This was a sweet graphic novel that in many ways reminded me a bit of Green Almonds: Letters from Palestine by Anaële Hermans and Delphine Hermans (positively reviewed in July 2018), but much more of Algeria is Beautiful Like America by Olivia Burton and Mahi Grand (positively reviewed in May 2018).
In the latter of those two graphic novels, we get a story very much like this one: the ex-patriate (or descendant of same) returning to the homeland for a visit and learning some truths about her past, but this story is much more mystical. FYI: pashmina is a scarf - in this case a magical one. Technically, pashmina refers to the fine Kashmiri wool which we in the west know as cashmere (cue track six of Led Zep's Physical Graffiti album!).
Main character Priyanka Das lives with her mother in the USA. The two of them do not always get along. Neither does this suitcase get along with the shelf it's stored on apparently, because it keeps falling off, and when Pri finally opens it, she discovers the scarf, but more importantly, discovers its power.
When she wraps it around her shoulders, she is transported to India, not literally, but to the heart and soul of the land in her mind. Her visitations there are hosted by an elephant and a peafowl. She's also transported from the grayscale images we've been seeing so far into brilliantly colored, vibrant depictions of India. The change is quite startling.
Priyanka is very much into creating comics, encouraged by her uncle Jatin. Despite this she is shy about her work. Without her knowledge, her teacher sends one of her efforts to a competition, which she wins. I guess this is why she doesn't react when he tells her he did this behind her back, which struck me as a bit odd. She didn't feel violated at all? And this is after she had earlier flatly refused to enter a contest he wanted her to enter. However, this win means she can afford to go to India - so the story would have it. In actual fact, the round trip airfare is twice what she won - but this is a bit of a fantasy!
India isn't what she had imagined from her pashmina-induced flights of fancy, but she's still thrilled to be there and to see it all. She's not so thrilled that her scarf doesn't work now she's actually in-country. The scarf had been showing her things, including a mysterious shadowy figure which her elephant and peafowl friends had been anxious she avoid (for reasons which are never made clear), and a primitive reed hut. What's this all about? She becomes quite the detective, follows clues, and eventually finds out what she needs to know. The revelation is just the ticket.
I liked this story very much. Admittedly I am rather biased toward India, but the story was a good one about a strong female character who made things happen, and I typically enjoy a story like that no matter what ethnicity or nationality the main character is. I commend this one as a worthy read.