'Lost and Found in India' by Braja Sorenson


Penguin Books India is proud to announce the release of 'Lost and Found in India' by Braja Sorenson published by Hay House. "Lost & Found in India is the least pretentious diary of life in India I have ever read. Sorensen describes her adopted India with no analytical or spiritual pretenses: the book doesn't analyse India, it suffers and enjoys it. It is breezy, light, and descriptive, with funny meditations of a voluntary citizen of India." ~ Farrukh Dhondy, Award-winning Author/Playwright/Screenwriter •Despite how entertaining or exotic one may find other books on India to be, they share the trait that they are all written by foreigners on a brief journey, an adventure, a fantasy-type break away from ordinary life, and they all deliver a somewhat superficial and often incorrect view of a country that is impossible to understand from the surface. Sorensen moved in, set up house, became a resident on the banks of the Ganges River, and eventually called India “home.” A dozen years later, she's still here. · Lost & Found in India is aimed at Indians who are tired of foreigners writing inaccurate diaries of India; travellers of all ages and anyone in an airport headed for India; anyone with even the smallest interest in the spirituality and culture of India; anyone who thought Eat Pray Love promised but didn’t deliver; anyone who has ever stopped to think “there must be more to life than this.” There is…and Lost & Found in India shows you where it lives. Her writing swings from the depths of ancient culture, spirituality, and philosophy, through to drunk bathroom repair men, Indian wedding season, truck drivers and Communist governments, the philosophy of the sound of Krishna’s flute song and electricity in short supply due to India’s festivals, and wraps it up with direction, grounding, reality, and a strong sense of what makes India home. It’s funny, outrageous, controversial, deep, witty, spiritual, philosophical, and damned entertaining: in other words, it’s India. The first moment I arrived in 1993, India kicked my senses awake, laughed its way into my heart and delighted me with its intoxicating array of colour, tradition, celebrations, festivity...life! I was in the land where transcendence had been living for thousands of years as everyone’s next door neighbour. Everything about my surroundings drove me towards introspection, depth, and the beginnings of peace. Even the weather seemed to conspire against the possibility that I might abandon this decision and take flight, back to the familiarity of my former life. Through the drenching rains of the monsoon, with its steady drumming like background music to my days, I started to find what it was I was seeking: shelter. The thing is, I belong to India. The first time I smelled it all those years ago in Delhi airport at 1 am on a cold December morning, a torrid cocktail of scents that seeped in through my pores, the first time I slid into the back seat of an Ambassador taxi, booked into a true-blue Indian dharamshala, sipped chai from a roadside stall, got gut-wrenching dysentery, cried in a temple because I found myself, laughed with a crazy local villager who insisted he was Krishna and dressed like him every day, put my back out on a rickshaw ride from hell, slid into the purifying waters of a holy pond at Govardhan Hill, and bent down and touched the soft, powder-like dust on the ground of the spiritual centre of the universe, Radhakund, all these things claimed me and made me their own. Those holy towns left images in my memory; as I paid my obeisance in temples, the ancient floors left impressions in my body that leaked into my heart and remain there still. And so I let it wash over me, allowed myself to be smothered in the healing balm, soothed by the feather-soft touch of India’s soul heritage. It had its way with me, this country, and I let it. It was then I started to call this place ‘home.’ And then the fun began... ‘Why?’ “I had no idea that the script was written by a cosmic comedian. And I think he still lives in India…” Despite how entertaining or exotic one may find other books on India to be, they share the trait that they are all written by foreigners on a brief journey, an adventure, and consequently they all deliver an often incorrect view of a country that is impossible to understand from the surface. Sorensen moved in, set up house, became a resident in a village on the banks of the Ganges River, and eventually called India “home.” Her writing swings from the depths of ancient culture, spirituality, and philosophy, through to drunk bathroom repair men, Indian wedding season, and ties it all together with direction, grounding, and an easily-digested reality. It’s funny, outrageous, controversial, deep, witty, spiritual, philosophical, and damned entertaining: in other words, it’s India. "Braja Sorensen describes her adopted India with no analytical or spiritual pretenses. A funny, committed book." BRAJA SORENSEN Braja Sorensen is originally from Australia but has spent most of her adult life living and working in London, Europe, and the United States. In 2002 she decided life must have more offer than what she’d experienced so far, and moved to a village on the banks of the Ganges. Over a decade later she’s still there, waiting for Vogue Magazine to see the light and give her a damned column. A published author in the Vaishnava-bhakti field, Lost & Found in India is Braja's first book in the mainstream genre.

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