Study Guide

The God of Small Things Chapter 17

By Arundhati Roy

Chapter 17

Cochin Harbor Terminus

  • We're back in 1993 again.
  • Estha is sitting on his bed in the dark. It's raining outside.
  • Kochu Maria is asleep while a cop show plays on TV. Baby Kochamma is in her room filling out a Listerine customer survey.
  • Baby Kochamma picks up her diary and writes, "I love you I love you" in it. We find out that she has a case full of diaries, whose pages all have the same message.
  • We find out that Father Mulligan died four years ago, and that he and Baby Kochamma had stayed in touch over the years.
  • Baby Kochamma lies in bed and waits for Rahel to leave Estha's room. She figures maybe she hadn't heard the door open and Rahel's already in bed. Turns out Rahel is still in Estha's room.
  • Rahel is lying quietly on Estha's bed. She can't think of anything to say. Estha turns around and looks at her. He thinks she looks lovely.
  • He thinks of how Rahel now resembles Ammu. He remembers the last time he ever saw her on the train platform the day he was Returned to his biological father.
  • We flash back in time to the day Estha was Returned.
  • We get a slew of images of things they saw at the train station.
  • Chacko had told Ammu to pack her things and leave. Rahel remembers seeing that Chacko had disappeared, leaving a monster in his place.
  • We meet Mr. Kurien Maathen, Baba's friend who comes to take Estha.
  • We find out that Sophie Mol's death has been in the newspapers. We also find out that there was a Communist Party siege of Paradise Pickles and Preserves led by Comrade K.N.M. Pillai. Comrade Pillai claimed that Velutha was implicated in the crime just because he was a member of the Communist Party.