I picked up ‘The weight of a Cherry Blossom’ as it promised to speak about the experience of being not rooted in one place. As someone who has grown up in multiple places and roots literally nowhere, I thought I have discovered something that I would resonate with.

The weight of a Cherry Blossom by Shruti Buddhavarapu

In my 40s now, I realize both the sunny side and the dark side of not being rooted. I was looking for a reflection of my own sense of ease in any new place and a sense of not belonging to any one place. I wanted to hear about friends in every possible city but no real friends to share your day to day joys and sorrows.

The first part of the book talks about the ‘Weight’ of the author. I love the way she expresses herself. The way she can make the most mundane look utterly important and full of meaning. However, once you get used to her language, it is all about her personal health and relationship problems. I do not know if they are caused by constant movement between places or they get inflated when you do not feel you belong to a place.

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I lost track and could not connect it to the theme of the book in this section.

The second part called ‘Weightlessness’ is a much smaller but more cheerful part. There are occasional gems like – ‘There is a certain loneliness that comes from working towards no longer depending on others for your day-to-day. I hold some resentment towards this necessity of sharpening the blade of independence for years of living alone, and then being too sharp around the edges for any coeval living. You sharpen, sharpen, sharpen yourself until you cannot touch anyone without the risk of hurting them or being hurt yourself’.

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She takes you to the various houses she has lived in and what those houses have meant for her. You get a peep into her love life, her rendezvous with dating apps. Overall, I think it takes a lot of courage to put your life threadbare in front of others. Right from the pain that your uterus gives you to what you feel in your relationships.

The lavender cover with a minimalistic design is soothing. I have rarely seen a lilac or lavender color on the book covers. The cover also justifies the second part of the book, not the first. This along with the language of the book has to be the highlight of this book.

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Glimpse of Author

I was expecting a bit deeper relationship with the places in the book. But the author shares more of her own relationship with herself in the book. In an unusual memoir, she gives you a glimpse of the loneliness that comes with relocating too many times. She lets you peep into her insecurities, her vulnerabilities, her guards.

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Memoir

She is just another working professional in the world. Who could be anybody, including most of her readers? You mostly get to read the memoirs of rich and famous. People whose lives are very different from the life of an average citizen of the world. The focus is to talk about what was different in their life journey. This memoir, on the contrary, is of an average person who grows up in an urban setting, has usual dreams, average life. Yet there she finds a voice that wants to share a story.

You can pick it up if you like reading long monologues. That takes you through the thoughts of a solo protagonist.

Take your call.

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