The Ashram

The Ashram

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The Ashram

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The Ashram is a 2000 novel by Indian writer Sattar Memon. It deals with the plight of an oppressed young woman in India. It also entails the subjects of the spirituality of life, love and death.

Plot summary

Dr. Jonathan Kingsley, traveling to a Himalayan spiritual hermitage, tries to save himself from suicidal thoughts after the death of his wife. This hermitage, known as an Ashram, was meant to provide him peace even as he sought to rehabilitate others through volunteer work. But he never expected the practices and rituals he would discover, or imagined himself trying to save one woman from her unwanted future.

As the doctor searches for an excuse to keep on living, Seeta struggles to keep her own husband alive, not only out of love, but for her own safety. The townspeople of Baramedi, bowing to the wishes of a local landowner (nicknamed Satan), have decided that when her husband dies, Seeta should climb atop a burning pyre to burn with his body. This practice of suttee, out of use for many years, brings Jonathan to her town in an effort to save her, but when he arrives at the pyre, he realizes there is more to his journey and that-- unbeknownst to him -- the woman’s safety is intricately tied with his own spiritual salvation. A woman's emancipation from oppressive culture and fear of men; a man's overcoming of inability to cope with death and learning to love--again!

Awards and nominations

The Ashram has won a top prize in the Writer’s Digest International(2005)...
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