There are others who have gone ahead of me, scouting, getting lost, running into demons and in some cases fighting them off and in others retreating in search of paths easier to travel. We take different perspectives to life. Our stories are like two rivers dancing, intertwined one moment and heading in opposite directions in others. We share certain experiences and feelings but have come away with different interpretations of the things that have happened.
Much of the way Asha Miro approaches life and has found and created meaning from parts of her journey does not resonate with me. We are very different in our views about why adoption happens, what it means to be an adopted person and the upbringing that we each experienced. Nonetheless, I have learned much from her two part book, Daughter of the Ganges which is an autobiographical account of two separate trips Asha took to India to search for family and culture. The second part of the book is focused on Asha’s second trip back to India called The Two Faces of the Moon.
Asha was adopted when she was 7 years old by a family in Barcelona that already had one young Indian daughter. Asha explains throughout the book the depth and persistence with with her parents document her life as she grows up. They create a record for her of her childhood and all those moments good and bad from the moment she touches down. Asha’s mother gives her the dairy she wrote in everyday as Ash was growing up just before she boards the plane to India for the first time. Throughout Daughter of the Ganges Asha juxtaposes her experience returning to India with her mother’s experiences and feelings of having her newly arrived and in Barcelona. It is a nice literary dynamic but it also makes me realize how badly I want that record, that knowledge of what and who I was as a baby.
I am struck at how different her two experiences are from her first time back compared to her second. Her first feels naive, innocent and very good natured. She, as I would do myself, trusts that others have her best interest at heart and ends up receiving information that is not wholly accurate. Her return journey number two is a different story. She pushes people for information, gets the necessary help and is able to create some amazing connections.
Reading other people’s stories for me is difficult. I want everyone to approach the world the same as me so I can see how it would work out. Asha approaches the world differently. We are looking for different things as we reach back into our past and reach out towards India. Given that tendency I am very glad I came across her story and that she chose to share and write about it.
The books are no longer in print but you can find them online. I’m glad to ship my copy to anyone who is interested in getting their hands on a copy, just drop me a line.