Kobalt Blue- Sachin Kundalkar

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Right after the reading the first page of this script, you will come to the realization that you will not put it down until you’re done reading. Cobalt Blue is a story about a man who becomes part of the Joshi family as a paying guests and then suddenly walks out. His actions break Anuja and Tanays hearts. 

This script is written in two parts. Tanays part is written directly to the paying guest who left and Anuja concentrates on putting down her thoughts in her diary.  The paying guest in the book (PG) does not seem to have a past or a surname and he lives like a man driven by no rules. 

PG likes things like coke with a pinch of salt, strong coffee and rice panckakes; Dali, Matisse, and Rumi. PG is used to being alone and he plays the guitar and paints. The only thing people seem to know about PGs family is that his father was a consultant in Paris at the Indian embassy and that he was molested by his uncle when he was still young. Most of what you know about the paying guest comes from Tanay’s story.

Tanay isn’t a favorite in the Joshi family. He is a quiet child and walks funny. However, his life seems to change once PG becomes part of the Joshi family since he spends a lot of time with him. Once PG departs, Tanay is left with only photos, and a few stray clothes. He is consumed with his grief because he can’t share it and he conveys his loss, betrayal and longing in short, broken sentences.

On the other hand, Anuja mourns more visibly and she expresses it through bouts of crying and depression. Her psychiatrist asks her to maintain a diary and her entries are more detailed. Anuja suddenly is more interested in going on treks, she volunteers for environmental organisations and goes on trips. She asks PG out. Anuja isn’t the biggest fan of her mother’s religion or her father’s lack of confidence and cowardice. Her and Tany’s love have no difference and they do not vary in intensity. 

At the release of the book, it was quite clear that it was way ahead of its time. The book has dealt with the topic of homosexuality simply. Tanay has fantasies of living with the paying guest and being in a monogamous relationship with him. At some point, he ponders “what do two men living together do?” He answers himself by saying they would probably do as they like. 

He tags PG along to hush-hush meetings with fellow homosexuals where they discuss the birth of a movement that would advocate for their rights. However, Tanay is aware that trying to fight for the establishment of theatres, independent newspapers and such while trying to separate themselves from the rest of the world would make them the same as the establishment. 

It looks like PG has a deeper connection than what he has with Tanay. Kundalkar’s observations on life as it is are as witty as they are sharp. He hilariously depicts the “domestic counselling that happens within the Joshi family. The book is one that will preoccupy you while you are reading and give you much to think about long after you’re done.

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