Nandita's Dream
"What's Your Dream..."

Nandita's Dream

Sarah Patterson and Jacqueline Lawes

Sarah and Jaqueline

Welcome to the Nandita's Dream bookpeep. Here you will find extracts from Nandita's amazing adventures, songs from the inspiring world music CD, video and beautiful paintings.

A wonderful CD of upbeat world music accompanies Nandita's adventures.

"Songs from Nandita's Dream" are available to download from major online retailers and also available from

Paintings by Dorrie Joy
Illustration photography by Alice Carfrae
Authors Photo by Melanie Eclare

Authors' Note: Throughout the book we've sprinkled song lyrics from the album "Songs from Nandita's Dream" which tell the story of Nandita's adventure in songs.

[Sample Track 17 Loves Vibration - Buy the music online]

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  • * Beginning
  • Part One - The Waking World
  • Part Two - The Dream
    • Chapter 3 - Star Flight
    • Chapter 4 - The People Tribe
    • Chapter 5 - Meeting Oz
    • * Chapter 6 - The Dolphin Swim
    • Chapter 7 - Singing Makes Life Sweeter
    • * Chapter 8 - The Whistling Shaman
    • Chapter 9 - Luke Goes Missing
    • Chapter 10 - Jungle Journey
    • Chapter 11 - The Land of Watazee
    • Chapter 12 - Climb to the Crystal Cave
    • Chapter 13 - Speaking with the Deer
    • Chapter 14 - Nanditas Song
    • Chapter 15 - Pachamama
    • Chapter 16 - The Golden Net
  • Part Three - The Waking World
    • Chapter 17 - Share a Dream
    • Chapter 18 - Nandita's Party
  • Ending

(*) Sections of the book are shown


"Nandita's eyes were green as a summer pond with flecks of gold, like ripples in the water.

Her mother thought the gold was the summer sun and her father thought the ripples were questions rising up in her eyes like bright fishes."

Salassie the shaman paused and settled himself among the deep roots of the huge tree. His brown skin glistened in the sun. His blue eyes were smiling and brimming with light.

"Shall I go on?" he asked the children.
"Yes, yes, go on."

He looked around their eager faces; the faces of children from so many lands. He wanted to include them all in the story.

"Nandita was a dreamer," continued Salassie in his sing-song voice.

"What's a dreamer?" asked Ayub.

"A dreamer is someone who helps create the world through their dreams. Of course we are all dreamers. But for some people this is their path in life.

Yes, Nandita was a dreamer although she didn't yet know it. And she was like quicksilver, full of laughter and spirit and joy. Her mother came from India and her father came from Scotland and they lived happily together in a city in England.

She had good friends and she was deeply loved. But a change came into Nandita's life causing her to ask a very important question about the people of the world. And that question led her into the biggest adventure she could imagine. So this is the story of Nandita's Dream."

[Sample Track 5 Into the Jungle - Buy the music online]

Salassie - The Rainbow Shaman

Chapter One
The Waking World

beautiful day,
I can hear you singing in the sky
tugging me to say,
listen to your dreams and you can fly
into a world of possibility
it's rising up in you and me

Nandita woke that Spring morning with an 'anything can happen' feeling inside her. It was a tingling sensation mixed with pure excitement and it pulled her straight out of bed, down the stairs and through the back door.

Outside was beautiful. Rain in the night had made everything wet and fresh. Nandita walked around barefoot surveying her queendom, her feet picking up mud and bits of twig. The garden was full of weeds and you could no longer see the flower beds.

[Sample Track 1 Beautiful Day - Buy the music online]

But flowers grew in the grass just the same and Nandita loved dandelions. They were all soft petals and shining, like yellow suns among the green. She breathed in deeply and shivered a little because of the cold.

A wind danced through the garden and raindrops sparkled into rainbows all around her, catching the light.

"Oh," she whispered. Nandita knelt in her pyjamas in the wet grass and put her face close up to a tiny bead of clear rain water resting on a leaf. It magnified the veins. It was like looking into a crystal world. Her deep red hair fell around her face as she gazed.

"Hello," said a voice above her. "Who are you?"

Nandita jumped and glanced up. A young boy, maybe four years old, was watching her closely over the rickety wooden fence. His blue eyes were bright with curiosity.

"I'm Nandita." She tossed back her hair to get a better look at him. He had curly blond hair touched with ginger and a determined chin. Freckles sprinkled his nose.

He tried out her name. "Nan ta?"

"Nandita," she said laughing, springing to her feet. "My friends call me Nani. Who are you?"

"I'm William Stevens, Nani" he answered. He was already deciding to be her friend.

"Well William, I am your new neighbour. We moved in three days ago. You're the first person I've met."

William looked up into her summer green eyes. "I'm four and a quarter," he said shyly. "How old are you?"

"Nine - nearly ten. It's my birthday soon."

"Why are you in the garden in your pyjamas Nani?"

"That's a good question," said a voice behind them.

Nandita turned to see her mother Sheema walking across the grass. She was wearing a jade green sari over long cotton trousers.

Her glossy black hair rippled down her back like a waterfall and her face held a welcoming smile.

"You must be our new neighbour," she said warmly to William.

He looked delighted. "Yes I am."

"Well it's good to meet you. I'm looking forward to getting to know you. That will have to be later though. Nandita can you get ready for school?"

"Ok Mum. It's the first time we've cycled from here, so we're allowing lots of time," she explained turning to William. Unexpectedly William reached over the fence and touched Nandita's hand. His was small and soft. "Bye Nani. See you later."

"Bye William." She waved and turning reached her arm around Sheema's waist. "I like him," said Nandita as they started towards the house.

"I told you we'd start to meet people," said Sheema.

"Why are you all dressed up?"

"Council meeting. The party's asking if I'll stand for re-election."

"Will you?"

"Absolutely. As long as they nominate me."

"They will," said Nandita confidently. "Oh good. I love campaigning. I get to talk to everyone."

Nandita swayed and leaned and zigzagged with the bike, absorbed by the music in the traffic. The whistling shwuu of the passing cars, the hissing of the tyres on the tarmac and the drumming of the diggers were ringing in her ears. Sunlight dazzled the pavement.

And up ahead was the billowing jade green sari and Sheema's sweeping hand signals like wings leading them through. They had almost reached her old street and school was down the other end of it. Am I happy or nervous? wondered Nandita, Maybe both. Her stomach was full of butterflies. At the crossroads she balanced on the pedals, rocking the handle bars, twisting the front wheel from side to side. The traffic eased and they cycled across.

Nandita braked and stood there for a moment. Yes, it still felt like home. The colours, the sounds and the smells were deeply familiar.

Kenny Kelso was on the corner playing a bluesy riff on his old guitar. He slapped the wood in time. "Oh yeah." He had dyed his hair in a rainbow of colours.

Nandita waved and he sang back in a raw, fluttering voice. "Good morning Nandita. What a be-e-a-utiful day. It's a be-e-autiful day."

"Morning Kenny," she called cheerfully. "Nice hair."

She scooted by vibrantly painted front doors and down past The Good Earth Bakery, through sweet wafts of orange muffins and pungent coffee. Ahead of her Sheema was chatting with Mr and Mrs Moses, Nandita's dear friends and honorary grandparents. Nandita skidded to a halt in front of them.

"Hey Nandita, good to see you," said Magic Moses. His voice vibrated deeply in his chest. He had a strong, dark brown face with high, lifting cheekbones and a smile that lit you up inside.

"How are you dear?" asked Araminta Moses.

"Well I'm fine," answered Nandita and then she said, "I miss you." Seeing them had just brought it home to her how much. Her old friend reached for her hands. "Well, we love you and we miss you too," she responded quietly, "and that's the truth."

Nandita studied the papery brown hands holding hers. They were crisscrossed with wrinkles and cool to the touch. These hand had held her patiently for years.

They'd put plasters on her when she fell off her bike and pushed her forward to make up with her friend Joe when she'd argued with him. She looked up sideways at Araminta Moses' grey dreadlocks.

Suddenly Nandita knew it would be too hard to look into those liquid eyes which always saw inside her so well.

She glanced away. That was when she noticed the removal van parked further down the street outside her old house.

"Oh." Her heart beat faster.

"Ah yes," said Magic Moses. "The new people moved in yesterday." He put a gentle hand on her back. Nandita's eyes flew to his face. "What are they like?"

"We don't know yet. We were just on our way to introduce ourselves." He watched her steadily from under white brows. Of course, she thought, you will welcome them into the street like they're family.

Which was generous and the right thing to do, but unbearable at that moment.

Nandita jumped on her bike.

Sheema called out, "Have a good..." and her voice was lost in the sound of tyres bumping off the pavement. Nandita cycled fast to the bottom of the street and down the track by the playing field, bumping through the pot-holes, until she reached the school playground.

She screeched to a halt, breathing hard. Her head was spinning. There were strangers in their wild flower garden where her mother grew herbs and the fox cubs played.

Someone else was sleeping in her bedroom with the paintings of green sea turtles and leaping dolphins on the walls. She wished she didn't mind but she did.

"Hey Nani," called her friend Joe. "Over here." His long, dark blond hair spilled over his mahogany face as he drummed his hands quietly on his knees.

She put her bike in the rack and ran over.

"Oh Joe you'll never guess..." But of course he knew.

"Yesterday evening," Joe told her quickly with a sympathetic look. "I guess it had to happen." Then he nodded towards the school door. "That's Luke over there." Nandita turned curiously to see a thin boy with a mop of brown hair kicking a stone. So that was the new owner of her bedroom.

There was a clunk from the climbing frame above Nandita's head. She looked up to catch her other great friend Tess turning a somersault. She dropped lithely to the ground to join them.

"Hi Tess," said Nandita, opening her arms. Tess ran forward, delighted and shy all at the same time. They hugged. As usual Tess didn't speak.

"You're getting really good on that frame Tess," remarked Joe. "Isn't she Nandita?"

"Yes." Nandita watched her elfin friend as she trailed her hand over a plant and bent to talk with it, unconcerned that what she did was unusual. There was something magical about Tess. And she doesn't care what people think, realised Nandita.

"So Nani what's it like in your new street?" asked Joe.

"Quiet Joe. Really quiet, not like here at all. I've been out front saying hello to people. They don't say much back yet. Mostly they just get in their cars."

Then Nandita remembered William and found herself smiling. "I did meet someone today though and he definitely wanted to talk."

She looked across the playground. The thin, brown haired boy kicked another stone. His shoulders hunched under his loose green sweatshirt and he looked miserable. He'd moved, started a new school and he had to make new friends, all at the same time. She lifted her arm and gave him a friendly wave. He turned his back.

Next thing Nandita knew there were tears on her cheeks.

Joe looked worried. "Nani?"

"I'm OK." She wiped her eyes and at that moment the bell went. Luke jumped. He took a frightened look as the door opened. Then he turned and ran for the gate.

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Chapter Six
The Dolphin Swim

clouds got rhythm moving way up high
birds got rhythm flying through the sky
dolphins and the whales in the deep blue sea
they're jumping, they are diving, they are dancing with me

[Sample Track 10 Joe's Rock - Buy the music online]

A piercing sound wound through the air and silenced the chattering voices. On the edge of the circle a bare chested man in a brown sarong cupped a white conch to his upturned mouth and blew again. Up in the branches someone called out. "I see them. I see them."

Joe leapt to his feet. "Come on Nandita. Let's go".

"See who?" asked Nandita. "Go where?" but her voice was lost as they ran in breathless laughter with all the other children, a stream of colours pouring down to the sea.

"Look. Look." Joe pointed out towards a pod of gleaming, silver grey dolphins. Three of them leaped up in a swirl of foam, spinning high into the air and crashing back down below the waves. One dolphin broke away, moving swiftly through the water, heading for the beach so fast it looked like it might swim right onto the sand. At the very last moment it slowed, flicked its body sideways and sent a wave rushing over Nandita's feet.

"Oh," she gasped. Her heart leapt as she met a friendly black eye smiling into hers. Sparkling joy ran between them. The dolphin rocked in the shallows, tossing its head from side to side. Its beak was curved in a smile. It whistled and clicked, using it's sonar to check its proximity to the beach. Nandita was enchanted.

Joe threw himself backwards in a backflip on the sand. In the water the dolphin flipped over too. Then it jumped in an arc and Joe did his best to follow, diving into a cartwheel. He jumped and twisted sideways over and over in the air, landing on his feet and the dolphin took a great jump out of the water twisting round and round and thumping down. Now it lifted right up on its tail and moved backwards through the surf.

"You got me," called out Joe shaking back his long blond hair and laughing. "Come here and try that on land." High pitched squeals took the dolphin back to the pod.

"Joe," called Nandita in amazement. "How do you do that?"

"Do what?" asked Joe

"How do you get the dolphin to follow you?"

"I wasn't getting the dolphin to do anything. We both wanted to play."

Nandita sensed there was more to this. Joe began to drum on an old hollow log washed up by the tide, banging across the surface of the wood with a quick, light rhythm. He danced around the log.

"That's a dolphin rhythm," he said. "It's got the dolphins lifting through the water turning at exactly the same time. It's dolphin mind."

"Dolphin mind?" questioned Nandita.

"Dolphins communicate with each other. They have a way of knowing exactly what each other is going to do. I call it dolphin mind. I've always been able to meet with dolphins, like we're kin."


"Well with animals you have to find a way to soften and meet with them so you both allow each other in. Then there's a sort of energy opening up between you and then a merging, a sharing of energy. You can understand what each other is saying even if you're not actually saying it."

He saw the lively curiosity in Nandita's eyes. "For me, the rhythm between us guides me into the meeting. It's the same with animals and with people. When you stood at the breakfast table you had a tap tap - quick now - excited kind of beat. I noticed it even before you handed me food and spoke to me. Everything has a beat." He began to sing.

"I feel the rhythm of the earth in my feet it is so sweet, beat, beat I feel the rhythm of the earth inside make me feel alive, beat, beat Are you listening, are you listening, are you listening"

Suddenly Joe broke off looking past Nandita and laughed. "We've got company." Without pausing he ran down the beach and dived into the water. Without thinking, she followed him in. They swam up over the breaking waves and dived.

The silky water was full of joy. Rays of sunlight bouncing off the white sand below sent shafts of blue light back up to the surface. The dolphins glided through the strobes and the sunlight made stripes and patterns over their skin. Nandita followed Joe, kicking her feet together like a mermaid's tail and keeping her arms at her side just as he did.

A dolphin swam at full tilt alongside Joe and they twisted and turned together at the same moment. Then the dolphin dived below and caught a leaf on its flipper, nudged it towards him and let it go. The leaf began to fall in slow motion. Joe kicked hard and diving down caught the leaf in his hands. They played an underwater game of catch. Suddenly the dolphin streaked up vertically and jumped up through cascading turquoise bubbles. For a moment they couldn't see it, then it burst down past them, turned, rushed from below and jumped again.

Now they were passing over orange castles of coral. A school of yellow parrot fish browsed lazily among it and a blue fringed, tiger striped fish swam close to Nandita's nose. Then through the eddying seaweed she glimpsed a green and blue sea turtle. It rolled slowly along, its huge flippers pushing through the water, its head thrusting forward from the landscape of its shell. It turned and looked. Nandita stopped, suspended in motion. Ancient being, she thought reverently. It moved on.

Joe and the dolphins had passed beyond the reef. Nandita didn't want to lose sight of her new friends. She kicked harder but it wasn't enough to bring her to them. She called out from inside herself to the dolphins. "I'm new at this. I'm not as fast as you. But I really want to be with you." Immediately three sleek, streamlined shapes slowed down below her and they rose up through the water. Something opened inside Nandita, a big space full of love between her and the dolphins.

A white bellied dolphin moved to swim alongside her and as it slowly turned she turned with it, her hair swirling around like seaweed. Gradually it became as if she knew every move this dolphin was making. She matched it at every turn. Then effortlessly she began to turn first. Eventually her mind melted away and they simply swam together in the turquoise sea with happiness bubbling inside and all around them. Soon Nandita couldn't remember being a girl. She kicked and rolled and followed and played. It felt as if she had always swum here in these silky waters.

The sea threw Joe and Nandita out onto the beach. They lay blissfully wet where the surf had rolled them, their feet dangling in the shallows.

"I didn't want to come back," said Nandita.

"I noticed."

"How did we breathe? I mean I just could."

"Uh huh." Joe nodded. "Seems you're really good at this. More than I expected. I mean was that great or was that great?"

"It was fantastic. Oh Joe I never realised. All that life in the sea. It's so beautiful and...well it's so big." Suddenly she was lost for words.

"Biggest part of the planet and yes it's wonderful," agreed Joe rolling up onto his elbows. "Just one thing though." He reached for the right words. "It's important not to get lost Nandita. You meet and you merge for a while, but always remember who you are. You have to be able to find your way back. The dolphins know that and that's why they sent us back in."

"I really felt I was a dolphin Joe."

"Well, I think you were for a while."

Nandita lay quietly for a minute with the sea singing in her ears. Her body felt light and effervescent. In fact, it was rather strange to feel the surface of the beach beneath her rather than the soft flowing water. She contemplated what it was like to move together as one in complete freedom and yet still be herself within the pod. I'm very different from the dolphins, she thought. Yet we swam so beautifully together. I wonder can this help me with Mr and Mrs Stevens?

Joe jumped up. "Come on Nandita. I'm thirsty. Let's go and find the others."

But when they reached the village it was deserted. Joe whistled and cupping his hands called out, "Hi everyone," but there was no reply. "No one here," he mused. "Now where have they gone?" As they reached Oz he leaned in, asked a question and listened. He nodded and turned towards Nandita. "They're..."

"Up at the fields," finished Tess swinging herself down from the branches. "I've been waiting for you." She skipped between them taking hold of their hands.

The children followed a winding path leading up from the back of the village. It was studded with footprints and the patterns of corn grain trodden into the yellow clay. They moved through sun burnished corn that was higher than Nandita's head and they went single file, raising their arms to keep holding hands. Suddenly Tess dropped their hands and vanished into the undergrowth. Around the next bend an ear of corn curved down and tickled Nandita's nose.

"Hey." Nandita leapt after Tess. Joe followed her and they began to chase. Nandita dropped down to the ground to hide. She pulled her legs in and listened for the swishing thuds that told her the others were near. Joe was to her right, crashing loudly. Tess was soft footed but the flicking of her hair showed through the corn and she gave herself away. Nandita moved quietly around behind her.

Then a tiny rustling alerted her. Forgetting the game she searched the ground with her eyes. She could hear the pattering of little feet and the nibbling of teeth on corn and caught the quickest glimpse of a fieldmouse. Joe fell on top of her. Tess fell on top of him and they lay in a tangled heap, breathless and laughing.


"I really didn't see you," said Joe, "It was an accident, honest."

"Yeah right," said Nandita. She lay back and looked up at the clear blue sky fringed by the waving corn above her.

She felt her body melting into the earth as the sun came down to meet her and thought, I'm so happy. Then the wind brought another sound to them, a not at all happy, loud protesting wail.

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Melody Sings

Chapter Eight
The Whistling Shaman

playing with the wind, the tree can dance,
playing with the tree, the wind knows the joy of dancing

Melody led them through bushes which gradually thinned and gave way to feathery grass that smelt sweetly strong in the heat. Nandita looked up, shading her eyes. It was a white hot midday sun and she pulled her eyes back, blinking. A lizard ran in front of her toes and zigzagged into the shadow of a rock leaving a trail in the orange sand. The stones popped. The air was like drinking hot water.

Ahead of them Melody swayed like the grass. Her silver hair clinked and chinked as she moved her head from right to left, murmuring to herself, "Which ones? Which ones? Which ones?" Her voice rustled dry and soft.

[Sample Track 9 The Wind Chant - Buy the music online]

Then she stopped and stayed still.

"What's she doing?" whispered Nandita to Salassie.


"What's she listening to?"

"The grass."

"I ask who is ready? Who is ready to become something else?" Melody was standing in a hollow in front of a thicket of dark green grasses which were wide at the bottom and flat all the way up. She listened again. Her whole body said, 'I have all the time in the world.' Some of the grasses leaned towards her and she held her fingers to their tips to greet them.

"Oh you will make a fine basket. A beautiful gift from the earth to the people. In the winter you will sit by the fire and remind us of the wind that played with you, remind us of the rain that helped you grow. You'll say the heat of the sun will come again. The heat of the sun will come again."

Melody thanked the grass and she took a knife and cut the first sheath cleanly at the base where it left the sand.

Salassie slid gently to the ground and placed the sleeping William under the shade of the nearest tree. Then he raised his head and scanned the sky around them. He began to whistle softly, breathily. It sounded like he was calling something. He stopped, smiling gently, inwardly and waited. A small wind blew across the nearby dunes scattering grains of sand before it. He whistled a little louder and the wind came to join them, tustling Nandita's dark red hair.

"See Nandita..." said Salassie. "See the way the wind plays with the grass." The wind had lifted up and began blowing through the feathery grass, swirling it back and forth, flattening it down and around in new shapes and patterns. The grasses were shushing and sighing their whispering voices. "And in the trees," he said as the leaves rattled like rain. Salassie began to dance with the wind. Melody placed her bundle down and joined him.

They held out their hands to Nandita. "Come on." She stepped forwards.

Now the wind tested and tugged and gusted. It rushed at her fast like a hare and she scurried before it. Then she became aware of her feet on the ground dropping into the earth. Nandita gave herself up to the wind, her arms flowing around like the branches of a tree, her body swaying. She glanced over to see Melody moving with such grace, such surrender, her bare toes turning in the sand, her body spiraling, her arms flying up to the sky. She was like a prayer in the wind.

"Oh imagine if people could be more like the wind and the trees," cried Nandita longingly.

Salassie nodded. "We have a saying here," he said. "'Playing with the wind, the tree can dance, playing with the tree, the wind knows the joy of dancing'."

"What does that mean?" asked Nandita.

"People can be as different as the wind is from the tree, yet we too can create a wonderful dance together if we choose it."

"I wish the Stevens could feel that. They don't even want to know us."

"But have you noticed who came with you?" Salassie turned his head, indicating the sleeping child. "William is a Stevens," he reminded her.

William opened his sleepy eyes, looked directly at Nandita and said, "This isn't just your dream Nani." He closed his eyes again.

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Sarah sings " Hey Little Girl" with Black Umfolosi Sarah Patterson talks about the story, Nandita's Dream
"I love many things about this project. One of them is that a story and an album that are each strong in their own right can weave something magical together."

Nandita's Paintings

Dorrie Joy is a gifted visionary painter whose love of children and nature is evident everywhere on this website. She brings the story alive in her paintings.

Nandita's Journey
Memon aka Araminta Moses
Amon aka Magic Moses
Nandita's Journey

[Sample Track 5 Jungle - Buy the music online]

Buy The Music Online

[Sample Track 14 Inside My Heart - Buy the music online]

  • from Kristin Glenewinkel :
    Great book with a wonderful vision!
    Nandita's Dream is a wonderful story that awakens the longing to realize my own dreams. This fascinating tale is full of exquisitely drawn and soulful characters that the reader experiences in close proximity. I was completely enveloped by the lively vividness of the figures in this story. The authors' expression of love for this Earth through the language of fantasy and colour is very deeply moving. I was particularly touched by the undercurrent of conflict between Nandita and her new neighbours. The grief she experiences because of her origins and skin colour resonates with me because my husband is African-American and our son is "mixed." As a family we regularly experience "uncomfortable moments" of exclusion and are made to feel that we are somehow "other." Personally, this makes the message of Nandita all the more poignant and auspicious because it shows that we can live together precisely because of our differences.
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  • from Laughing Of The Drum :
    Great for kids and adults
    Really good story with a very important message for all kids these days. The CD of music is catchy and great too with some well known faces from the world music scene. Highly Recommended!
    Buy The Book
  • from Ms. S. Darling Khan :
    Nandita's Dream is a beautiful and strong story about the power of a girl's heart and love for life. It speaks directly to anyone, (child or adult) who dreams of a kinder, fairer, more healed world, and who dares to dream that they might have a contribution to make, a song to sing or love to give.

    Through the story the reader is challenged and inspired with new perspectives about dreaming, about our relationship with mother earth (pachamama) about our inter-connectedness with all life, about diversity and unity.

    Its a wonderful book for kids (and adults) and together with the infectious world music CD of the same name, it's a treasure box of inspiration, possibility and empowerment for the heart and soul.

    Susannah Darling Khan
    Buy The Book