Skip to main content

Posts

Showing posts from November, 2010

Grin and bear it

When people have a work week as torrid as mine, they probably spend Friday evening quaffing back a few cold ones with friends. When people have a social network as empty as mine, they probably spend the same Friday evening parked in front of the telly, making old man Mallya richer by a few shekels. I chose to inflict on myself the dubious pleasure of another 5 hour long commute to Pune.

These journeys are boring at best and intensely frustrating at worst, both scenarios being at the mercy of Bombay's relentless traffic. Trying to doze off and failing miserably, I spend my time wondering why I couldn't be sitting next to an attractive & chatty bird rather than the usual rotund bloke blaring away on the cell phone. Last night, I was handed the golden ticket of strange journeys. Here's how things unfolded.

I was slumped in my seat, morosely pondering on the fact that I've received 6 separate wedding invitations from friends, inviting me to be a part of the joy, jolli…

Between the lines

Presently reading 'In Xanadu' by William Darymple, I am seized by a familiar feeling. It is the same emotion that swirls around when I'm reading Vikram Seth or Pico Iyer; awe. While their mastery over words and talent for evocative description is undisputed, I find myself revering their courage.

'From Heaven's Lake' details Seth's travels from Nanking to New Delhi, via Tibet. Iyer visits and writes about some truly secluded places in 'Falling off the map', including Bhutan and North Korea. The book I'm reading now follows Darymple tracing Marco Polo's steps from Jerusalem to Peking.

Yes, they write well. What separates them as the great writers from the rest (and in my book, making them courageous) is their incredible spirit of ethnography. Think about it; both Seth and Darymple could have been easily satisfied by wanting to just complete their degrees (both were at university when they went on travels that formed the source of the books). I…