In 2011, Nandita Chakraborty fell 40 metres during a horrific rock climbing accident which left her with a traumatic brain injury resulting in a cognitive disability. Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a major cause of lifelong disability and death worldwide, but is considered a ‘silent epidemic’ as society is largely unaware of the magnitude of the problem. For people with a cognitive disability it is common to have problems with attention, concentration, speech and language, learning and memory, reasoning, planning and problem-solving. Nandita became aware of the severity of her disability when in 2016, she found herself on a Melbourne street with no memory of who or where she was. Later that year she also lost her job and experienced the death of her father and by the end of 2016 Nandita found herself homeless and relying on the generosity of friends for shelter.
Nandita has always been an advocate of love, despite having experienced many disappointments including the breakdown of her marriage and then a subsequent blackmail encounter through an online dating experience. However, it was the death of her father that shook her completely and drove her back to her first love, writing. Her second book, Meera Rising came to life at this time as she poured her grief and loss into a book about love.
Nandita says, “Through this book I want to remind people that against all odds – love always finds a way to be permanent. God is just a medium to come and shake up people’s beliefs but it’s the human mind that learns to accept love.”
The book is set in both her adopted hometown of Melbourne and in Delhi, India. The characters are inspired by the life of Meera, also known as Meera Bai or Mirabai, who was a 16th-century Hindu mystic poet and devotee of the god, Krishna. Most legends about Meera mention her as having fearless disregard for social and family conventions, her devotion to the god Krishna and her treating Krishna as her husband. The book Meera Rising tells the tale of a young Indian immigrant woman called Meera, an Australia man called Brian, and the god, Krishna, as not one but two lovers fight for her love.
The book flies in the face of traditional Indian taboos and gender roles with Meera taking charge of not only her own life but her sexuality as well. It also pays homage to the Australian way of life and is an ode, by an immigrant, to the life that is offered here as well as a reminder of the importance of one’s culture. With this book Nandita hopes to remind Indian ex-pats about the beauty of Indian mythology by bringing it to life in the 21stcentury.
The book is available for purchase for $AUD29.95 through Nandita’s website http://nanditachakrabortyauthor.com.au/ or via Amazon.