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Cobalt Blue

4.03  ·  Rating details ·  1,699 ratings  ·  308 reviews
A paying guest seems like a win-win proposition to the Joshi family. He’s ready with the rent, he’s willing to lend a hand when he can and he’s happy to listen to Mrs Joshi on the imminent collapse of our culture.
But he’s also a man of mystery. He has no last name. He has no family, no friends, no history and no plans for the future.
The siblings Tanay and Anuja are smitt
Kindle Edition, 237 pages
Published April 18th 2013 by Hamish Hamilton (first published January 1st 2006)
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Average rating 4.03  · 
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 ·  1,699 ratings  ·  308 reviews

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Bindu Manoj
Sep 14, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
There are so many literary gems in our regional languages that we miss either because we do not know the language or somehow we tend to look down on them. Now that I think of it, many of the books that I absolutely loved in the recent past have all been translations. This book was originally written in Marathi and translated beautifully into English by Jerry Pinto.

A typical middle class Marathi family , an empty room with a separate entrance that once was the abode of the grandparents, where the
Reading_ Tam_ Ishly
🍂I am a bittersweet person today because I have read you...and that's just my unknown dream came true🌱

*Originally written in Marathi, translated by Jerry Pinto
This is unquestionably one of the best reads of the year!
The story has been told from two perspectives: Tanmay and his sister, Anuja.
Both have fallen in love with a very interesting and a mysterious character who came to live in their house as a paying guest.
The characters are awkward yet beautiful in their own ways.
The beauty of this book
Nov 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The tale commences with the narrative of Tanay, disturbed and heartbroken after Anuja's return following her elopement. Memories are painted in the following 100 pages, like an amateur artist exploring a canvas, slowly but steadily painting it darker and completing a sketch with a lack of mastery. Tanay writes, reminiscing a night he had spent with his love, who he addresses as 'you' -

"When I woke up suddenly in the middle of night I discovered you'd turned your back on me and moved away."

This l
Jan 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"Perhaps that's what happens during the forging of a relationship: if nothing else, you adopt some of the other person's habits."

Cobalt blue is a brilliant meditation on heartbreak and betrayal told in a simple, beautiful way. In a way that it transcends gender and sexuality.

A middle class Marathi family gets disrupted when a paying guest comes to occupy the attic room. Tanay and Anuja - brother and sister fall in love with him. The free spirited guest has no history (It is as if he was born ye
Apr 18, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: lovers of Indian literature
Recommended to Em*bedded-in-books* by: Kumar Anshul
It was an awesome read. Never expected a 20 year old to write a profound book as this. The book deals with the shattered emotions of a brother and sister who fall in love with the same mysterious guy, a handsome young man who has come as a paying guest to occupy the topmost tower room of their traditional house.The stranger manages to woo even their traditional and conventional parents, and all hell breaks loose when he supposedly elopes with the sister. The first part is narrated by the brother ...more
Oct 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Read the full review at Elgee Writes

Set in Pune, a tier one Indian city, Cobalt Blue revolves around siblings Tanay and Anuja and their typical middle class Maharashtrian family. Their elder brother Aseem conforms to the norms of the society in every sense.

And to make their ends meet they taken in a youthful painter whose independent, carefree attitude is almost infectious as a paying tenant. He occupies the single bed room that their grandparents had used when they were alive and still has the
I stumbled upon "Cobalt Blue" one fine day while searching for some Indian books to read! It was on my reading list for a long time, and I'm so glad I finally read the book. I read it in about 2-3 hours, and I was quite impressed! I wanted to read the original Marathi work but couldn't find a copy online! Anyway, I might need to go to the bookstore to get one.

Cobalt Blue is about a man who wreaks havoc in the lives of two siblings, Tanay and Anuja. While Tanay is calm, collected, and subdued, An
Aug 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Cobalt Blue, what an exquisite conundrum of beauty are you!

I am always revved up for a prose that sweeps my whole being. How often does it happen when we don't care for our immediate surrounding, so engrossed are we in the artifices of our immense love?

Cobalt Blue is a story of two siblings whose heart adores the same person. It is a story of the need for fulfillment through relationships and how often we fail to keep close what really matters to us. Love! Be it for ourselves or for a person, th

Cobalt Blue is a totally unconventional book based on unrequited love told in a very fascinating manner!!


Sachin Kundalkar's Cobalt Blue, translated by Jerry Pinto is a hidden gem! I loved the way it's written rapidly oscillating between past and present with glimpses of the future!
It's so unconventional, as if it's a movie. One paragraph in the past and the next one in the present. It was a bit confusing at the start especially with Tanay's repeated loops.
The book is divided in two chapters
Parth Jawale
Mar 05, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
You picked this book up because you needed something to read at the airport for three hours. Being the judgmental ass that you are, you were mildly skeptical about reading it just because it was a translation of a book written by an Indian author. You shrug and still pick it up. Between the hustle-bustle of the airport, you read around 60 pages and smile with a gentle nod of recognition having grown up in a middle-class Marathi family.

You keep reading, not realising fully well that you're now d
Padmaja (thebookishtales)
A beautiful re-read 😍 this is one of the books which I would love to re-read for the rest of my life ♥️
COBALT BLUE by Sachin Kundalkar, translated from the Marathi by Jerry Pinto, 2006/2013.

A story of love and loss / dual narrative by an adult brother and sister that both fall in love with their family's new tenet.

Tanay shares the slow burn, the ache, and the confusion of infatuation. He is lost in love, discovering himself, his art. He's heartbroken. Anuja, shares her side of the story in journal entries, healing from great loss after up-ending her whole life, and the impact on her family.

The im
Kiran Vijayan
Jul 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
My review on my recent read "Cobalt Blue" by Sachin Kundalkar. The novel was originally written and published in Marathi but later translated into English by Jerry Pinto.

I first heard about this novel a couple of weeks back and just by reading the summary of the plot alone made me go and buy the book. Cobalt Blue is a mesmerizing tale of a teenage brother (Tanay) and sister (Anuja) duo belonging to a Marathi middle class family and who both, unknown to each other, fall in love with the same per
Sep 12, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Though Cobalt Blue is a quick read, while reading it a thought struck me that why am I reading this account of this brother & sister duo who fell for the same man and were left heartbroken. I kept the book down looking at the cup of cold black coffee. I mean it's not like I haven't read any other great account on exploration of different sexualities. Other than this C.B was a simple lamentations over 'spilled milk'. Amidst all such questions subconsciously, I started a side research on the book, ...more
Sharadha Jayaraman
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Ravi Gangwani
Jun 23, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
First of all this was not at all GAY novel. Really.

This book was all about feelings.
Even after completing 70% of book, I did not like to finish it so I dumped it for months. But later when I again started reading it the book got into my skin.
This was the story of brother Tanay and Sister Anuja, both fell in love with same person. Tanay's section was okay but it was Anuja who wins the heart in the end by going through depression and later her re-discovery of self.

The translation by Jerry Pinto wa
Sarika Patkotwar
Aug 15, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I came across this review of author Sachin Kundalkar's Cobalt Blue when I was searching for some absurdity-themed Marathi novels, and I was completely intrigued by the sound of it. Cobalt Blue may not have anything to do with absurdity, but it sounded so good to me. For quite some time now, I had my eye on the book, and I was excited to pick up and read the English edition of the Marathi novel translated by Jerry Pinto. Even though it's my mother-tongue, I am not the most comfortable reading ...more
May 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Cobalt Blue, by Sachin Kundalkar, was a tender and sad portrayal of lost love from the perspectives of Tanay and Anuja, siblings who fell in love with the same man. The simple lifestyle and pleasures of their Marathi household are so vividly written that I would have settled for reading just their daily routines. Instead, it is a bittersweet treat in the form of the transformation of these two lives.

Tanay’s perspective was touching and honest. The recollections were displayed with such unwaveri
Jun 25, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
A family takes in a paying boarder to help make ends meet. The new arrival is sort of an enigma, we are never told his name or much of his background, except that he is a free spirit who pretty much does what he wants without a care for societal mores or expectations. Two members of the family, a brother and a sister are drawn to him and develop feelings for him.

The novel comprises two parts, one by the brother and the other by the sister. Through their narrations, we realise just how easy it is
Shreya Vaid
Jul 23, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"Yesterday, when a cobalt blue smudge of the wall ended up on my hand, I wiped it on my trousers without thinking.."

Translated by Jerry Pinto, Sachin Kundalkar's Cobalt Blue is a story that makes the reader explore the complexity of family, society, and sexuality through a love triangle. A gripping tale, Cobalt Blue was referred to me by a friend who loves Marathi literature like anything.

The Joshis found the perfect paying guest, who has rent readily available, is decent enough, lends a hand fr
Chaitanya Sethi
Tanay and Anuja are brother and sister living in a middle class household in Pune. They are both smitten by their houseguest. He doesn't have a second name. He doesn't have relatives who contact him. He is an absolute mystery to them. Both of them are deeply in love with him and he is aware of it. When he decides to elope with Anuja, all hell breaks loose. The once idyllic family now struggles to make sense of it all.

This was such an incredible book. Very melancholic. Evoked such sadness in me.
Mallika Mahidhar
This book was recommended to me by people whose book recommendations I trust and I cannot believe I waited two months to get to it. Originally written in Marathi and translated into English by Jerry Pinto, this book is a must read for everybody. It was mesmerising. Tanay's part was beautiful and made me weep. Anuja's part, if not as beautiful as Tanay's, is a brilliant insight into her character. I cannot recommend this book enough.

Something Jerry Pinto says in the translator's note, will stick
Sep 09, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I am so glad Jerry Pinto picked up Cobalt Blue to translate because this is a gem. Brother sister duo - Tanay and Anuja fall in love with same man who lives with them as a paying guest. Through their eyes we learn about this enigmatic man, the way he is, shaped by the way the siblings interact with him. To Tanay, he is the splash of bright cobalt blue on his dark pants, the stain that work through out the novel as an allegory to their contrasting personalities. To Anuja, he is the free spirit sh ...more
Pradnya K.
Rain is so welcome after harsh summer heat. Everyone likes it. It drizzles first, the pours and then brings torrent with it. No one can love the torrents and the rain that brings along disasters. It blows roofs off the houses, the clothes on the washing-line never come back, books soak and become pulp, the roofs leak, making the occupants shelter their household stuff from the constant stream of water. Babies cry and fall sick. The rain washes down everything. Trees fall. Gutters swell. Labors d ...more
Stephy Simon
Aug 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
How far will distance affect the closeness between two people? 

Sometimes people can stay together in the same room for years, not really knowing each other. The proverb quotes that Face is the index of mind, yeah, it's true. However hard we try to hide our feelings, our face always betrays us. But is that enough to know what a person is going through? Cobalt Blue by Sachin Kundalkar is a tale that inspects this aspect of human minds.

Cobalt Blue, written in Marathi and translated to English by Je
“That you should not be here when something we've both wanted happens is no new thing for me. Today too, as always, you're not here.”

With these lines opens this heart-wrenching novel of longing and desire. A man arrives as a paying guest in the Joshi family and both Tanay and Anuja end up falling in love with him. When he arrived, he was the ever attractive flame and Tanay & Anuja were the moths prone to touch him despite the obvious harm.

“I have only met men like you in novels, men who lived th
I, in-fact loved the plot so much that, I ended up reading in a very quick time, few hours to be precise. The book is a translation from a Marathi version, so I am assuming, some of the original charm might be lost in the process of translation.

Book deals with the story of a brother-sister residing in the same house and ending up falling in love with the same guy, who takes accommodation in their home as a paying guest.

First half deals with the brothers emotions, feelings which he holds towards
Nupur Lakhe |nupur_flipaleaf
Beautifully written, translated and narrated. Both the main characters come alive in pages so evocatively, you feel you know them so well. The transition of falling in love, heart-break and the healing process has been impeccably inscribed in the lucid narratives.
I can see myself recommending the book to a lot of people in the coming months.
Apr 19, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own, alternate
Cobalt Blue written by Sachin Kundalkar in Marathi and translated by Jerry Pinto into English, is a thing of beauty with simple uncluttered prose but heartbreaking since it is, after all, about heartbreak. Not the why, how and when of it, but something more organic. If you ever had your heart broken or stomped on or ripped out by somebody, you will get it.

A paying guest enters into the middle class Joshi household and siblings Tanay and Anuja fall for him, each unaware of the other’s affair wit
Sudharsan Saravanan
After reading this book, I was thinking:

"What's the point of a doomed relationship? May be it is to make you discover your own self, your aspirations and your tastes, and hopefully to be better people at the end of it" 

Book is written as two parts: Tanay's and Anuja's. Tanay and Anuja are siblings from a marathi household who happened to have feelings for a mystic paying guest staying in their home. 

Tanay's part reminded me the essence of how it feels to have your first crush. Simpler times when
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“How did I acquire those habits? Perhaps that's what happens during he forging of a relationship: if nothing else, you adopt some of the other person's habits. It makes you feel those adoptions, make him one of you.

Have you picked up habits from me? Do you draw circles with a finger on your thali when you have finished eating? Do you, every once in a while, squeeze shaving cream on to your toothbrush? DO you sleep with a knee drawn up to you, the bedclothes kicked away? Do you fold the newspaper neatly and put it where you found it, when you are done?

Yesterday, when a cobalt blue smudge of wall ended up on my hand, I wiped on my trouser without thinking.”
“We both disliked rude rickshwalas, shepu bhaji in any form, group photographs at weddings, lizards, tea that has gone cold, the habit of taking newspaper to the toilet, kissing a boy who'd just smoked a cigarette et cetra.
Another list. The things we loved: strong coffee, Matisse, Rumi, summer rain, bathing together, Tom Hanks, rice pancakes, Cafe Sunrise, black-and-white photographs, the first quiet moments after you wake up in the morning.”
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