A Foreign Correspondent's Search for Her Cultural and Spiritual Identity
What began as an assignment from her editor at the Wall Street Journal to investigate "America's hottest new fad," the secrets of sexual ecstasy in Tantra, became a story that would lead reporter Asra Nomani halfway around the world and change forever her life, faith, and self-identity. From a New Age Tantric seminar in Santa Cruz to sitting at the feet of the Dalai Lama in India, from meditation caves in Thailand to crossing the Khyber Pass with Muslim militants and staring down the barrel of an Afghan soldier's AK-47, Nomani's trek unexpectedly climaxes in Pakistan, where she risks great danger in joining the hunt for kidnapped fellow reporter Danny Pearl. She travels the globe in search of this elusive "divine love," but ultimately hers is a journey of self-discovery in which the divine within herself and within all women all "tantrikas" is revealed.
|Product dimensions:||5.50(w) x 8.68(h) x 0.76(d)|
About the Author
Asra Q. Nomani is a former Wall Street Journal correspondent, has also written for the Washington Post, New York Times, and Time magazine on Islam, and has covered the war in Afghanistan for Salon.com. She has spoken about women’s rights in Islam on CNN, PBS, NPR, and the BBC. A Muslim born in India, Nomani was raised in the foothills of West Virginia, and currently lives in Morgantown with her son, Shibli.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I came across the name of Asra Nomani in Marian Pearl¿s book A Mighty Heart where she was present throughout the book while surprisingly Bernard-Henri Levy in his book Who Killed Daniel Pearl ? hardly mentioned her name. In her book Marian had written that Danny and she (Marian) stayed in Asra¿s rented house in Defense Society, Karachi. When Marian questioned her as to what was she doing in Karachi Asra told her that she was doing research on Kama Sutra. To the question that Kama Sutra was an Indian book why was she staying in Pakistan Asra replied that she was doing research on the spiritual aspects of Kama Sutra. According to her Tantra is the means to reach sexual fulfillment spiritually by practicing Yoga. Tantrika is the one who practices Tantra. Thus it is the story of Asra who is a Tantrika herself. Perhaps readers would be aware of the fact that there are hundreds of Tantra Companies throughout the world that teach the practice of Tantra to their members. If the book Tantrika is the outcome of Asra¿s research carried out in Karachi on the subject then its is hardly worth all the time and money she spent. However, the book describes her journeys into Indian sub-continent where the art or science of Tantra is actually practiced. Since it is autobiographical in substance therefore we come to know about Asra¿s background and Danny comes into the picture when Asra joins Wall Street Journal as a reporter. Earlier on insistence of her parents Asra had married a Pakistani young man with whom her marriage lasted only for four months ending in a divorce. She has not written the reasons for the divorce and lays the blame exclusively on her former husband. She writes that at that juncture Danny provided her psychological relief. A chemistry developed between the two and when Danny was asked to move to Pakistan from Bombay he stayed at Asra¿s residence in Karachi with his wife Marian. Asra recounts the tragic murder of Danny at the hands of extremists in Karachi and relates the details of the futile search carried out for him after he was kidnapped. She flew out of Karachi with Marian after the confirmation of Danny¿s murder. On a personal note Asra talks in the book about her affair with a young Pakistani journalist of Karachi resulting in the birth of a son whom she ironically names as Shibli after the name of Allama Shibli Naumani a well known Indian religious scholar who happens to be one of her ancestors. In her description of Danny¿s episode she corroborates the story told by Marian. However, the story of Asra on personal level is quite depressing. She seems to be torn between the two worlds -- East and West. Islam does not allow a woman to have a child out of wedlock and the punishment suggested is stoning to death. Asra who was brought up by her parents in a religious atmosphere therefore tried to find solace in Hinduism and Buddhism. But her confusion still persists.
¿Tantrika¿ is not a book on sex or sex-techniques. Readers looking this aspect, will not find in this book. 'Tantrika' is a philosophical and deep thinking book, written in a simple and enjoyable way. One never gets bored. Actually one will get so much involved in reading they will hesitate to stop or take a break. One becomes one of the characters. One will feel that the author is describing the reader¿s own emotions and experiences. It deals with the struggle of a young immigrant women. To read this book, one need not be young or an immigrant. Women and men of all ages, ethnic groups, faiths and race will enjoy the book and get emotionally affected. It will help in attaining peace within oneself and the environment - especially among people. It will help in better understanding one¿s religion and other faiths. The book helps us respect ourselves and other people. It will help in bringing harmony and peace in the world. Modern day tensions and problems often lead to stressful married life and broken marriages. The book clearly demonstrates the strong relationship between sexuality and spirituality. Positive female and male energy will contribute to happy married life and the working environment. This book is not a novel or a fiction. It is a true story about the experiences of the author. The author is describing the real world and the shock of the hypocrisy and duality of people. The reader will discover how deeply people have forgotten the real message of their religion today. Another dimension of this book is that it can serve as excellent reading material for college students in disciplines such as diversity programs, international studies, counseling and rehabilitation, sociology, social work, philosophy, psychology, religion and culture, English creative writing. In summary, ¿Tantrika¿ is a deeply philosophical and very enjoyable book. It opens the mind of the reader. Everybody gets benefited in both their spiritual and real worlds.