The most famous and the rarest saffron is the one from Kashmir, the real and fictional toponym of this miraculous novel. In a writer of the kind of Arundhati Roy, the novel about Kashmir must be in a color most typical of Kashmir – the saffron. The hundreds of such semantic slides accelerate the reading in this epic story and make it as much exciting as risky. Exciting, because we read extensive prose as if it is poetry and we don’t know exactly what is happening to us; risky, because we can fall and break our interest before we completely satisfy the text heated by twenty-year-long writing polishing. It is so obvious that the novel was being written for too long, occasionally it is overwritten, but… what is impressive is that it is received in layers, probably just as it was being written in layers. As if at first only words were being placed, then they were colored, then taste and smell were added to them, and then everything was becoming blood-stained in the following phase, then it was dried, then it recovered or was destroyed. As if it has been re-written and over-written for twenty years over sentences completed long ago. Polishing all the way to overheating. To a gleam before which the reader’s eye closes. Epic prose brought to intimate lyricism.
Although the prejudices about the gap between epic and lyric are exaggerated; between writers and poets, still it is not too often and too common for such epic prose of this kind to sound, to be read and to be experienced as poetry; epic prose to be brought to intimate lyricism, as is the case in the work of Arundhati Roy. Her powerful epic sentences seem to be constantly burdened with the finest of lyricism, and breathing out deeply, they carefully unload the burden of gentleness through the story on every secretive place and they continue, continue… not taking into consideration either their own or the feelings of the readers. If something is perfectly controlled and dosed in this exceptional novel, it is the dose of finest pathos of the most precious, royal kind.