MAY 2012
Khaas Baat : A Publication for Indian Americans in Florida


Book Reviews By NITISH S. RELE,


Set in British Colonial India, “When the Lotus Blooms” takes the reader on a journey to British Colonial India while following the lives of two child brides intertwined with several intriguing characters. There’s Rajam who is fighting her failure to conceive, tormented by a dominant mother-in-law. And Dharmu, who is struggling to adjust to her husband’s Westernized life. In the process, the author casts light on the injustices of patriarchy, imperialism and caste.

Coral Springs author Kanchana Krishnan Ayyar admits the idea for her debut novel came when she felt that her children had a disconnect with India. “I felt like they didn’t even know what our ancestors did living in British India,” she says. “So I wanted to give them a glimpse of that life when some of these girls got married at age 12.”

Former Undersecretary General of United Nations Shashi Tharoor has contributed the foreword for the book. “‘When the Lotus Blooms’ is a deeply arresting novel,” notes the well-known writer himself. “The well-realized characters come alive from the very first chapter … She (author) offers us a panoramic view of small town India, with its interesting collection of inhabitants, whose characters and concerns are depicted in subtle and varying shades. At times dark, at times inspiring, the chapters in this novel weave a tapestry of moods that ultimately beguile the reader into feeling a part of the lives of the protagonists.”

Kanchana Krishnan AyyarA native of New Delhi, Ayyar lived in Mexico City, Buenos Aires and New York City before moving to Coral Springs in 1999. She began writing the book about three years ago and, after several attempts to find a publisher, decided to take the plunge. She self-published “When the Lotus Blooms” in November 2011. “It was a pleasure and most fulfilling to write the book,” she says. “It was quite a journey.”

Ayyar feels invigorated after experimenting with several careers. “I learned how important it is for everyone to seek out their passion and pursue their goals surmounting any obstacles,” she says. “How would you recognize your chosen quest as the perfect path? It will feel just right.”

Ayyar will be launching the book in India, spending two weeks in Bangalore, New Delhi and Calcutta this month. “I am marketing the book through the Indian community here in the United States also,” she says. “As well as through book groups and word of mouth also helps.”

A devout Art of Living Foundation disciple, she is already at work on her next book “The Present: A Gift From the Divine.” And she already has plans for a sequel to her first book.

“When the Lotus Blooms” is available for $14.95 on Amazon. The book is priced at $9.99 on Kindle.

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