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Destiny’s Flowers: Love, catharsis and our anxieties

Kajoli Khanna’s book, Destiny’s Flowers, is an explorative quest into the lives of Urmilla, Pema and Atish, who find their destinies intertwined.

more lifestyle Updated: May 16, 2019 18:10 IST
Kabir Singh Bhandari
Kabir Singh Bhandari
Hindustan Times, Delhi
Kajoli Khanna,Kajoli Khanna author,Destiny's Flowers
Kajoli Khanna’s book, Destiny’s Flowers, is the story of three souls all entwined into one novel.

Kajoli Khanna’s book, Destiny’s Flowers by Roli Books, is the story of three souls all entwined into one novel. 62-year-old Kajoli, who wrote her first book titled Afterbirth And Other Stories in 2010, says that what she enjoys the most about writing is the creative process. “It is really invigorating and emancipating. Also, one segment of the book, an assault, was actually something which I had experienced, so it was a great catharsis for me,” says Kajoli.

The assault which Kajoli speaks about took place at her residence in the mountains where she was brutally attacked. The subsequent trauma was doubled with the perpetrator threatening death if she resorted to police protection. Even more determined with eliminating all ideas of escaping from the scene and leaving her project unfinished, Kajoli searches for answers that Mila has formalised in her book, leaving the author becalmed. The journeys of Pema, through her pitfalls, strengthen human emotions, thereby working out a formula for dissolving them.

Destiny’s Flowers is an explorative quest into the lives of Urmilla, Pema and Atish, who find their destinies intertwined. Urmilla, an art treasurer with a mission to revive priceless artworks in the Fort of Joji, finds her life suddenly overturned by a brutal and puzzling midnight assault.

Pema, a Buddhist nun, conceals a past that forces her to question her ethics, even as she wrestles with the burden of her earlier deeds. Atish, a slum dweller, achieves ‘the unattainable’ but cannot hold on to his good fortune.

To overcome their singular exigencies, the sisters Mila and Pema adopt vicarious paths of their making. Pema in her quest, battles with a wave of hellish anger and travels down the path of self-destruction. Mila, crippled with self-nurtured fears finds her outlet through a self-imposed spiritual journey. Atish, the impatient one, plunges into troubled waters and faces the consequences of his actions to prove himself.

She believes that the world is her school, she has been taught by the underprivileged, even a baby and a criminal has lessons to teach.

One of the main streams running across Destiny’s Flowers explores a single sentence the Buddha uttered, “What the mind creates only the mind can undo.” Travelling through the twists and turns of the tale, the pitfalls and strengths of human emotions emerge, revealing the obstacles we create in our minds and the formula needed to dissolve them. A dose of this book is what all modern minds need. After all, the struggle for freedom from our anxieties is universal.

The book comes at an apt time in the world today when mental health issues such as anxiety, depression and more are being discussed openly on social media, literature, TVs and finding their mention quietly and slowly into our drawing rooms.

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First Published: May 16, 2019 18:10 IST