Posted by Madhu B. Wangu on April 7, 2015
Chance Meetings: Stories About Cross-Cultural Karmic Collisions and Compassion is inspired by my life as an artist, a professor of Indian art history and a dilettante commentator of Asian scriptures. The diverse tracks that I had followed until my early-fifties coalesced and stimulated these stories.
Some stories were sparked from my life as an artist. “Gauri’s Freedom” is one such story. Its protagonist, Gauri, an aspiring artist faces colossal obstacles. She struggles to pacify and overcome rebuff from her family but in vain. In “The Blackened Mirror,” the fame and fortune a painter dreams about becomes a reality only to reveal its destructive side. Jealousy and competitiveness is the dominant emotion in “Cadmium and Crimson.”
My youngest brother was killed in an automobile accident in India when I was in my thirties. A few months after my mother passed away, and a year later my father died. My world turned upside down. The thought of my own demise and those closest to me was crippling. I could lose any one at any time. Without notice, life could take away the people I love. My husband’s business flights to different states froze my heart. Minutes of delay of our daughters’ school bus numbed my legs.
Years later, from the depths of the inner underworld, memories resurfaced and sparked the stories “A Precious Gift,” “Yellow Jacket” and parts of “Secret Healer.” A normal death seemed desirable. But what was a normal death? Everyone died of something. However, the protagonist of “Cadmium and Crimson” dies a serene death. Yet, how many people choose their own coffin and die in peace?
At times, a vivid memory becomes raw material for a story. Until that happens I myself am not aware of its existence. In meditation, I delve deep into the underworld of my mind, and after a period of dealing with the darkness within, I resurface with gold nugget of an idea. The dead past wants to become the living present in the stories I want to tell. From my experiences in India, Japan, and South America were ignited stories such as “Secret Healer,” “Chance Meeting,” and “ Portable Shrine.”
Writing fiction helps me to live a purposeful and peaceful life. Writing is my path and destination. I am dedicated to write books that would not only entertain but also educate and maybe even transform my readers. Chance Meetings: Stories About Cross-Cultural Karmic Collisions and Compassion is the first of such endeavors.