In the summer of 2009, my mother fell seriously ill and I was with her in Bangalore. At the time I was halfway through writing WTLB and called the manuscript Rajam. It was an extremely difficult time. I was writing the book for my mother yet I wasn’t sure she would live to read it. Then one night in May, nine Brahmakamalam flowers bloomed in her garden and I knew she would be fine and live to enjoy my dedication to her. My book and my life is for my amazing mother. I had the title for my book and in three months the manuscript was written.
Last year a friend sent me two leaves from this plant which I planted and for the last year have been watering faithfully like Rajam in my book. I don’t know what the future holds but I believe the blooming of the lotus will change my destiny and manifest my dreams.
Here is an excerpt from the book which explains the legend I have created from the Blooming of the Brahmakamalam
Brahmakamalam, the exotic Himalayan beauty, is called by many names — the Fragrant Queen of the Night, Golden Heart, and Star of Bethlehem. A plant, which, by a whim of nature grows only in the Himalayas, the abode of the god Shiva, around Mount Kailash and in the verdant valleys of Mansarovar. Ancient Hindu Texts refer to this flower as being special to Shiva, although the word Brahmakamalam translates to Lotus of Brahma. Perhaps this was the golden lotus on which Brahma was seated as he emerged from the navel of Vishnu to create the universe. So incomparable is this flower that it symbolizes every aspect of creation, expressing itself in the world we live in as a tribute to the creator. It creates from within itself in a design so complete that it overloads the beholder with emotion, sensation, and passion — a lotus that includes aspects of Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva within its physical form. A unique plant, the likes of which is not found in any other part of the world, a flower which some say, belongs to the sunflower family, while others swear is an epiphyte, a cactus, or a lotus.
The first impression is deceptive, as its long drooping leaves look like any common foliage. But its magic lies in leaves and flowers growing out of the leaves themselves and not from a stem. It has been seen in full bloom in spring and winter, and those who have the honor of seeing the Brahmakamalam flower, never forget the experience. At first a limp pinkish bud appears, and for a while nothing happens, then all of a sudden, mirroring the miracle of life, it unravels in white splendor. The outer petals are thin and pointed, revealing within its folds a round petalled mound that uncannily resembles a Shiva Lingam. Over this mound are white stamens tipped with yellow, resembling the hood of a cobra suggesting Adishesha, the hooded serpent associated with Vishnu.
Once a year it spreads elation and joy as it opens its face in the delicate moonlight for humans to admire. It blossoms only once a year, only for three or four hours, after which the petals wilt and fall to the ground. While the plant is in full bloom, its consummate fragrance is unparalleled, defying description, leaving the privileged gasping at its magnificence.