“India and my Persian garden… a journey into my soul” by Barbara Athanassiadis
A book review by James P. Mimikos, J.D.
The writer is an internationally accomplished travel writer delving deeply into “the Art of Travel” – but she approaches her visits and descriptions in a spiritual way. By this I mean her books bring out our subconscious emotions and feelings for the places she writes about. She does not tell us “here is this and here is that” like traditional writers.
Specifically, she takes us beyond the objective superficial and deep into the spiritual side of the splendor of India for those willing to open their third eye.
Here is how she describes the City Palace of Udaipur:
“…There was no moon that night. Instead, thousands of starts could be seen dazzling the night sky like so many diamonds while, on the opposite bank, and beautifully lit up, was the City Palace, with all its domes, closed terraces and ledges with ornate. As I gazed at it, I saw colors swirling in the water: green; red; yellow…”
This chapter alone made me want to get on a plane and visit the palace.
But there is more.
She delves into and explores the great palaces of the Maharajas including The Taj Mahal; The Lake Palace in Udaipur; Rambagh in Jaipur; The Maharani of Jaipur and her practical spiritual contribution to Jaipur and the love she both gave and received from the people.
While today many of the palaces operate as luxury hotels, she takes you into the forgotten mist of what these historical monuments meant both then and today… for readers and visitors who are open to exploring the relationship of their soul to beauty.
How many of us have stayed at or visited these historical monuments and saw beyond the settings, silverware, service, cuisine, curtains and yes, even the gardens? “Oh, look how pretty everything is” and we move on.
Perhaps more importantly, she finds beauty where others see toil or misery: She went on an adventurous trek far away from comforts. She meets and talks with Indian farm-women whom she delicately and elegantly describes how they approach life “with a regal bearing” equal to, and perhaps more so, than any salons of the wealthy.
She tells how her formal dress for an upcoming reception was lost and the stress it caused upon her arrival at the Lake Palace in Udaipur. Overlooking its peaceful pool garden, she thought:
“… Inhale rose petals. Exhale dresses.
It was all so easy. A single moment in time had replaced five years of psychoanalysis. Later, I went by the pool to write my travel journal: ‘My World of Great Beauties’. I began the chapter, but it wasn’t about the wonderful things I was discovering in India, but about the wonderful things I was discovering within myself.”
I strongly recommend this book to Greeks (and others) who want to travel with a new approach to life. Her way of exploring India can also open our eyes to the Acropolis and anywhere else we visit.
I also strongly recommend it to Indians who want to have a closer spiritual bond with the true beauty of their culture and county that has come down through the ages.
Simply put, her book is a guide on how to see the world around you wherever you are.
Her web site is https://barbaraathanassiadis.com/ where she describes all her books (Rome, Venice, Greece, Egypt and more) supplemented with beautiful photos, videos, and articles.
A short video trailer on YouTube presents a feast of visual delights of her India travels.
India – Fantasy and Reality
The India book is available on Amazon in both Paperback and Kindle https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01C4R4S4A
It is also available on Apple, Google, and Kobo
I am presently reading her book “Greece: The Dance of the Seas”. Yes, let your imagination run wild and you too will appreciate life better dancing on the Grecian seas!