Guesthouse for Ganesha by Judith Teitelman
English | 2019 | General Fiction/Classics | ePUB | 1.7 Mb
Guesthouse for Ganesha: In 1923, seventeen-year-old Esther Grünspan arrives in Köln “with a hardened heart as her sole luggage.” Thus begins a twenty-two-year journey, woven against the backdrops of the European Holocaust and the Hindu Kali Yuga (the “Age of Darkness” when human civilization degenerates spiritually), in search of a place of sanctuary. Throughout her travails, using cunning and shrewdness, Esther relies on her masterful tailoring skills to help mask her Jewish heritage, navigate war-torn Europe, and emigrate to India.
Esther’s traveling companion and the novel’s narrator is Ganesha, the elephant-headed Hindu God worshipped by millions for his abilities to destroy obstacles, bestow wishes, and avenge evils. Impressed by Esther’s fortitude and relentless determination, born of her deep―though unconscious―understanding of the meaning and purpose of love, Ganesha, with compassion, insight, and poetry, chooses to highlight her story because he recognizes it is all of our stories―for truth resides at the essence of its telling.
Weaving Eastern beliefs and perspectives with Western realities and pragmatism, Guesthouse for Ganesha is a tale of love, loss, and spirit reclaimed. .
“It was a beautiful, crisp fall night. The first calm sea experienced since leaving port. The four days prior had been stormy with giant swells, and most of the passengers had severe seasickness. But tonight the sea, and with it the ship, were at peace and gliding easily across the deep.
A young couple decided to take advantage of the night’s tranquility and went for a stroll around the deck. They came on a barefoot Esther spinning and leaping, completely oblivious to her surroundings. Fearful she would soar over the railing, the man grabbed her, and immediately Esther began to mumble, incoherently it seemed, about a man—about an elephant—about freedom.
“My God,” he yelled. “She’s burning up. Get the doctor!”
Within minutes Esther was back in her bed, covered in cloths filled with ice. The ship’s doctor forced a few pills down her throat.
The pure bliss of the past few hours dissipated; her teeth chattered without control, and her body shook violently. Soon her being began to relax as the drugs seeped into her bloodstream, their power taking dominance over that which had brought her to such a state of joy.”