Her latest novel The Book of Shadow helped bestselling Indian author Namita Gokhale come to terms with pain and see life from a different perspective
Winged wisdomI am not a patient ghost (how I detest that word!). In our world too, we have our shortcuts and ways around things, our fixers and facilitators. I decided to appeal to the most venerable of the wise ones, our black brethren, the crows. Crows have ancient eyes, they look into the twenty-seven depths of surface events and understand their totality. There is nothing that they do not know. Their opinionated cousins, the ravens, are parvenus and pretenders, the object of much pity and ridicule in refined circles. The walrus, I understand, is acquainted with death, with the synapse between the worlds. The cat too is companion to many mysteries. But it is the crow, lustrous, black, benign in the indifference of its cold intellect, which can be trusted totally in delicate matters.
The Himalayan crow, in particular, is cognizant of the power of dreaming and receptive to the web of interconnectedness. I do not leave my habitation much, but my friends the crows are eternal wanderers. Much that I have learnt in the course of my existence has been gleaned from the feathered denizens of the deodar tree that fronts the house.
And so, driven by the compulsions of love, I sought out the crows. There is a time, just before dawn, in the last throes of the night, when the crows talk. Their words and their visions are known to the wise as the kagbhushandi, the speech of crows. That night, I left the comforting confines of Dona Rosa's bosom and visited my friends. They were waiting for me, alert and motionless, just the set and turn of a beak or the ruffling of a wing to indicate their seriousness. The lady of the deodar was asleep, or absent, yet I could sense her presence in the quiet majesty of her home. I could not but contrast the warm-blooded tumult of Dona Rosa's heart with the serene sanctuary of the admirable Vanbhanjika.
Excerpted with permission from The Book of Shadows
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