Fifteen-year-old Aditya was like any other teenager—busy in school, horsing around with a brother at home, pushing things around in the kitchen to try out daring recipes of his own, cheering lustily at games of cricket and, generally, being boisterous. His parents had begun to wonder whether he’d ever take life seriously. Would he toughen up to withstand the pressures of the outside world? In the winter of 1996, life suddenly got more serious than anyone had wanted. One day, his mother, Vasundhara, took him to see a doctor for a headache that refused to go away despite over-the-counter pain relievers. The ensuing prognosis revealed that Aditya’s kidneys were headed towards complete failure. In this heart-wrenching account, Vasundhara Ramanujan shares more than that worst nightmare of all—a child being afflicted with a life-threatening condition—she relates a story of instinctive courage. She narrates how her family, instead of letting their circumstances devastate them, summoned every emotional and psychological resource to provide a young boy, and themselves, with hope. In their quest for the best cures available, they were guided by many well-wishers, one of them being Dr Mohammad Akmal, who lent his medical expertise to authenticate the treatments outlined in the book. The ultimate purpose of Shades of Life is to prepare others to meet such exigencies of renal failure, and to help them find a life-saving solution.