Read of the Week

Dakini in the Sky with Diamonds

Ushka Devi


Review: Brian Joss

A dakini is the Sanskrit name for a sky dancer and is a tantric priestess of ancient India who “carried the souls of the dead to the sky” and is a female of volatile temperament, who acts as a muse for spiritual practice.

It appears that people who visit India enter a parallel universe and undergo a mind and life-altering experience.

This seems to be the case with Dakini in the Sky with Diamonds: A memoir written by Scarborough resident, Ushka Devi.

I can’t decide if it’s fiction or fact, perhaps it’s a mixture of both.

In Dakini in the Sky with Diamonds, the heroine, Ella Devina, is a South African performance artist who flees to Europe with dreams of stardom, after a romance goes sour.

But life gets in the way and she ends up in Goa, India, where she is caught up in the psychedelic trance scene.

Ella meets many weird and wonderful people, as well a freaks, some of them at Lily’s Chai Shop, where she makes what appears to be a pact with Diablo (the devil) and is hospitalised in Bombay.

Then back to South Africa, penniless, with a travel bag, empty, except for three silks; one unsexy panty, a toothbrush, spectacles, a gossamer veil and one pair of men’s khaki Punjabis. (Remember the Beatles hit song, Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds, that featured on Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band which was released in 1967. Debate still rages if it was about the drug, LSD, even though John Lennon said the song was inspired by a drawing his then four-year-old son Julian did of a school friend).

The book is full of musings and philosophising on the meaning of life: especially about the Divine Feminine within.

The dialogue is sometimes hard to decipher, at times it is disjointed.

Dakini in the Sky with Diamonds is a long, rambling meander through esoteric (and exotic) India and I am not sure how many people will plough through it. I think it will appeal to the converted.

It is well edited for a self-published book, apart from some proofing errors and it is a bit wordy. It seems to have been penned by someone still enthralled by Goa’s trance scene.