Saturday, September 4, 2010

Kaleidoscopic Reflections---My debut novel

Kaleidoscopic Reflections chronicles the lives of five generations of a Tamizh family. The protagonist, sardonic agnostic Kadhambini, narrates three series of events, occurring at discrete instants of time, all bound by the inner contradictions involved in the experiences of the world by its characters.

The most archaic series is set in a feudal village called Eranadu, in Tamizhnadu, circa 1894; describing the life and times of a Shudra horse-cart driver, Poochi. The recent past series of events revolves around Kadhambini’s orthodox Brahmin grandmother, Sarojini, who holds an iron grip over the family; set in 1980’s Madras. In the past continuous series of events, Kadhambini’s childhood in Trivandrum is related, of her diplomatic father---petrified to take sides on any issue.

With a grandfather joining the INA under Subash Chandra Bose and an India forging towards independence---a police officer in pursuit of a fake Swami---Gods from Dyusthana taking pleasure in putting their Bhaktas through trials and tribulations---of an India riddled with communal clashes, inter-caste prejudice, conflicting ideologies…questioning the abstract nature of patriotism…this novel is a kaleidoscope, where the past and the future go back and forth.

Love, ‘Kadhal’, is a phenomenon which afflicts those of all generations; while Poochi’s son falls in love with the ineluctable temple Thasi, Sarojini forces her daughter into marrying a list-less income tax officer-and the priest forgets to invoke Lord Kama, which shall adversely affect their marriage. Kadhambini searches for the all-elusive love, an identity, a God, and to make matters worse, she can pick-up disloyal, treacherous emotions like a Russian radar—because of the curious conditions she was born into. Kadha is indeed a manifestation of what India is trying to be, a strange muddle of the past and the present.

Multifarious characters and idiosyncratically Indian incidents abound, where history, myths and legends confound. The destiny of this Tamizh family is inextricably linked to the fate of the land of contradictions, India.

I wrote my first book, called ‘Revenge of the Sixth Graders,’ when I was ten. The book was largely applauded by my grandfather, Thatha, the sole reader of the book. Next came ‘Enigma,’ a murder mystery based on a story I watched on Medical Detectives, on Discovery Channel, which lies locked up in my bookshelf. At fourteen, I wrote ‘The Chennai Girl.’ I felt the story and title too amateurish, and put the book to perpetual slumber in my bookshelf.

Sixteen saw the soul transform, and various stories take form. At nineteen, all the stories converged, and Kadhambini, the sardonic protagonist of this novel, came into existence. Drifting all along the way, taking three and a half years to complete, Kaleidoscopic Reflections came into existence on a rainy September Sunday, in 2009.

Kaleidoscopic Reflections can be accessed online:

and in all leading bookstores across India from October.

Do read the book, and send me your review to


  1. Very long sentences which communicates well. I didn't know you had such a long tryst with writing. This blog of yours reminds me about a book written by Stephen King on writing in which he spoke about his journey into the literary world.
    Congrats on the book launch. I am waiting to get a hand on it.

  2. Congratulations! Sounds great... Good luck with your writing career.

    Stumbled upon this blog through Varun's FB page. Would be great if your next blog is on your journey to get this book published.

  3. great stuff.. just read about your book in annanagar times. wanted to connected with you on FB, found 2 common friends in Becky and swathi.

    will surely lay my hands on your book cheers.

  4. Arvind: Thank you! Will write a piece on 'the journey of my book' soon...
    Do let me know what you think of the book..
    wordcreates: Thank you! Do send in your review!

  5. sounds so nice.. iam a keralite hence wanna know whether its available n kerala..cheers

  6. Anoop: Thank you! The book is available online on flipkart, simplybooks, amazon and ebay. About Kerala: I'm not sure which bookshops will have them. I'll put up the list of stores on the blog when I get it. I suspect it should be available in Trivandrum and Cochin, from sometime later next month.