13th November 2018
Shayamukthy cruises through life: shooting hoops, daydreaming and listening to her favourite books. Even moving from the US to India, to a new school, a new culture, hasn’t really rattled her. But something isn’t right anymore and it begins when ‘New Girl’ joins the school.
She pulls Shui into a world of magic and wonderment, a world she has been hidden from all her life. What starts as a quest to look for a lost book, hurtles Shui into a world where people live in trees, talk to the dead and speak to butterflies.
But like all power, magic comes at a steep price, and under all things wondrous lie demons waiting to crawl out. The more Shui learns, the more she doubts everything and everyone around her.
Will she be able to master her powers, or will they devour her and everyone she loves?
ordinary. I lack purpose. Boohoo you think, typical teenager angst. But if I
died tomorrow, it wouldn’t impact anyone’s life except my parents’. My friends,
on the other hand, they have a life. See them there, yes there, to the right,
next to the banyan tree behind the basketball court. You see a slightly pudgy
boy and a beautiful girl? The boy’s name is Jai. The girl’s name is Nallini.
Both have purpose. Jai wants to write comic books. He wants to be like Neil
Gaiman or something, some famous comic-book guy. Nallini wants to be an
actress, the next Deepika Padukone – that, and to win next year’s gold medal in
problems reconciling the inherent contradictions in both her desires.
nothing, except something to need. I can’t see past today even to tomorrow; I
have a hard enough time figuring out what I am now. I am not from a broken
home, unless you count the fact that parts of the building I live in are
falling apart. I am not poor, not like Anuki Chabria who got called out of her
exam because her parents couldn’t pay her fees. I do not have acne bursting on
my face, making me look like a human cheese grater. I am just, well, ordinary.
So could you really blame me? Blame me for wanting to be special? Blame me for
wanting to be fierce? To be like Storm from the X-Men, or like Beyoncé? When I
look back now, at everything that has happened in the last few months, I
realise I’m just as much to blame as her. The big question – well, it’s not a
big question at all, really, because it’s all rubbish now, because you can’t go
back. Even I can’t go back. So the absurd question everyone around me
seems to asking is – would I have acted differently, would I rather NOT be the
person I am now?
you. What price wouldn’t you pay to be extraordinary, to ride the wind,
to float with unicorns, to be the one chosen…? Because, you see, I’ve gotten
into some serious trouble and want to explain myself. I didn’t mean for things
to happen. I didn’t mean for someone to die. So I ask you – wouldn’t you have
said yes if someone said – ‘Do you want to learn how to speak to a
About the Author:
Travel writer and novelist Reshma K Barshikar is
an erstwhile Investment Banker who, as she tells it, ‘fell down a rabbit hole
and discovered a world outside a fluorescent cubicle.’ As a travel and features
writer, she contributes to National Geographic Traveller, Harper’s Bazaar,
Grazia, The Sunday Guardian, SilverKris, The Mint Lounge and The Hindu. Fade
Into Red, published by Random House India was her debut novel and featured in
Amazon Top 10 Bestsellers. She also holds well renowned workshops for young
adults at both BDL Museum and Kala Ghoda and is keen to build a strong Young
Adult reading and writing community to fill the desperate lack of young adult fiction
in the Indian Market. Her new Young Adult novel, The Hidden Children, will be
launching at the Vizag Junior Literary Festival. Reshma is from the ISB Class
of 2003. She calls both Mumbai and the Nilgiris home.