At one point, while reading The Far Pavilions by M.M. Kaye, I said I felt like I was falling in love. It was just that immersive and beautiful. The book, published in 1978 tells the story of an orphan named Ash, the son of British parents, who is raised as an Indian Hindu by his nanny, Sita. Sita was in constant fear that Ash's British roots would be discovered and he'd be killed, so she told him that she was his mother. She also told him of a perfect valley in the Himalayas, where there would be peace. He shared this dream of a peaceful valley with an Indian princess named Anjuli. Anjuli was not accepted by most of the people in her home because her mother was Russian and, like Ash, Anjuli yearned to escape a world of betrayal and murder.
"Ash did not know that he had been born within sight of those snows, or that he had spent his earliest years among the high Himalayas, falling asleep to the sight of them rose-dyed by the sunset or silver under the moon, and waking to see them turn from apricot and amber to dazzling white in the full blaze of the morning. They were part of his subconscious mind, because once, long ago, he had known them by heart as other children know the frieze painted on a nursery wall. But looking at them now, he felt sure that somewhere in the folds of those mountains lay the valley that Sita used to speak of at bedtime: their own valley."
-M.M. Kaye, The Far Pavilions
Surrounded by a Hindu mother and Muslim mentor, both of whom he greatly respected, Ash developed his own personal view of God and he saw God in those same Himalayas.
"'Oh Lord,' whispered Ash, addressing the Dur Khaima: 'thou art Everywhere, but I worship thee here . . . '
Once adopted, the beautiful, many-peaked massif acquired a personality of its own, until it almost seemed to Ash that it was a living thing, a goddess with a hundred faces, who unlike the emblems of Vishnu and the shrouded rock in Mecca, took on a different guise with every change and chance of weather and season, and each hour of every day."
-M.M. Kaye, The Far Pavilions
The Far Pavilions was an interesting and exciting story about a young man trying to find balance in the very different worlds from which he comes. I did find the last bit of the book dragged on some, but the bulk of the 955 pages had me enthralled.
I recently discovered that a large part of the end of the book was based on actual events and because of that, did not involve the fictional main characters to whom I was so attached as much as the rest of the book. Perhaps when I read it again in several years, knowing that these were real men will change my perspective on the end of the book at bit.
About this manicure:
I used one of the polishes from the August Awesome Sauce Indie Box: Exotic Destinations.
3 coats Aurora Lacquers Endless Sunset
Stamped with Pueen SE04B and MoYou London Explorer 21.
Mountain nail stickers from bornprettystore