I started reading bits and pieces of this book titled Xanadu during the Blogchatter A-Z series. I couldn’t connect the pieces because I would read a random post on a day, but when the collection of stories took the form of an e-book, I sat and wrapped it one go! Xanadu literally means or refers an idyllic, exotic, or luxurious place. The book is a story that intertwines the life of three people.
A young girl is living a simple life surrounded by nature and the love of her parents. An earthquake destroys her home and changes her life forever.
A young boy is struggling with the loss of his mother. As a reward for honesty, he gets a step up in life but has to leave behind all that is familiar.
An old lady lives alone, surrounded by memories and whispers of the past.
What is the link between the three?
Where is their Xanadu?
About the book
A writer draws inspiration from real life. There were certain people and places who inspired this story. This story belongs to Anita. My Anita is based on a lady, I used to see in my school, and even though I did not interact a lot with her, her memory stayed in the recesses of my mind. When I first started writing Anita’s story, it was her image which
came to my mind.
I have also drawn inspiration from two NGO’s in the book. When I wrote about Shalini teaching all about forests and medicinal plants to Bhoomi, it was based on Vandana Shiva’s Navdanya. Similarly, the inspiration for Harish’s
NGO is the Kalap Trust foundation which works in a village of Garhwal. I wish I could have written more about them in the book.
There was a house named “Ethni” in the town in which I grew up in the foothills of Himalaya. The same town became the big city for Harish and Makhan.
The unfolding of Xanadu
I don’t know where to start as I start writing the review of this beautifully written book. 26 chapters that unfold the lives of Bhoomi, Harish and Miss Anita. From losing everything that was precious to them, letting go of things that mattered most to them. Leaving behind to lead completely new lives leaving behind their individual identities, Bhoomi and Harish accept the harsh realities they have to live with. Moving to different countries, giving up their families, losing contact with them are heart breaking.
Every parent does the best that they can do for their children. Sacrificing is something that is a stark reality that is portrayed in the book. I don’t want to divulge many details because this a book that you should read.
The once beautiful woman who dazzled everyone with her beauty chooses the different path to continue her life. The lonely Miss Anita, who grapples with a love that’s lost due to the end of the British Raj, choosing to stay back with a plethora of memories that keep her going on with life.
A young Bhoomi losing all her precious memories with a devastating earthquake that turns her world upside down. Armed with just a handful of memories, she lands up at the grandparent’s home who accept her mother and her with their own terms and conditions. Moving to a different country as a condition her extended family sets, breaks her heart, just when she finds her solace with Miss Anita.
Enter Harish, a boy who’s grappling with his own loss and finds friendship in Bhoomi and Miss Anita where they spend precious moments flying kites and spending idyllic times in the beautiful gardens of Miss Anita’s bungalow. That one good deed of his father changes his life completely.
How do these lives intertwine? Will there be a happy ending? Download XANADU by Harshita Nanda here to know how this poignant story unfolds. This book was a part of the Blogchatter E-book Carnival. ‘This post is a part of Blogchatter Half Marathon.’