Introduction and Information about the book
Dehradun. 1970’s. Childhood memories in hills with papaji and Beji when radishes drank milk, years moved from season to season and dragonflies under the mulberries spoke about dreams and friendships. The moment I lay my hands on this childhood memoir, I couldn’t pause reading, couldn’t pause wondering how exemplary it is ! I was awestruck and hooked at Arti’s impeccable writing skills and her simplicity at describing nature mingled with her childhood days. The panache with which she writes each chapter, bowled me over and over again. This book is second to none. The first words that sail through my mind are: – “Exquisite”,” Bravo”,” Too divine”!
- Book Name: – and all the SEASONS in between
- Author: – Arti Jain , illustrated tastefully by Arshia jain
- Reviewed By: – Daisy Bala
- Publisher: – Blogchatter
- Pages and format (Paperback or eBook):- ebook
- Language: – English
- Genre: – non-fiction
- Rating: – 5/5
About the Author
Arti Jain takes inspiration from the following refreshing opening lines in her book:-
This book is dedicated to my grandparents, papaji and Beji. They filled my world with love and magic. They raised the dreamer and believer in me. Although all the memories have been handpicked with care, some have managed to escape into magic tunnels, and have mingled with fantasy to become even more delicious in their wholesomeness. Humans, bees, seasons, radishes, age old recipes and mulberries occupy equal space and importance in this book, just like they did in my childhood.
In her book trailer, she quotes, “In a previous lifetime, I dreamt a dream so beautiful that I did everything in my power to turn it into my reality. I don’t know how many births and transformations it has taken me to be born in this shape and form, to be called Arti. But I finally found my way to Papaji and his garden. Nostalgia: sweet, tangy and utterly unforgettable will take you to a garden in Dehradun in the late seventies and the house that was attached to it. Apart from my grandparents, Papaji and Beji, you will meet a few other members of my family.
Come, let your roots drink in the story-waters of a land I remember as heaven.”
Arti is a Doha based nature lover, who blossomed into a writer, poet and photography enthusiast. She recalls that One day in May 2019, in a field full of daisies at a rest stop in Uttarakhand, when a friend called her ‘the daughter of the mountains’. This casual remark sowed the seed for this book.
Her social handles are:-
Blog: My Ordinary Moments (artismoments.blogspot.com)
The book is a terrific, succulent piece of childhood memories written with golden threads of dreams, love and longing that will vibe with your inner self. When I drank on the story waters of this heavenly land, about Papadash’s magical gardening feats, Beji’s kitchen kingdom, Artemis’s wildflower land of dragonflies, the guava escapades, Loon Kalari recipe I was satiated to the core and the ambrosia of sheer joy overflowed me like the Chaunsa’s dripping nectar.
The story is real, its about Arti’s childhood spent in the high mountains of Himalayas, with her Papadash, who sand lullabies to climbing vines and with her Beji, who reined the kitchen kingdom with her star preparations and secret masala box. The green valley of Dehra has added the sprinkle of magic in this non fictional memoir, where each effervescent chapter is telling a tale of love and memories from grandparents and grander life in the hills.
My Review – The Review Section
The cover and the title of the book are a match made in heaven. The seasons in between are the seasons of nostalgia, of Prabhat Pheri, of mulberries ripening, of dappled light brightening the Munjhi and rose petal jam preparations in the Veda. Arti’s anecdotes have etched an irrevocable mark in our hearts and minds that will allure us for a long time! The images are Arshia’s creations and surely an icing on the cake. The reader will be intrigued by it for a quick pick up and blurb check. Nature enthusiasts like me, are in for a great treat through this serenading read.
Arti breaks into Poetry and small poetic tales intermittently in the chapters and that rejuvenates the mood of the reader. The names of the chapters are eloquent and add to the interest. The mention of Artemis and her best friend dragonfly with transparent wings is heart stealing. When the moon hung low and Artemis aspired to be the best gardener of the valley under the apprenticeship of Papadash is such a beautiful narrative that I paused in the flow to exemplify the effect. Each story is like a petal in the fragrant mountain flower that blooms voraciously throughout your read. For it is common knowledge that great childhood tales need to be told for preserving our heritage and pedigree and that is the way of the world and Arti has caught the nerve bang on, making reading a luscious moment of desire.
Chapters brimming with love, gardens of sunshine, life with granns, emotions of hope and genuine care, simple exotic culinary delights, homecooked memories, interplay of innocence and unruly days, reality and fantasies will satiate your appetite. Arti’s writing style is intriguing and engaging which hooks the reader deep into the core of the stories. My favorite lines are: –
“Surrounded by High Mountains of Himalayas in the north and Shivalik Hills in the south, lay a valley called Doon. The green valley gurgled with gushing waters of River Ganga in the east and River Yamuna in the west.
Legend has it that a kind old man once lived in this land. The people of the valley
called him Papadash the Perfect. No one knew where he had come from. Some say
he hailed from a faraway Western Kingdom of the Northern Frontiers; the land of
Perpetual Spring. But, everyone in the valley knew one thing for sure: Papadash
the Perfect had magical powers.
People of Doon, the Valley of Green, had heard stories about the kind one’s ability
to talk to plants to help them grow. It was believed by the young and the old that he
sang lullabies to the climbing vines so they could sleep peacefully at night”.
I was elated to read and re-read them to gauge in the essences in full and quench my spirits.
My another set of favorite lines from the book are : –
“I haven’t made any pots
with garden soil
but losing myself in a book,
a poem, a plant, birdsong, a bloom, or
an inefficient teapot
teasing to be reused,
brings me back up:
These portals of everyday, ordinary things
suck me in.
I like to indulge in time travel, I do.
And I do it as often as it pleases me.
You could say, I’m a pro
at the art of getting lost,
disappearing into lines and words and the spaces left blank on pages of poetry.
One day, if I keep up with this practice,
I may find I’ve smudged
all my lines and dissolved
my edges on a dragonfly’s effervescent wings.
O! How magical that would be!”
and how could I not mention this one:-
“The High Mountains of Himalayas in the north and the Shivalik Hills of the south
still recall tales of the kind, old man who lived once upon a time in a Garden
where Radish drank milk. The River Ganga and the River Yamuna babble about
his magic that turned the whirlpool of questions inside Artemis into songs of belief,
of magic and of the way of all the worlds across all galaxies and universes. The
Wind carries tales of Dragonfly who loved her friend so much that she became
invisible just so Artemis would seek and see and turn her dreams to reality.
For it is common knowledge that dreams are worth pursuing through
disappointments and hardships and that is the way of all the dreamers of this
world and beyond.”
Each and every anecdote is a masterpiece and a shimmering dust of magic, waiting to diffuse in your thoughts.
I fell in love with the book and it lingered on for a while. The writing is exemplary and will enchant nature lovers to the core. It is a treat for non fiction story readers and enchants you with its sheer simplicity of storytelling.
Overall, it is a winner! I was enlightened after the read and wanted to stay hydrated in that moment of delight.
“A must have” on the bookshelf of any memoir connoisseur. Its like wine, it grows on you slowly and tastefully; intoxicates you, leaving you asking for more!
Here’s the download link for the book – and all the SEASONS in between- Arti Jain
You can also download my contemporary fiction ebook – Patna 800020– A family drama unfolds
Note: This review is part of the Blogchatter Ebook Carnival challenge. #BlogchatterEbookCarnival #Blogchatter #BookReview