By Broughton Coburn
Vishnu Maya, referred to as Aama (Mother) via every body in her tiny Nepalese village, used to be residing excessive within the Himalayas whilst she befriended American Peace Corps employee Broughton Coburn in 1974. In 1988, Aama came over him--on a visit prescribed through village clergymen as a fashion for the eighty-four-year-old, four-foot-eight girl to earn advantage by means of creating a tough trip overdue in existence.
Aama in Americais a bright chronicle of what turned a twenty-five-state, coast-to-coast experience. Guided through the perpetual interest and deeply non secular orientation in their inventive, unpredictable shuttle significant other, Coburn and his fiancée steadily started to view their state from a wholly new viewpoint. "Beneath the uniform, advertisement, man-made dermis of our country," Coburn writes, "Aama came upon a tradition and panorama that used to be alive and sacred, and he or she urged us towards it."
Aama in the US is on one point an offbeat American travelogue. yet on one other it's a profound...
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Extra resources for Aama in America. A Pilgrimage of the Heart
Yet each of the bank staff likely coveted the chance to visit or find work in America, the country still considered more than any the land of unlimited wealth and opportunity, where money might be picked up from the airport tarmac upon arrival, but in any event would be found lying on the streets in town. They knew that if Vishnu Maya was my bride, we would have to live overseas forever, because Nepal provided long-term visas only to foreign women—not to foreign men—who married Nepalese. Passport approval was not exactly under the bank’s authority, but the gravity of this breach of tradition justified insinuation into the approval process.
Signifying the beginning of a new venture, thin blades of dubo grass, the hair of Vishnu, hung from the corners of her mouth, clamped in her teeth, which prevented her from speaking. Parting words could only be inadequate. Custom said that she must not prolong the farewell nor gaze homeward once she walked from the doors of her house for the last time. Sun Maya remained in the village to work and do chores, as I expected she would. In her place, Aama’s eldest grandson, Tagu, an introverted sixteen-year-old, accompanied Aama the several hours’ walk to the district center.
She had never broken a bone, though she had nearly died from malaria and intestinal complaints, sicknesses that were diagnosed and treated by her cousin, the shaman. In a trance, he would journey to the underworld to encounter and identify the demons afflicting her, then allow them to manifest in his own body, sometimes brutally. In these late-night treatment sessions, relatives would watch calmly as the doctor-shaman, called to effect a cure, would attack and attempt to strangle the patient, offering Aama a window of chance in the immediate, physical world to fight off the normally unapproachable demons.