Madhu Bazaz Wangu | Introducing Shanti and Satyavan
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Introducing Shanti and Satyavan

Introducing Shanti and Satyavan

Introducing Shanti and Satyavan

Shanti Bamzai, the protagonist of The Immigrant Wife: Her Spiritual Journey, was born in the Valley of Kashmir. The valley is framed by the mountain ranges of Karakoram, Pir Panjal and Zanskar. The Jhelum River runs through it.

Kalhana, the renowned eighth century historian writes, “Kailasha, the divine abode is the best place in the three worlds; Himalaya is the best part of Kailasha, and the valley of Kashmir the best part of Himalayas. . . . The valley’s saffron, iced water and grapes are rare even in heaven.”

Shanti’s family often picnics at the garden Nishat Bagh meaning ‘Garden of Bliss.’ One Sunday, Satyavan, a houseguest accompanies them. The morning sun has colored the landscape gold. Luxurious mountains form the backdrop to the garden and the shimmering Dul Lake touches its fringes.

Shanti climbs up a hill and sits at a commanding position from the top terrace of Nishat Bagh. She wants to sketch the enchanting snow capped peaks of Pir Panjal. Then her eyes move to where Satyavan is leaning against the trunk of a maple tree, reading. Her heart stirs. She draws the landscape with him in it. She feels linked to him through her drawing, the scented air and the sound of water from hundreds of fountains in the garden.

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