Book review: Echoes From Punjab

Echoes from Punjab was a deeply moving and enchanting story to read! The following is my heartfelt book review:

As a reader and author of non-fiction works, I am delightfully surprised by this beautiful novel, which was so well written that it could be non-fiction!
From the velvety soft book cover, to the pacing, the story moves at such an elegant pace, it can keep a reader meaningfully engaged from beginning to end.
echoes-from-punjab-book-cover
As I read this endearing story, I learned some Indian words–even some new English words! I laughed, cried, and experienced many emotions–all the while I read about Jasmine’s journey.
Jasmine, the central figure and main character, has led a similar life to mine, except that I only moved to a different state in the USA, not to a completely different country (so obviously I did not have the racial or language challenges she had).
I so enjoyed the way the author interlaced descriptions of places in India, Indian history, and lots of Punjabi (the 10th most widely spoken language in the world) into her novel. For example, in Chapter 2 – The Land of Milk and Honey, Daljit teaches us, “Tussi Punjabi ho” [you are Punjabi] as very early on in the story Jasmine meets a stranger in the U.S.A. who is also from Punjab. Somehow I knew I would love this book just by seeing the title of this chapter–as this is indeed what America is–The Land of Milk and Honey!
Speaking of favorites, Chapter 6 – The Twins knocked my socks off! My daughter is expecting twins and lives far from me, plus, I’d only recently learned of this glorious news when I began reading Echoes from Punjab! Obviously, synchronicity was working spectacularly for me! I read this chapter and the many to follow about Jasmine’s twins with eager excitement! I could really visualize so much of this story… Oh!! I love it so much!
I also truly grasped the richness of the vivid imagery the author detailed, both in the Indian scenes and in the northeastern U.S.A. Since, I lived a good many years of my life in the northeast, and traveled to many of the destinations that Daljit writes about, I had those scenes well set in my imagination. When she took me to India, a place I’ve only seen in many movies, well, I could paint them easily from her words.
What is hard to imagine is just how far away Punjab is from America. I’ve talked with several coworkers from India over the last few years who have tried to explain the travel time and how tiring it can be, so I have an inkling–but mostly it’s mind boggling to think about the actual distance, time, and money involved in the travel. Chapter 9 with its aptly fitting title, The Journey, does its best to convey about the burdensome travel though. This chapter gives us shocking twists and turns in the drama of what is becoming Jasmine’s life–I won’t tell you what happens as I don’t want to spoil it for you–but I can say, that again, I’ve shared some of these life experiences and oh, how good it is to have them behind me!
On one particular page during The Journey, I can tell you that I absolutely agree that “I love my country as I love my mother but that does not mean I cannot see its shortcomings.” I have so much respect for people who leave their home to go live in another country, as until I read Echoes from Punjab, I could barely imagine how one could be so far from loved ones, deal with a different language, culture, time zones, currency, racism, and so on! I have a hard enough time dealing with the fact that I have dear loved ones several states away from me within our own country, much less having to deal with all of those other pressures! I also believe one must really be dedicated to make such a sacrifice.
The Distressed Visit, Chapter 12 was intensely emotional for me. I was “with” Jasmine in every gut-wrenching moment! Having lost several friends in my life already, I know the pain of what she must have felt, and I grieved with her. When you have to say goodbye to friends, especially so far away, and when you have not seen them face to face in a long time, it can be especially difficult. Our family and friends are so important to us all! I think I now realize why so many people do not move away from their home places!
Chapter 20 – The Weddings, was as bright, light, and uplifting as The Distressed Visit was sad! Through Echoes from Punjab you get all of the ups, downs, good, not-so-good, colors, sounds, and intensity of life that one could want. I would smile and laugh, then reminisce of times gone by. I definitely could correlate several times of my life, alongside Jasmine’s up and down experiences. Thus, in the end, through sadness, grief, joy, and bewilderment, I shared her humanity. And I will be forever grateful to a new yet, dear friend who was thoughtful enough to gift me with this timeless book. (Thank you Rekha!)

7 takeaways from meeting Sadhguru during his first American book tour

A once-in-a-lifetime experience!

I–along with 2000 other people–recently attended a book launch event for Sadhguru’s first American book and New York Times Best Seller, “Inner Engineering, A Yogi’s Guide to Joy.”

Sadhguru website photo.png

I totally loved the live musical performances offered while we all gathered in the Van Wezel auditorium (in Sarasota, Florida). And to think, all of the singers and musicians traveling with Sadhguru are volunteers! What a glorious gift! I love how enchanting Indian music is, especially the sitar, which has to be one of the most amazing instruments ever invented! My heart was dancing in the abundance of the vibrations!

Sadhguru will be visiting 42 cities this year, so attend if at all possible. Your ears will be delighted and your heart and consciousness will expand from the profound and practical wisdom shared.

Check this website for the other cities where Sadhguru will be speaking, and get tickets. You won’t want to miss this opportunity to sit at the feet of this gentle, wise contemporary yogi’s feet.

After the musical performances, Dr. Kiran Patel gave an insightful and stirring introduction of Sadhguru. And then the moment arrived…

As Sadhguru was about to enter the stage, a hush fell over the entire auditorium, as such, you could have heard a pin drop! It was like 2000 people were holding their collective breath! Sadhguru meekly, yet with what I would call, powerful command of knowing, walked out and sat down in a “not so comfortable chair”, center stage.

We did not know whether he would speak first, or lead us in meditation, sing, or what! So, we eagerly anticipated… I could feel the Energy in the room–nearly palpable!

Sadhguru began by asking us a question, “How many of you have experienced even one day of joy in your lives?”

Several hands went up.

But, continuing, Sadhguru brought the real issue to the surface of our minds. How to sustain joy.

During Sadhguru’s talk, he used stories from his life to illustrate the variety of predicaments we each seem to get ourselves into, and how we can find the pleasantness–even in the moment of some, perhaps not so pleasant of an experience.

One of the questions I had was whether or not once one reaches “enlightenment”, does everything become, well, easier? And the answer seemed to be “yes.”

Sadhguru explained how he continues to change and grow in the field of pure positive potentiality. Ahh… even after explaining about his childhood and experience of enlightenment, he said “one does not just reach enlightenment and then that’s it.”

I literally took many things away from my experience with Sadhguru, and am continuing to grasp more ideas, concepts, and tools while reading Inner Engineering, but for purposes of this article, I thought I’d share my 7 takeaways from this event:

  1. Most of us have experience joy, but find it nearly impossible to sustain it
  2. Peace and joy are the basis of our life, not goals to be achieved
  3. Pleasantness leads to peace and joy–and other people are attracted to you when you are pleasant
  4. We can never find pleasantness outside of us, if we do not first find pleasantness inside of ourselves. Yes, it is an inside job.
  5. Tools exist that can help each of us find the pleasantness inside–we do not have to “recreate the wheel” so to speak, or “go it alone”–and these simple and powerful tools are explained in Sadhguru’s book, “Inner Engineering:  A Yogi’s Guide to Joy” which will guide you towards the well-being and joy that you seek.
  6. Only our physical senses limit us. Yoga is not only a physical “workout”, but rather it’s defined as “to yoke” with the “dimensionless unity of absolute perfection” that exists everywhere–We Are All One
  7. What is pleasing to you, may not be pleasing to me, but each together weave a beautiful tapestry when we let go of our need to control each other’s perception of reality

While enjoying Sadhguru’s event, I was in a state of awe, as I had predicted. Not just of Sadhguru as a man, mystic, or master, but of the shared vibratory resonance that occurred in that one place.

At the event, Americans of many different nationalities were tuned human instruments playing a delightful symphony of be-ing. We listened intently. We laughed with Sadhguru as he related funny stories. We sang with him. We clapped. And finally, we meditated as Sadhguru led us in a shared meditation, the likes of which, I had never experienced before. It certainly put me in a pleasant blissful resonance!

Inner Engineering book cover.png

Again, here is the link to all of the information about Sadhguru’s continued American tour, so you can see and hear him–but most importantly, FEEL this extraordinary experience yourself.

P.S. If you will be in the Sarasota, Florida area Oct. 20 – Oct. 23, 2016  please check this link and attend a 4 day in-person Inner Engineering program. CME and CE accredited too! The website is here also, for more information.

We Are All Connected. We Are All One.

Amen. Namaste. OM