Behind the Beautiful Forevers
I really liked the symbolism behind the title of this book. The wall that separates the rich airport area and the slums of Annawada has an Italian advertisement for tiles that says “beautiful forever” and the symbolism of that connecting to the title really jumped out at me. The slums and terrible conditions in Annawada is literally right behind the beauty and wealth of the airport. Another aspect of this book that intrigued me was the whole personality and character of Fatima and her setting herself on fire. She is often described in not so nice ways and comes off and being a nasty person, however, she has gone through a lot. She had a hard childhood and was treated poorly by her parents. Her life is so hard and I couldn’t even imagine being in her shoes even though some of her decisions are questionable. It really makes me think about my own life and helps me to really appreciate the life I live. It made me really angry, however, when Fatima set herself on fire to get Abdul and his family in trouble. That was the dumbest thing she could do because it ultimately lead to her death and also caused a huge problem for the Husains. She uses the corruption of the police to her advantage and tells them that Abdul and his family tried to kill her. The Husain’s lives were ruined because of her. Another interesting aspect of Fatima’s suicide is the way her husband, Abdul Shaikh, views her death. Towards the end of the book when young Abdul Husain, his father Karam and sister Kehkashan are on bail, they all celebrate Eid together despite the families differences as they always do. The two Abduls seem to work fine together, however, it is said that Abdul Shaikh wants to see the Husains convicted for the murder of Fatima though he knows that Fatima did it to herself and was not faithful to Abdul. His reason is he didn’t want his daughters to grow up knowing that their mother had burned herself and then lied about it....
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