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BOOKSHELF : Where On Earth Am I?

This book is a classic example of treasuring the moments that leave an impact on the reader and forces us to stop and remember all the places we have ever visited.

india Updated: Jan 21, 2006 17:16 IST

Where On Earth Am I?
Jug Suraiya
Price — Rs 150
Publication — Penguin, India

How many times do you sit back and reflect on the places you have visited in your life? Jug Suraiya’s book is a classic example of treasuring such moments that leave an impact on the reader and forces us to stop and remember all the places we have ever visited.

The book is essentially an account of the various places the author has visited over the years. It holds much more than just mere descriptive accounts. Divided into two parts, namely Home and Away, Suraiya writes about his experiences in different places both within and outside India.

Starting with a great piece on Nagaland and ending with one on Buenos Aires, this book is all about truly appreciating and enjoying the process of discovering cultures, traditions, eccentricities and peculiarities encapsulated in different areas. With a great amount of subtle sarcasm and irony, this is a book that one should read to learn the art of description.

Although the accounts are short and crisp, not one of them falls short in terms of quality. Each chapter is well researched and actually gives some valuable information about all the places being described. Unlike other descriptive accounts, this book stands out simply because it moves beyond the realm of a strait-jacketed approach to travel writing and explores the lighter side of life.

In the process of discovering new places, Suraiya successfully portrays the psyche of a traveller. The various incidents that find a mention in the book can leave the readers either in splits or demand a moment of reflection.

Even though most of the places visited by Suraiya are common enough to be visited by many of us, he brings out a certain novelty in each of his excursions and it is perhaps this characteristic that sets him apart from any other writer.

A must-have for all travel enthusiasts and a definite read for those looking for a light and enjoyable read. This book, perhaps, suffers from only one drawback and that is the fact that it ends too soon!

First Published: Jan 21, 2006 17:16 IST