Reformist Swami Vivekanand, spiritual guru Osho, author Arthur Koestler, and poets right from Kabir to Allen Ginsberg and Arun Kolatkar have been brought together in a new book that was launched in the city on Tuesday.
The book, titled 'Pilgrim's India', is an anthology of more than 50 essays, poems, and prose extracts about various Indian pilgrimages. It has been edited by poet Arundhathi Subramaniam and was launched at Fort's Kitab Khana bookstore.
"A pilgrimage is basically about the quest for the perfect place that can offer a congruence between one's inner and outer worlds," said Subramaniam, who has consciously included voices of pilgrims from the past, the present, and also new ones who were commissioned to write for the book.
"I wanted to address the question of why we go for pilgrimages, and have brought in voices of mystics, gurus and seekers alongside voices of skeptics and critical observers," said Subramaniam. "At the core of the book is the predicament of the seeker, who is a person asking for an answer to the ultimate question, and has a hard time on his journey."
"The excerpts in the anthology do not reveal the answers, but open up a field of more questions," said poet Ranjit Hoskote, whose essay on seeking solace in a church is part of the book.