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colors in the spectrumSetting: Los Angeles to Bangalore; and back.

Cast: the Famous Five – K, A, A, D and I.

Story & plot: Author’s main protagonist is K, who is gifted with Synaesthesia- the ability to visualize human beings and emotions in colors.The proverbial ‘poor little rich boy’, whose paternal and maternal origins are murky, but is amply compensated by wealth, academic success, raging testosterones and …close-knit buddies.

The story follows a non-linear sequence of events with multiple flashbacks and flashforwards; the narrative style also applies to the lives of his 4 buddies.

Interestingly, K, A and A are inter-linked in mysterious ways right since their birth.

K & I are a case of ‘Attraction of the Mirror images’, so are A & A. The former are ambitious go-getters and casually promiscuous; while A & A are the shy, intellectual and stable ones. D is a … mystery to be unraveled as you read.

Each has a life story that is a complete and satisfying sub-plot on its own and yet linked across years.

Both A & A fall in love with ‘elder’ fantasies, both stories are piquant and refreshing. Even ‘I’ manages to manipulate her life deftly before it manipulates her and yet she finds loyal love in the most unexpected suitor. D has his own demons, as does K.

While the other four deal head-on with situations, K seems to wallow in self-pity. His doomed relationships are entered into with eyes ‘wide–shut’. His redeeming feature comes at the end, where he finally shows gumption, has a definite goal and a plan of action in the positive mood.  (To be honest, my vision is ‘colored’ by my dislike for the protagonist’s namesake.)

Interesting quotes/dialogues: 1. Hate is the other side of love. the opposite of love is indifference. 2. Men’s hearts are of glass- they smash to smithereens. Women’s hearts are of elastic- resilient and flexible. 3.  As teenagers we are worried about what people think of us; in the twenties, we do not care what others think of us; at thirty we realize that everybody is so busy thinking of themselves that they have no time to think about us. 4. Nimmi was pale yellow- insignificant in the background, ugly in the forefront.

Verdict: A debutante author’s creative tale with definite potential and promise. Good plot development, apt character descriptions and a neat tying up of loose ends. Looking forward to his next work.

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