Henna for the Broken-hearted


Henna for the Broken-HeartedHenna for the Broken-Hearted by Sharell Cook
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Henna for the broken hearted.
Author Sharell Cook
Genre Travelogue with a twist
Publisher 2011 in Macmillan by Pan Macmillan Australia Pty.Limited.
Printed and Published in India by Replika Press Pvt.Ltd.
ISBN 978-1-7426-1040-5

Henna for the broken hearted by Sharell cook, reminds me of the Bollywood song “Thodasa Pani, Thodasa badal, ho kahani” that is a bit of clouds, a bit of rain and a tale is spun.
My apologies to the author, when the books started I assumed another firangi on the Indian bhang! But it was interesting. Through 260 pages the author takes on various journeys,
There is a strictly geographic travel through Kolkata, Varka Manali and Bombay. Where people from the organized west come to see an exotic India or an improvished one. The world of tourists and tourism a world of exploitation and illusion.
There is a second journey of conflict and resolution from a confining marriage, and hyper organized world to letting oneself go till chaos and then creating order in that chaos I found that intriguing.
Final one is awakening to daily spiritualism.
What I appreciated about the book was the author’s journey to break her shackles from being an accountant to finding and accepting her creative side.
It was heart warming and reassuring to read about her relationship with Aryan – though it did have a Mills and Boons touch about it. To her comfort in fitting into an Oriya household. The book was pretty superficial and rambled until we got to the chapter on revelations in the mountains.
To me the high light of the book was the passage “a simpler life had taught me to find joy in what I had. Even though our apartment was small, I had so much more freedom and flexibility than most people I knew. There was beach, a park and a huge shopping centre nearby. I worked when I wanted to work. I was writing and being creative. This new life had purpose and passion”
And the excerpts from the matrimonial advertisement. Sharell has been too polite to mention that the requirement for the bride is fair and the looks of the male species is irrelevant!
Another place where I empathized with the author was when she talked about intrusion from all and sundry.
A believable interesting book which is unusual the author is neither in awe of the exotic India nor is she condescending to the quixotic India. She accepts the duality of the country and sees its reflection in her own self.
An interesting read overall.
About the author: Sharell Cook was born in Australia, after a gaining a degree in Business, she worked for ten years in accounting and finance sector of the Victorian government at Melbourne. She writes on travel in India for the New York Times Company and has a blog of her own called “Dairy of a White Indian Housewife.”

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