Character Dossier: Asha
Full Name: Asha Pitale
Birthdate: August 23, 2037
Weight: 115 lbs
Eyes: Dark brown
Hair: Black, wavy
Marital Status: Engaged to be married in one week
Parents: Nissim and Haiya Pitale (but I call them Baaba and Aai).
Siblings: None, but Susa has always been like a sister to me.
Current Residence: In a fourth floor flat in Tower B of Koyanagar Heights. For now…
Greatest accomplishment: Getting a perfect score on both my Calculus and Algebra finals this past March.
Greatest dream: To become an engineer somewhere far away like Australia or America.
Most valuable possession: A photo of Baaba and Aai on their wedding day. They looked so happy. Couples never look like that when they get married now. The girls always look disappointed and the boys always look terrified.
Strengths: Numbers. I’ve been able to do sums in my head since I was a child. I used to tell Susa that I was going to pick Mathematics for my last test, but when it came time to announce it, I did not see the point. None of the boys left had any chance of figuring out a complicated equation. It would have been mean to embarrass them like that.
Weaknesses: Aai says I have a quick temper. I can’t help it. Everything about Koyanagar makes me angry, especially the leaders.
Fears: Being stuck in Koyanagar for the rest of my life.
Happiest Memory: When Tanu told me that he would follow me to the end of the Earth.
Saddest Memory: When Aai told me she and Baaba wanted me to leave them forever.
Biggest regret: Not trying harder to make Susa see what her nani is like. I know she loves her and respects her, but that doesn’t mean she should be blind to her lies.
Character Dossier: Nani
Full Name: Arpana Mehra
Birthdate: May 12, 1998
Birthplace: Mumbai, India
Height: 5’ 1”
Weight: 135 lbs
Marital Status: (Happily) Widowed
Siblings: One sister (Yasmin) who reminds me that she is older every single day
Current Residence: Penthouse flat in Tower B of Koyanagar Heights
Greatest accomplishment: Coming up with the Love Your Daughters campaign. This was really what made the people of Koyanagar want to separate from India. They merely had to look at Surina’s face and they knew it was the right thing to do.
Greatest dream: To be President of Koyanagar. Yasmin thinks she will be next. Perhaps she will be. She has always had everything handed to her—a wealthy husband, Papa’s love. She never has to work for things or get her hands dirty, but she will not be a good President if this does not change. Being a leader means making hard decisions. I’m not afraid of that.
Most valuable possession: Koyanagar Registry. There is a backup copy in the State Council safe, but it does not have my notes in it.
Strengths: I am very resourceful.
Weaknesses: Yasmin. She always finds a way to make me feel like I must obey her because I owe her for helping get Nalini and me off the street. It is a debt as deep as a well.
Fears: Men with power. They are too easily corrupted by it. That is why women must lead Koyanagar.
Happiest Memory: When Yasmin, Papa and I first moved to Powai. That was before Yasmin got married and moved to Koyanagar. Before Papa realized he hated me.
Saddest Memory: When my sass told me that my first daughter had been stillborn. I knew she was lying. I’d heard the baby cry outside, right before she was murdered.
Biggest regret: That I didn’t run away from my husband sooner.
ABOUT 5 TO 1
Sudasa doesn't want to be a wife and Kiran, a boy forced to compete in the test to become her husband, has other plans as well. Sudasa's family wants nothing more than for their daughter to do the right thing and pick a husband who will keep her comfortable--and caged. Kiran's family wants him to escape by failing the tests. As the tests advance, each thwarts the other until they slowly realize that they might want the same thing.
ABOUT HOLLY BODGER
HOLLY BODGER has a BA in English Literature and has spent her entire career in publishing. She is an active member of RWA and is a 2013 Golden Heart finalist in the Young Adult category. She lives in Ottawa, Canada.
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