I'm one of those terrible silent readers, Devi. I've been reading KH for a few months now and have even recommended it to a bunch of people, but for certain obscure reasons, have never actually commented to tell YOU how much I love this story. When I'd started reading, I hadn't really anticipated liking this story as much as I do! Everything felt...alien... yet familiar at the same time. (I'd spent a couple of years in Kerala as an infant, although I'm not Malayali and have a very large number of Mallu friends, am very familiar with Malayali culture, and have been there on vacation later as well)
This Arnav and Kashi are so different from the ones I know and love, but there is also a certain amount of resonance of spirit with the original characters. Arnav obviously, but even the firebrand Kashi.
There is something about KH that I can't quite put my finger on. I can't put it in any one genre really. It's this wonderful amalgamation of passion, thrill, mystery, magic, tradition and a whole bunch of similar words. Your language is so very evocative, despite the brevity and that makes every word so impactful. I often find myself reading and re-reading the dialogues, the descriptions so that I don't miss the slightest nuance or shift in play.
The characterization, as I said, is fantastic. Kashi has this raw, earthy appeal that makes her a truly worthy opponent as well as a woman who deserves to be won in every sense. Arnav exudes an aura of near invulnerability and sheer force that sets him up as an equal to Kashi-- one who will both fight and woo her equally. Pallavi is like the ocean on a still day. Deep, profound, untroubled, but containing a magnitude of sorrow that can only be dreamed of, capable of immense destruction as well, I have a feeling.
As far as plot is concerned, everything is so intricately woven together, with just a touch of magic-- so fleeting that you wonder like Arnav and Kashi, about what is real and what is an illusion. Almost Carrollian although not as whimsical of course.
So I just wanted to say, thank you. For writing such a memorable story and sharing it with us. I won't badger you for PM's since I stalk the threads enough.
This is only to tell you that you're as awesome as your story.
Edited by Semanti - 10 February 2013 at 11:54pm