Fascinating Journey

The Pokhraj

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ISBN 1-885373-44-9

$15.95

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Summary

The soul of the little boy, the young man, and the old man does not change even though the body changes. And even if the soul moves on to another body after the body dies, the soul stays the same.

Bhagavad Gita, Chapter 2

A yellow sapphire, the Pokhraj, links the past, the present and the future through birth and rebirth. This upbeat story of Jewish characters touched by Indian culture suggests possibilities of reincarnation, brings thoughts of life from the moment of conception, and opens windows to the inner workings of the soul.

It follows karma as foretold by an Indian fortuneteller, a rich picture of life as we have never imagined it.

The clues are all there, but do we know how to understand the signs?

The Pokhraj works philosophy, romance and laughter into a mysterious futuristic tale.

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What Others Have To Say...

Irina Gajjar's paranormal tale "The Pokhraj" is a fascinating journey of romance set against a backdrop of Jewish culture and Hindu philosophy of karma and reincarnation. It follows the life of the protagonist Sheela, right from the moment of her conception to her birth, and through her childhood and adolescence to her adulthood, whilst it traces how the Pokhraj - a yellow sapphire that is supposed to bring good luck - connects her past, present and future. This creatively conceptualized, exquisitely written novel simultaneously brings alive the joys of parenthood and the power of strong family ties. Natalya and Victor Landau are happily married and successful in their respective professions. Like most modern-day couples, this Houston-based Jewish couple's fast-paced life leaves little room for starting a family. Natalya feels that all she needs to complete her happiness is a child and is worried about her biological clock ticking away. Victor, on the other hand, is not "ready for the drastic change in lifestyle that a child would bring" and wants to postpone the idea of starting a family indefinitely. However, an unknown force influences him to change his mind and prepares him for fatherhood. The arrival of their adorable daughter Sheela is a time for much rejoicing by Natalya and Victor and marks a great change in their lives. The couple's little bundle of joy inspires their friends and loved ones to have children too. Besides being doted on by her parents, Sheela is showered with lots of tender loving care by her grandparents, especially her paternal grandmother Rebecca, with whom she seems to share a special connection from the very beginning.

A horoscope written by an Indian fortuneteller predicts that Sheela will be a beautiful and intelligent girl, with a great future ahead of her. It also indicates that Sheela has "many feelings that linger from the past," due to which "she fears and avoids large bodies of water," and that in her present life she will "reunite with two souls remembered from at least one earlier life." Sheela displays considerable psychic and intuitive abilities from the moment she is born and as foretold by the fortuneteller, she turns out to be a bright and exceptional child.

As she grows up, Sheela blossoms into a very attractive young woman, but haunted by shadows from her past life, she is unable to get romantically involved with anyone. On a trip to India at the age of nineteen, Sheela is gifted a small yellow sapphire, which she gets set into a ring and always wears for good luck. The ring helps her gain an understanding about her unusually close bond with Rebecca and her fear of swimming. Later Sheela discovers the "incarnation of everything her heart and soul" craved for all her life in a photograph shown to her by her best friend Zyan. However, she is shattered when she realizes she is in love with the man Zyan is apparently planning to marry. Will the man of Sheela's dreams remain an impossible dream? Will Natalya's worries that her daughter may "wind up a dried up old maid" become a reality?

At once mysterious and plausible, "The Pokhraj" is a spellbinding tale. Crafted with a fine blend of richly portrayed characters, an intriguing plot, a stunning depth of human emotions and philosophical insights, this page-turner is highly recommended.

Bookwire Review, October, 2005

 

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