. Rahel had come to see her brother, Estha. They were two-egg twins. "Dizygotic' doctors called them. Born from separate but simultaneously fertilized eggs. Estha Esthappen-was the older by 18 minutes.
Rachel had come to see_______.
Rahel had come to see her brother Estha. This is evident from the last paragraph where it says "Rahel hadn't come to see her (Baby Kochamma), though. Neither niece nor baby grandaunt laboured under any illusions on that account. Rahel had come to see her brother, Estha."