Sunday, June 27, 2010

Reading... and Traveling

OK, finally I am figuring out that I really like reading :)

Read Sputnik Sweetheart by Murakami. I was glued to it till the scenes changed to Greece, but then I lost track of it, and somehow finished it. Not as evoking as Norwegian Wood, the other Murakami novel I've read, parts of which are still very much in my mind. But both are different types of novels. Me.

But even more than that, I've been reading the autobiography of Neruda, Clandestine in Chile: The Adventures of Miguel Littín by Marquez (not fiction), and the second book of travels by Che Guevara. I also saw the City of God last week, and will never forget Motorcycle Diaries, and I am still hooked on to the images from these films. Latin America appears so dreamy, so romantic, so otherworldly...

But I am firmly on my foot back again, thanks to Away - a set of writings by famous Indians (politicians, writers, etc) about their experience as expatriates,edited by Amitava Kumar. The book is full of simple pleasures - the kind of stuff that you feel like reading on a calm, sunny, pleasant Sunday morning, with coffee. Unlike other books mentioned here, this one is familiar territory - I can relate to a lot of things people have written - and many a times with a smile. I would say I enjoyed Cowpath to America by Abraham Verghese, and the experience of Mulk Raj Anand among the most famous English writers (and full of ignorance about India) the most; but several others were equally interesting. The book is a simple read.

I am not staying in Grenoble for the next month. I know where I'll be spending the first half of the next month, but not the second. From Berlin onwards, I do not know. I want to visit Auschwitz. But then the next stopover would be Prague, Vienna etc, and I dont feel very keen on these. I am especially prejudiced against Prague, due to my experience with some Czech people here :) I also found that the travel writings of SK Pottekat (in Paris), and Santosh George Kulangara (of Sancharam fame) are mere details and full of boring prejudices, and have nothing "evoking" in them. Katha Urangunna Vazhiyiloode (K. Thayat) is still vivid in my memory, and even though its so simple, its very very beautiful in my mind.

I , obviously, have very little money for the travels, but hope I somehow manage.

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