Fiction and research go hand-in-hand in Mistress, Anita Nair’s latest book…an absorbing story of two plots that run parallel, almost at the same pace…Kathakali, the exacting, vibrant dance form of Kerala, may seem to appeal to a niche segment. But the author has given its colour and character an appeal that cuts across geographical boundaries…While the words are well chosen, a lot of thought has gone into the layout. It is categorised into three books, each containing three rasas, culminating in the ninth rasa ? Shaantam. Even this has a role to play, as the characters express a kaleidoscope of emotions associated with the art form ? right from the strong sentiment like love to detachment, which arguably is a state of philosophical sublime. In fact, even the storytelling technique has overtones of Kathakali, which enacts the drama of life. The uninitiated, however, is led by a Kathakali lexicon while Kerala becomes the inevitable canvas.