Before I begin the development of “The Journey of Love”, I thought I’d acquaint you with a little of “Earthbound”, the first book of the series under consideration.
Photograph: Amos Chapple/Rex Features
So, here’s a little text from one of the early chapters of the novel. The place depicted has been inspired by the North Eastern regions of the country and the indigenous people:
Outside, the girl could see young tribal boys and girls pick up pine cones along the road side. The road narrowed, twisted and gnarled like the roots of an old tree. She saw a rosy-cheeked tribal child with a sibling tied across her back, waiting to cross the road as the bus maneuvered slowly. The child waved at her as she took her picture.
Maitrayee smiled unconsciously. A sense of adventure lingered in the air and the earthly fragrance was intoxicating. There was an inadvertent sense of belonging and romanticism which one would not desire to part with consciously.The bus installed itself in front of a settlement. Maitrayee climbed down slowly after the others. Most of them strolled around stretching their limbs or with their hands in their pockets shivering due to the sudden change in temperature inside and outside the vehicle.
There was a deep waterfall nearby. Maitrayee walked over the iron railing and leaned against it. The whiffs of coffee and food being prepared with cinnamon entered her nostrils and filled her mind with acute exhilaration. Her stomach rumbled and she had never been hungrier. She turned around and studied the wooden shacks from which the aromas had originated. All her fellow travellers had gathered near one of them which was easily the largest and the most welcoming one. There was hardly anyone around the one which stood near Maitrayee. A young woman carried some firewood inside the shack while, outside, on the ledge, a young man was sitting with a child, presumably the couple’s, tied to his back. She had never seen a man carry a child on his back before; then she realized that the tribal societies here were matrilineal. Women were traditionally the head of the family and they worked, while the men were not entitled to any land or property. There were some children playing with pine cones nearby, and an old man watched them disapprovingly. As she started to walk towards the eatery, she saw something that made her heart freeze. She could not move and stood affixed to the spot. Her eyes met a young man’s who was standing at a distance, leaning against a tin shed. He was well dressed and thick wavy hair framed his well-cut face. His fine features looked pale. His lips were grim and a furrow had developed between his thick eyebrows as he observed her intently.Maitrayee was acutely perplexed and affected by the stranger’s gaze. She quickly went through her mental album of acquaintances and realized that she did not know him, but strangely enough, he seemed to know a lot about her.Suddenly, she felt her mind going numb and her thoughts being lost. Her memories came back to her in strange flashes and her mind had become impervious to everything but the deathly rush of the water near her. To her, the world and everything in it was suddenly dead, except the water which threw itself in to a shadowy depth.
The feeling passed off as quickly as it had come and without another glance at the man, she hastily made her way towards the little eatery.
(c) 2012, Ananya Mukherjee . Text From Novel “Earthbound”
Founder at The TechGirl Journal & The IDEA Bucket ; Anya lives in California while working in the field of Computational Genomics.
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