Cobalt Blue - A book Review

For sometime now, I was starting to read a book, loosing interest and switching to another. Can this be termed as a phase of non-creative limbo? Well I don’t know, but a good read, is one of my essential companions. And I was missing company. Just a few days back, a friend of mine handed over a book to me “Cobalt Blue”, a catchy name I would say and hinted towards its unfamiliar story line. I decided, cobalt blue, it is! Originally a Marathi novel written by Sachin Kundalkar, the one I read is translated to English by Jerry Pinto. These names were new to me; I was unknown to the writer’s writing style or anything related to him. Yet I started my journey.

My curiosity as usual led me to search about the author and I found him to be a National award winning Marathi film director and screenplay writer. And Jerry Pinto is also a National award winning writer and journalist. Excited with my newly acquired knowledge on these stalwarts, I began with my efforts to discovering the key to the emotional treasure hunt.

Cobalt blue is different, the story has two narrators contrary to most other books I have read. It is the journey of Anuja and Tanay, two siblings from a typical middle class Marathi family, but not typical themselves. With their different schools of thoughts, they go on to unfold their respective love stories. But there is a small problem, they loved the same guy. A paying guest who had come to occupy, the tower room in their house to Tanay’s annoyance, as he had always longed for the room. The story is divided into two parts, first is Tanay and his picture-perfect story, well not exactly so and the second is Anuja and her story, which I doubt whether to call a love story or not.

The story begins with Tanay describing the good and bad moments of his love life with this guest of his. It becomes quite evident that these two share same or similar sexual orientation. However there is a reigning aura of mystery or should I say coldness about this guy. Though he was born to affluent parents, he lost them in an air crash. His life had seen its share of sheer melancholy and loneliness, which he had adapted to. In his childhood he was even subject to sexual abuse by his uncle. The series of adversities infused an eerie chill in his behavior, a passionate artist, a great listener but he did what he wished, at times cruelly trampling the wishes of others. A tough guy to understand, I would say. Infact the three characters which I can safely term as the main protagonists, are unusual and different from the crowd. Tanay had his share of affection and love from him, until one fine morning he decides to leave with his sister Anuja, giving a cruel blow to his desires and dignity. In the other part, Anuja goes on to describe her unconditional love for him, which changed her from the tom boy she was. But did he ever love her? Anuja never knew. His coldness hurt her but she could not control her emotions getting attached to his charm. Why did he leave with her and later why did he desolate her to suffer and drown in insecurities? The author did not clarify and that is the charm of this read. The novel leaves you unanswered and you learn to love the void.

Cobalt Blue is a simple read, about simple people in not too simple situations. It is an emotional tale of love and betrayal, well the later I am not too sure about. But in totality, a different read which does not go into increasing your language vocabulary but tickles certain emotional chords for sure.


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