Author: Anita Nair
Publisher: Penguin India Pvt Ltd
Price: Rs 399
Rating: 4 out of 5
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When travel writer Christopher Stewart arrives at a riverside resort in Kerala to meet Koman, Radha’s uncle and a famous kathakali dancer, he enters a world of masks and repressed emotions. From their first meeting, both Radha and her uncle are drawn to the enigmatic young man with his cello and his incessant questions about the past. The triangle quickly excludes Shyam, Radha’s husband, who can only watch helplessly as she embraces Chris with a passion that he has never been able to draw from her. Also playing the role of observer-participant is Koman; his life story, as it unfolds, captures all the nuances and contradictions of the relationships being made-and unmade-in front of his eyes.
Before you end up thinking that the book is all about many complicated relationships let me tell you that it's not, the book explores and discovers the art of Kathakali in a new light through daring and bold characters especially the one like Radha, various aspects of the art itself is picturesque...Radha has no remorse nor has any hesitation of showing her bond between Chris to her husband Shyam..I ended up pitying Shyam but at the same time wondering what stopped from acting against Radha's actions...Watching Radha and Chris together, Koman compares it against the kindle that of Duryodhana and Bhanumati in Uttara Swayamvaram....Kathakali is portrayed in an everyday human perspective, overwhelming the reader with its beauty...Nair knits relationships and the Kathakali bhava to complement the novel into a full circle...I had a problem with the characters when they looked down upon the people who didn't understand the art of Kathakali,I guess I took it personally because I belong to that category of mortal souls who don't understand much about it....The book is a real beauty of the reader who enjoy the art of Kathakali and and also to those who appreciate it but for others this would sound like a mere tale of interwoven and complicated relations that loses its charm by the end of it....
Book 2 for book blogger recommendation challenge (BBRC2012)