The art of regaining humanity. Anita Nair builds her new novel on the structure of a kathakali performance …Nair takes her own performance far beyond the limits of her initial promise…Nair kills the stereotype with emotions not listed in the glossary of the art she seeks as a form to place her imagination. …The richness of Koman’s back story – whose emotional texture, sensuous as well sorrowful is accentuated by the thrills and tribulations of racial overstretch and migratory woes alone will make Nair a novelist who stretches the geographical boundaries of imagination to accomodate the wayward orphans who dominate everyone’s history. The newness is not in reducing the distance between the art of the novel and the art of kathakali, and it is not in interpreting a claasical form to suit the emotional or cerebral expediencies of the novelist either [Think of what Maria Varga Llosa did with painting in In Praise of the Stepmother and Umberto Eco with pop art in The Mysterious Flame of Queen Loana.] Nair makes art a living experience, literally….When the performers in Mistress realise that they have to discard the costume to regain their humanity, it is too late. The art of Anita Nair does it for them , in style.