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Author Q&A ft Kavitha Yaga Buggana | WALKING IN CLOUDS Book Tour | Goddess Fish Promotions Presents Travel Memoir

Goddess Fish Promotions has organized a Virtual Book Tour for WALKING IN CLOUDS , A Journey To Mount Kailash and Lake Manasarovar by K...


Goddess Fish Promotions has organized a Virtual Book Tour for WALKING IN CLOUDS , A Journey To Mount Kailash and Lake Manasarovar by Kavitha Yaga Buggana. The travel memoir is available now from HarperCollins India.

Be sure to follow the tour and comment; the more you comment, the better your chances of winning. The tour dates can be found by clicking the tour banner below.

Kavitha Yaga Buggana will be awarding a $25 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.




Walking in Clouds,
A Journey To Mount Kailash and Lake Manasarovar
by Kavitha Yaga Buggana


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GENRE: Travel Memoir, Non-Fiction


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BLURB:


Will we make it?

That's the question Kavitha and her cousin, Pallu, ask themselves as they trek through Himalayan pine forests and unforgiving mountains in Nepal and Tibet. Their goal: to reach Mount Kailash and Lake Manasarovar.

The two women walk to ancient monasteries, meditate on freezing slopes, dance on the foothills of Kailash, and confront death in the thin mountain air. In Kailash and Manasarovar, the holiest of Hindu and Buddhist sites, they struggle to reconcile their rationalist views with faith and the beloved myths of their upbringing. Remarkably, it is this journey that helps them discover the meaning of friendship.

Walking in Clouds is a beautifully crafted memoir of a journey to far-away places and a journey to the places within.



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EXCERPT:


Beauty of Himalayas and Mountains – The Divine in Nature
Pages 109 - 110:

As if by unspoken agreement, the three of us each find a rock and sit in silence. I close my eyes and listen to the fierce roar of the wind. At my feet, the stream murmurs as it runs over mossy rocks. While I remain as still as the rock beneath me, I feel like a little child, barely able to restrain myself from jumping up and running around in elation. I feel a deep connection with the other two women, though we are sitting apart, immersed in our own ways of silence.

Amidst the cold wind and the moving clouds, a hush pervades the moment. I am filled with the silence in all things: the mountain, the flowing water, the iridescent snow, the cold pure air, the blue sky. There is a hymn for the god Rudra, an ancient form of Shiva, that celebrates the presence of the god in the world and in nature. Snippets of the hymn remind me of the peace of the moment.

Salutations to the one (Rudra),


Who lives in holy waters and on every shore,


Who is in the deepest lakes and in every drop of dew,


Who pervades the atoms and who lives in the dust.


Salutations to him,


Who is in the white clouds of autumn,


And who is in the heat of the sun.


Salutations to him:


Who is tender grass and foam,


Who is sand and water,


And sound and echo.


Unnamed poets composed these verses hundreds of years ago. They lived, immersed in nature. As they tilled the land or hunted for food or lay looking at the sky, they must have felt moments of stillness. Feeling the immensity of the world around them and the minuteness of their existence, they must have sensed the futility and pathos of this world of striving. Faced with the terrible, mysterious beauty of their world, would they have felt helpless or joyful? Peaceful or afraid? From these verses, it seems to me that they felt all these things, that they sensed the divine in nature.



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AUTHOR Interview:


Who is your intended audience and why should they read your book?


Anyone who likes books on travel, spirituality, Tibet, Nepal, Hindu or Buddhist myths, or women’s writing might enjoy the ‘Walking in Clouds’.


The book tries to draw readers into its visually-rich world of picturesque mountains, monasteries and more, while also recounting a tale of friendship and finding the self between reason and belief. Interwoven with history, mythology, spiritual ideas, and the thrilling, intriguing experiences of two women travelling together, it has something for everyone. The over sixty stunning photographs taken by fellow travelers are also a big draw.



How did you come up with the title of your book?
‘Walking in Clouds’ describes the experience of walking in places so high, they seem to belong more to the sky than to the earth. The title also has a dreamy quality which is how the journey sometimes felt. I also have a chapter titled ‘Walking in Clouds’ and it’s a pivotal moment in the story where everything changes and it echoes with the title of the book.


Who is your favorite character from your book and why?


The people in my book are my fellow travelers and I enjoyed writing about all of them. We’ve become good friends. But if I had to choose the most inspirational person I would choose Ying.

Ying, a slight woman from China, now lives in New Jersey and has a bad leg that drags. Still Ying, with her formidable mental strength, woke up every morning, picked up her backpack, and placed one foot in front of the other and on and on till she scaled the most difficult slopes of our trip.

On our snack breaks, Pallu and I saw Ying trudging up the path. Stop a while, we would tell her, take a break. But she would refuse. Her jaw set, her eyes focused on the path, she’d tell us she was afraid to stop even for moment because if she did, she didn’t know if she would have the strength to start again. And despite her exhaustion and the bad leg Ying often carried her heavy camera and photography equipment everywhere for the next great shot.

At the end of the trip, Ying observed ‘Journey is not about ego … I don’t think it is about competing. If you are not strong enough, so what? It does not matter. If you need help, hire a porter. If you can’t walk, ride a pony. If you can’t go fast, go slow. It is not about being first or being strong or taking it as a challenge. Do the journey however you can do it. Don’t let other people stop you.’

Our guide, Chhiring, told us Ninety percent of the journey is about mental strength. By that metric Ying had always been the most likely of all of us to finish the journey.


Ying With Her Camera


If you could change ONE thing about your novel, what would it be? Why?


I would have put in a section on the similarities between Buddhist beliefs and Hindu beliefs as there are many. Kaialsh and Manasarovar are holy to both Hindus and Buddhists, so it would have been interesting to explore these ideas. But it would have taken too much time to research and write and I wouldn’t have made my deadlines, so I dropped the idea.

Give us an interesting fun fact or a few about your book:


When my cousin Pallu and I finally made it to Kailash, it was our third attempt. The first fell apart when everyone in the group dropped out for logistical or health reasons. On the second attempt, Pallu and I made it Kathmandu, Nepal, where the journey was to start. But at the last minute the Chinese authorities, fearing political tensions, revoked our permits.
We dropped the idea of the journey – it just wasn’t meant to be.

It was at the end of July when the travel company called us. Pallu and I were astonished. There was a group going to Kailash and Manasarovar did we want to join? Pallu and I signed up immediately.

I find it ironic that the first two times we wanted to go on the journey things didn’t work out. The third time we had given up on the journey, but it appears the journey hadn’t given up on us. We went not when we wanted to, but when we were called.   


Kailash From Manasarovar - Photo Credit Ying


What other books are similar to your own? What makes them alike?


India’s foremost travel magazine, Outlook Traveler said “[Kavitha’s] mix of Oriental-Occidental wisdom can dot the readers' minds with the spray of sparkling Himalayan stars.”


This is an astute observation. Books on Kailash and Manasarovar are mostly written either by Western travelers with an outside-in perspective (looking at Eastern cultures with Western eyes) or they are devotional accounts by Hindu/Buddhist pilgrims. “Walking in Clouds” explores this age-old journey through the eyes of an atheist who has been brought up in the Hindu cultural traditions associated with these places. It’s an insider perspective with an outsider distance.


How can we contact you or find out more about your books?


You can contact me at info@KavithaYagaBuggana.com and my website (www.KavithaYagaBuggana.com) has all my interviews, reviews, and appearances at events and literary festivals.




I have an Instgram handle @kybuggana and my twitter handle is @BugganaYaga


What can we expect from you in the future?
I hope to come out with my book of short stories sometime in 2020 or 2021.
I’m also intrigued by the idea of a murder mystery set in Cambodia or Northeast India.

In any case, my next book will be fiction.

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AUTHOR Bio and Links:


Kavitha Yaga Buggana lives in Hyderabad, India with her husband. They have two children and very excitable golden retriever.

Her essays and short fiction have been published in The Hindu, River Teeth Journal, Tehelka, Out of Print Magazine, JaggeryLit, and Muse India Magazine. Her travel memoir, Walking in Clouds was released in December 2018 by HarperCollins, India.

In previous avatars, she was a software engineer in Chicago and a developmental economist doing field work in Angallu village, South India.






BUY THE BOOK:

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Walking-Clouds-Journey-Kailash-Manasarovar-ebook/dp/B07KLH7KYL/ref=sr_1_fkmrnull_1

BN: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/walking-in-clouds-kavitha-yaga-buggana/1129888142


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GIVEAWAY:


Kavitha Yaga Buggana will be awarding a $25 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

15 comments

  1. Replies
    1. Thanks so much for hosting my book! Look forward to interacting with everyone.

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    2. It's my pleasure. Best of luck with the book and book tour! I included the tour in the Wednesday, May. 08, 2019 edition of The BookTube Your Shelf Daily Reader: https://paper.li/Readeropolis/1517059010#/

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    3. Wonderful! Thanks so much! Kavitha

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  2. Thanks for sharing your book with us. I think we all enjoy hearing about new books we previously didn't know about. Also, thank you for the giveaway.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks James! Let me know if you have any questions about the book.

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  3. How did you come up with the title for the book?

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    Replies
    1. Hi Bernie. When I was in those places so close to the sky, I felt as if I were Walking in Clouds. It hasn’t that dreamy quality. Also the title of one of the chapters is Walking in Clouds and that is the pivotal chapter in the book. Those are some of the reasons for the title

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  4. Thank you for your comments. Kavitha

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  5. Sounds like a fantastic book, and I'm looking forward to reading it.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Anita! I hope you enjoy it. Let me know if you have any questions at info@www.kavithayagabuggana.com

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