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Friday, June 30, 2006

List of Travel Books

A list of popular travel books.

Link via MobiBlog.

- Maximum City—Bombay Lost and Found is an interesting read. It isn't exactly a travel book, however it may be taken as a Citylogue, a description of life in Bombay, as seen from the eyes of a cross-section of people, more so, from the ones on the fringe of society and their life and times in the melting pot that is the city of Bombay.

U.S.-returned author, Suketu Mehta's Maximum City is his view of life in Bombay as seen from his interaction with a cross section of Bombay's society. It is a window to the 'Zeitgeist'* of the city with stories about people in politics, religion, underworld (Mafia), Bollywood, cricket, and all the things that make Bombay what it is. A city of dreams and the melting pot of India.

To borrow from Frank Sinatra's popular song and change New York to Bombay, "Bombay, Bombay, if you can make it there, you can make it anywhere."

Read the book if you have an afternoon to spare.

* Zeitgeist - The general cultural, education, intellectual, and moral outlook of an era. In this context, it would be of the city.

- Again, this isn't a travel book, but is related to adventures and worth mentioning as a related read.

Khaled Husseini's 'The Kite Runner', a literal translation in Hindi would be 'Patang Pakadnewala'—one who runs after and catches a kite after it is cut and falls to the ground.

It is the story of friendship between the author and his servant as kids in Kabul amidst the political and religious turmoil of Afghanistan; the author's journey to California from Kabul, the incidents that make him go back to Afghanistan via the Peshawar and the story that unfolds in Kabul in the time of the Taliban.

There are a couple of lovely lines from an Afghan wedding song in the book, Ahesta Boro Maheman, Ahesta Boro; which means "Go slowly, my lovely moon, go slowly." The next line is "Turn the night to a key and throw it in the well." Beautiful, isn't it?

Another line from the Persian poet Rumi, if I'm not mistaken, that says "How seamless seemed love and then came trouble." These nuggets brighten the book with local flavour.

Any books that you'd like to suggest and share? Let me know. Thanks.