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Monday, October 24, 2016

The Writer's Life 10/24 - Yoga

In 1973 Maura Moynihan moved to New Delhi when her father, New York Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan, served as the United States Ambassador to India. She graduated from the American International School, New Delhi, known as Hindi High, and learned to speak Hindi, Urdu and Tibetan. She has also traveled to Kashmir, Nepal, Bhutan, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Uzbekistan, Bangladesh, Thailand, China and Japan. She studied the music and arts of each country, which inspired her songwriting, and the creation of three albums: Yoga Hotel, Bangkok Taxi and Bombay Superstar. She has appeared in four films and written four books, two for children, a novel, and a short story collection, Yoga Hotel, which I just finished. It is smooth, skillfully written. The 282 pages seemed like a lot less. The six tales, ranging from 20 to more than 100 pages, depict life in India, particularly Delhi. The focus is more on character than story, and the players, natives and westerners, cover a wide range of types: the sincere, charlatans, the self-absorbed, the desperate, the lost, the catty, the true seekers of spirituality. She allows the reader to judge, although it is impossible to like certain characters, especially a rich British woman. I found the portrayal of middle class Indian women, their competitiveness, eye-opening. The clash of cultures is interesting. The infusion of many Indian terms lend authenticity to the work. The main drawback is the similarity of the pieces. They are unconventional compared to classics of the genre, which isn't necessarily bad. Anyone interested in India would likely enjoy the book. I've never enjoyed travel, so it is hard for me to relate to those who roam so far from home. I love America and never want to leave. A few of the characters speak harshly of it, but that isn't something certain individuals wouldn't do, so it's fair game. If the author hadn't been the daughter of the man who coined the term "Defining Deviancy Down," I probably would not have read the book. I'm glad I did. I found the following sentence particularly illuminating: "...It was so humiliating to know a mistake when in the midst of making it..." Been there. Late in the book a westerner-turned-sort-of-priest renders this gem: "...Now I have a human body which takes  8,400,000 rebirths in lower life-forms to attain..." Who knew? Only three readers at Amazon have rated Yoga Hotel, two gave it five stars, one only one. I rate it three.  

I was pleased with Trump's proposals for his first 100 days in office, then he spoiled it with his inane tweets on the battle for Mosul. His knee-jerk reaction was exactly what one would expect from left wing radicals. We want the Iraqis to win! Whether the fight was launched to help Hillary or not is irrelevant. Unfortunately, a retraction will seem phony. I'm a hairsbreadth from sitting out the election.

My thanks to Conspiracy Guy, who bought a Fish & Fowl cook book, to Gina, who bought Jackie Collins' Lovers & Players, to Jack of Chase, who bought Dick Francis' To the Hilt at my recommendation, and to the woman who bought Sandra Cisneros' The House on Mango Street.
Vic's Short Works:
Vic's 5th Novel:'s 4th novel:
Vic's 3rd Novel:
Vic's Short Story on Kindle:
Vic's Short Story Collection:
Vic's 2nd Novel: Kindle:
Vic's 1st Novel:
Read Vic's Stories, free:


  1. Travel is one of the great joys of the modern world which Americans miss. To see other wonders, to see other cultures and to taste other foods is an experience you will never get by never using a passport. It also shows what a wonderful country America is.

  2. By the way as someone of Italian heritage how can you not want to visit Italy, the place of you ancestors?