Dreams in Prussian Blue has been published by Penguin India as one of its Metro Reads series in February 2010.
Listing a few online stores which show Dreams in Prussian Blue available for purchase. All the links will open in a new page.
“Listen, Michael. This is serious. This is your best chance to help me… us. If you waste this, it”s all over.”
“What”s all over?”
“Everything. Between us.”
“Five minutes, that”s all you have. I kid you not.”
First-year student Naina is utterly smitten by her senior, Michael, acknowledged genius and resident rebel of the Fine Arts College, Mumbai. So when he proposes that they drop out of college and live-in, she readily agrees. But life with Michael soon turns into an emotional rollercoaster. Temperamental, opinionated and incredibly selfish, he expects Naina to run the household so that he is free to paint. Naina tries her hand at several odd jobs, but when an accident leaves Michael blind, their life together begins to come undone as she can only helplessly watch. And in trying to pull it together, Naina is driven to being what she has never been—a liar and a cheat. Will Michael forgive her when he learns the truth? Will she forgive him for what he has done to her?
Another excerpt put up at Rediff.
Review in The Hindustan Times.
All Naina wanted was to see her boyfriend, struggling artist Michael Agnelo, succeed. Author Paritosh Uttam’s novella Dreams in Prussian Blue is the compelling story of a young couple caught in a web of lies and desperation. … Part of publisher Penguin’s new Metro Reads series, it’s a quick, easy read—but it’s no fluffy romance either, so don’t go looking for an ‘ever after’.
…books like this one come as a breath of fresh air. … Part mystery, part love affair, Dreams in Prussian Blue is like I said different. … By the end of it, I wish there was more to it. I wish I would know more about Naina and Michael. Paritosh certainly knows how to get you to keep the pages turning, and one of the highpoints of the book, as mentioned before, is that it is short and does not tax the brains.
Review in Businessworld.
…kudos to Paritosh Uttam for being able to dwell into a woman’s psyche and telling Naina’s tale in Dreams in Prussian Blue.
Uttam takes us backward and forward as he narrates the story, his flashes of wry humour add poignancy to the tale.
A shower would have been heavenly but the locality they lived in, water was precious—the only time it fell from above was as rain.
…His insights are thought provoking:
‘We both want you to be happy, Naina.’ Her father’s voice softened but she was not mollified. ‘Please do not bear the responsibility for other people’s happiness, Papa. It’s too heavy a burden to carry.’
Review by Jai Arjun Singh on Jabberwock.
…I was nicely surprised by Paritosh Uttam’s Dreams in Prussian Blue, which is an example of what a good, solid “metro read” can be. It’s character-driven, written in sober, non-frills prose, and the story—about the personal tragedies of two young people in a live-in relationship—keeps you turning the pages at a quick rate.
…Dreams in Prussian Blue is a reminder of the pleasures of a strong story, briskly told. Only rarely does Uttam’s writing seem self-conscious. …I thought it impressive that a male writer could portray Naina with such empathy.
Review in The Economic Times.
Dreams in Prussian Blue, by Paritosh Uttam, is an engrossing tale built about characters whom you either know personally or through an acquaintance—a story heard towards the sombre end of a party or a serious cafeteria issue. … But Uttam’s sense of placement is sharp, with scenes moving like a pictorial storybook, promising the reader of vivid possibilities in the next page. And with keeping the prose simple, he moves the book faster than Delhi Metro.
… [The relationship] unfolds itself into a complex emotional vibgyor of angst, frustration, pity, self-pity, and piety—the reader watches the drama like a neighbourhood voyeur, and is drawn into it deeper.
Review in The Viewspaper.
Dreams in Prussian Blue by Paritosh Uttam is one of the series of the Metro Reads introduced by Penguin. …has a story line truly distinct and well narrated by Uttam. His magic has worked yet again in his first long work. The beauty of this novel lies in the fact that Uttam has weaved around all too routine emotions with freshness and manages to give you a gripping tale.
The novel has its own twists and turns and has good literary content unlike most new novels on the racks these days. A very well thought out story, with the execution even better and has a smooth flow of events. The author has very ingeniously fitted many contradictions, whether it is the name of his protagonist or among the shades displayed by the three main characters. The author displays brilliance in writing with a good writing style and way above average vocabulary, yet maintaining its simplicity. The author is definitely here to stay and we can lookout eagerly for his new works as he is one of the most promising writers in the young and emerging writers category.
Overall Dreams in Prussian Blue is a nice read with money well spent and leaves a lingering effect that lasts long after you have finished it.
Review in The Deccan Herald.
Of all the three, it is Dreams in Prussian Blue, which, though initially progressing at a languorous pace that leads up to a surprising end, really has the reader sitting up. The mystery of the choice of one colour, Prussian Blue, in the title is intriguing and gets explained only as the story progresses. The book has some interesting insights: Like for a writer or poet, a particular combination of words makes a sentence more striking, so should colours be pregnant with that kind of meaning for a painter?
Review in Desicritics.org.
…I liked the way the author has chosen the names of the characters, playing with the spellings and the way he has chosen colors to convey the essence of the story, giving a whole new dimension to the blue. … The writing style is smooth and you can enjoy the story that initially moves back and forth and then linearly.
Review in Apu’s World by Aparna V. Singh.
…The novel sticks to a small group of characters and does that well—while Michael is the anti-hero, Uttam takes the reader to the darkness behind seemingly ‘nice’ and bland characters as well.
The bonus is that while the story is novel and the characters real, the language is simple enough for the average reader. A live-in relationship, a selfish artist, a naive young woman who realizes that love and fresh air may not be enough, the Indian art world, nosy neighbours and traditional parents who can no longer hold on to their children—the plot moves forward quickly, and kept me engrossed wanting to know what happens (and plenty does!) The dialogue works too, with the lingo of the 20-something crowd captured well.
Review in Bookchums by Alpana Mallick.
What is a painter without his eyes? What is a relationship without trust? Paritosh Uttam weaves a story of conflicts that will sadden and trouble you, make you wonder what you would have done in their stead. I personally hated the character of Naina. I could relate to her, understand her, even empathize with her to some extent, but I still hated where and what she had led herself to become. On the other hand, I felt more deeply for Michael, in a distant detached way, mourned for him. But after all of this, I can’t deny I was shocked at the end. For a small breezy read, the ending sure doesn’t hold back any punches. It can knock the wind out of you and leave you wondering, with a small knot of unease inside.
The story could have been paced better and characters given more depth I feel. But, it makes for an engrossing read nevertheless, once you get beyond the first few chapters. The writing style gives the impression of a strong current being held with much restraint. There is a lot explored within few lines, one only needs to look at it in the right way…
- ‘Off the Shelf’ column in The Times of India: Stories for the young & restless
- Interview with Techgoss.com: IITian debuts as author with Penguin
- Interview on Rediff: The youth today are very impatient and want everything
- Excerpt and brief bio on Mail Today: A Brush with Doomed Love[PDF 1.5MB].
- Featured in The Open Magazine in The Write Stuff from IIT and IIM
Book discussion and reading at India Habitat Centre, New Delhi, on March 15, 2010, as part of the Spring Fever event organized by Penguin India.
(Click on the images for a larger picture.)
Vaishali Mathur (editor) introducing Metro Reads at Spring Fever. Reading out an excerpt from Dreams in Prussian Blue at Spring Fever. In conversation with CNN-IBN journalist Amrita Tripathi at Spring Fever.
- An interview on the blog Indian Words (in Italian): Intervista a Paritosh Uttam
A discussion on love, life and relationships in Mumbai, at Reliance TimeOut, Bandra, on May 8, 2010, along with Ahmed Faiyaz. More event pictures at Times of India Photogallery
Poster of the Mumbai event. Unwrapping the books: Shweta Keswani, Peeya Rai Chowdhary, Ash Chandler, Nitin Chib, Ahmed Faiyaz. Shweta Keswani with the books. Peeya Rai Chowdhary
A discussion on life and relationships in urban India at Landmark, Forum Mall, Koramangala, Bangalore on May 12, 2010, along with Ahmed Faiyaz.
Coverage in New Express. In discussion with Ahmed Faiyaz, Priya Kaul, Prateek Gupta. Participating in the discussion.
- Interview on Infibeam.com.
- Interview in Pune Mirror: Love in a Metro Read
- Article in the Indian Express: Dreams on a palette
- Article in Sakaal Times: The Colour of their Minds
- Interview on Rediff: Felt great to see my name on a movie poster
- Interview in the New Indian Express: The Man Behind Artist