A train stops at a railway station. A young woman jumps off. She has wild hair, sloppy clothes, and a distracted air. She looks Indian, yet she is somehow not. The sudden violence of what happens next leaves the other passengers gasping. The train terminates at Jarmuli, a temple town by the sea. Here, among pilgrims, priests, and ashrams, three old women disembark only to encounter the girl once again. What is someone like her doing in this remote corner, which attracts only worshippers? Over the next five days, the old women live out their long planned dream of a holiday together; their temple guide finds ecstasy in forbidden love; and the girl is joined by a photographer battling his own demons. The full force of the evil and violence beneath the serene surface of the town becomes evident when their lives overlap and collide. Unexpected connections are revealed between devotion and violence, friendship and fear as Jarmuli is revealed as a place with a long, dark past that transforms all who encounter it.
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by Nadeem Aslam
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by Linda Egenes, Kumuda Reddy
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by Donia Bijan
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by Roy Bates
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"Four women travel in the same train car, each on a journey to the seaside temple city of Jarmuli, India. Deepti Gupta demonstrates her dexterity as a narrator as she depicts these four very different women. Listeners will enjoy these talents, appreciating the range of voices, accents, and pronunciations used to establish the personas of Gouri, Vidya, Lathika, and Nomi. The variety Gupta provides is essential to the listener who is trying to keep up with a story that alternates point of view from chapter to chapter. Humor is edged by violence in this contemporary story of Indian women in search of meaning. M.R. © AudioFile 2016, Portland, Maine"
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