Aama in America: A Pilgrimage of the Heart by Broughton Coburn

By Broughton Coburn

Vishnu Maya, known as Aama (Mother) through every body in her tiny Nepalese village, used to be residing excessive within the Himalayas while she befriended American Peace Corps employee Broughton Coburn in 1974. In 1988, Aama came visiting him—on a visit prescribed by means of village clergymen as a manner for the eighty-four-year-old, four-foot-eight girl to earn advantage by means of creating a tricky trip past due in life. 

Aama in Americais a shiny chronicle of what turned a twenty-five-state, coast-to-coast event. Guided by way of the perpetual interest and deeply religious orientation in their creative, unpredictable trip better half, Coburn and his fiancée progressively started to view their kingdom from a wholly new viewpoint. "Beneath the uniform, advertisement, man-made dermis of our country," Coburn writes, "Aama came across a tradition and panorama that was once alive and sacred, and she or he suggested us towards it."

Aama in America is on one point an offbeat American travelogue. yet on one other it's a profound exploration of ideals, values, and misplaced spirituality, a rediscovery of the non secular that lies underneath the outside of the United States, and a novel account of the assembly of 2 generally divergent cultures.

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ANCHOR BOOKS and colophon are registered trademarks of Random House, Inc. All photos except top photo on this page (William Thompson), this page (Eric Valli), and this page (Russell Johnson) are by the author and are reprinted by permission of the author. The Library of Congress has cataloged the hardcover edition as follows: Coburn, Broughton, 1951– Aama in America : a pilgrimage of the heart / Broughton Coburn. — 1st ed. p. cm. 1. United States—Social life and customs—1971– 2. United States—Description and travel.

Custom said that she must not prolong the farewell nor gaze homeward once she walked from the doors of her house for the last time. Sun Maya remained in the village to work and do chores, as I expected she would. In her place, Aama’s eldest grandson, Tagu, an introverted sixteen-year-old, accompanied Aama the several hours’ walk to the district center. For nearly a week they camped there in the apartment of a distant nephew. Each day they submitted her appeal to the district officials. At six o’clock in the morning near the end of the following week, Didi’s phone rang.

We continued climbing. Miniature dust clouds arose with our footsteps, which we timed to our breaths. Didi knew of Aama from my descriptions of village life, and she was eager to meet her. I told her that I regretted not having offered to take Aama to America when she was younger, to share with her my country and kin, as she had with me. Mercifully, the trail leveled out near the ridgeline, where it merged with a track worn as deep as a man’s height from centuries of barefooted heavy loads. As if impelled forward by the scenery, we strolled beneath oak and poplar and giant poinsettias bordering fields newly planted with millet seedlings.

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