The school of life

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NO FULL TEXT AVAILABLE. This thesis contains 3rd party copyright material. ----- The School of Life follows the journeys of an Australian woman, Julietta and her ten year old daughter, Melody, who visit Kathmandu in 1970, during a chaotic time in Nepal: the Crown Prince's wedding. They arrive in Kathmandu after a holiday in Kashmir and a "fruitless search" in London for Melody 's father, an Englishman with whom Julietta enjoyed a brief encounter ten years earlier in Sydney. While all in Nepal celebrate the royal nuptials, Julietta and Melody 's holiday, spent mainly in the drug cafes of Kathmandu with fellow hippies, quickly takes a sinister tum when Julietta is wrongfully imprisoned. Until then she had been enjoying the journey of discovering freedom in a new culture, telling Melody, who was missing her school in Sydney that she was now studying at the school of life. After her arrest, Julietta's journey turns inward and she reflects on different periods in her recent and distant past that have led her to a Kathmandu jail, helplessly unable to get out and get horne to Sydney with her daughter. At first, she believes her situation is temporary but in time, she has to consider the prospect of a life without Melody. Melody believes she is responsible for Julietta's imprisonment and her experiences in Kathmandu mostly relate to her attempts to have her released. She prays to Hindu and Buddhist deities for mercy, believing if she can be obsequious enough, they will release Julietta. She makes friends with Sudip, a twelve year old Nepalese boy, who develops a crush on her and she charms many of the local shop-keepers who help her navigate her way around Nepal's complex spiritual and actual pathways. She reveres the young Kumari Goddess, believing she has the power to free her 1nother. At times, Melody's innocence leads her to danger and when her grandparents arrive in Nepal and force her to leave Kathmandu without Julietta she acts recklessly with tragic consequences. Julietta and Melody's journeys are connected by their love for one another and their determination to be together. Melody's lessons at the 'school of life' prove to be harder than she can, or should have to learn. Julietta's lessons are confronting and the price she has to pay - for seeking love, peace and happiness in the hash cafes and pie shops ofFreak Street- when it comes seems unfairly high.
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