Tag Archive > travel

One World – One Great Big Family

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Leaving India: My Family's Journey from Five Villages to Five Continents By Minal Hajratwala“Indian diaspora” is one of those phrases that have become part of conversation these days. Most people mouth the phrase without thinking too much of it – yes, yes, it covers UK, New Jersey, somewhere else in America, Canada. And then the conversation trails off in vagueness. The reality of the far flung Indian diaspora does not become apparent until you get hold of a book like Minal Hajratwala’s. Her extended family consists of 36 first cousins strung out across the globe between Fiji, England and South Africa, literally five continents when you sit down to analyse them.

What she does is follow her ancestors on a very personal journey. One that started from Navsari in Gujarat in 1834, just after slavery was outlawed in the British colonies and replaced by another form of servitude, indentured labour.

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Literary Trip to Delhi

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I first discovered the joys of reading books about a city whilst in situ when I sat in a hotel room in Mumbai with two books in front of me – a local guidebook and Leslie Forbes’ great thriller “Bombay Ice“. Without question I learned a lot more about the city from the novel than I ever could have done from the guidebook. Ever since that time I’ve tried to find books about the cities I love – and top of that list, the place I return to time and time again is Delhi.

Bahai Lotus Temple, DelhiThe must-read novel for anyone interested in this city is “Delhi: A Novel” by the great Indian writer Khushwant Singh. It’s definitely one for the less prudish reader as it gets a bit racy by Indian standards and you could be forgiven for thinking that his hero, another Mr Singh, appears to sleep with just about everyone he meets.

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What do you read when you travel?

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Curious Book Fans and people who like to read what Curious Book Fans write are preparing to travel during summer season. To help them have more fun and enjoy their escape from everyday lives we are starting a series of articles devoted to travel reading. We’ll try to create lists of books related to certain destinations or trips or simply write about books we read while travelling.

Clean BreaksFeel free to contribute your travel reading related thoughts through our Forum or simply by commenting on articles. You can easily start your own discussion thread or join existing ones. While on Forum you will be able to take part in our travel themed book giveaway competition and win fantastic guide book with 500 ideas for Clean Breaks (or one of 3 more book prizes).

We are starting the journey with koshkha’s out of the ordinary Literary Trip to Delhi and I am sure you will feel like you’ve been there by simply reading all the books she recommends. If you really plan to travel to Delhi and read all those books from her list you’d better buy an eBook reader to avoid overweight luggage charges. Bon voyage with Curious Book Fans!


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Hey Gringo!

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Drugs and Travel

 The Gringo Trail: A Darkly Comic Road-Trip Through South America (Paperback) by Mark Mann (Author) Whilst backpacking I once came across an Australian who’d been on the road for two years. I asked him “Where’s the best place you’ve been in all that time”. He named a small village in India. Intrigued, I asked him why that place was so special, expecting some deep spiritual experience but he looked me in the eye and said “I got stoned for a week and it cost me next to nothing”.

There is a part of the backpacking community whose urge to experience the world is dominated by a desire to take as many and as varied drugs as possible. This book reflects that side of backpacker culture in an unapologetic way and it starts from page one.

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Mission ‘Friends Like These’

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Friends Like These by Danny WallaceI have been a fan of Danny Wallace for quite a while now – ever since I read his collaboration with Dave Gorman on the book ‘Are You Dave Gorman?’ Since then Danny has gone on to write a number of books of his own, all based on mad boyish escapades which manage to take him to far flung places and sometimes land him in a bit of bother! His latest book that I have read – Friends like These – is written in the same vein, although it does have some quite thought provoking and poignant moments too. It is also quite mad as well, which is the style I have come to know and love from Danny Wallace!

As he writes this book, Danny is fast approaching his thirtieth birthday which seems to be causing him a bit of a crisis. Although he is happily married to Lizzie, they own their own home and he has an interesting career;

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