@Download Kindle â If It’s Monday It Must Be Madurai: A Conducted Tour of India ½ eBook or Kindle ePUB free

@Download Kindle ë If It’s Monday It Must Be Madurai: A Conducted Tour of India Ï A delightful travel book This entertaining travelogue around ten conducted tours contains myriad riches of hanging on to a camel in the Thar rediscovering music on the trail of Kabir joining an ancient pilgrimage and hunting for sex in Tashkent As advertised in the jacket, this is, indeed, a delightful travelogue It s about conducted tours that is, a group package tour where people reserve their spots, and are shepherded around from place to place by a guide So you re with random people, and all your arrangements are taken care of, and you usually end up saving a lot on food, accommodation and tickets to places I ve personally been on one such tour a fifteen day tour across 10 European countries and when Perur I happened As advertised in the jacket, this is, indeed, a delightful travelogue It s about conducted tours that is, a group package tour where people reserve their spots, and are shepherded around from place to place by a guide So you re with random people, and all your arrangements are taken care of, and you usually end up saving a lot on food, accommodation and tickets to places I ve personally been on one such tour a fifteen day tour across 10 European countries and when Perur I happened to meet him recently, which is how I came across this book told me what this book was about, I was surprised I always thought conducted tours were a kind of lazy tourism, not for the serious traveller, and definitely not for the serious travel writer But Perur addresses this in the intro, and sells it well through a conducted tour, you see new places, and meet new people, and through the resulting interactions, they shed light on each other, and you learn something about both.Of course, this requires some deftness to pull off, and Perur doesn t come up short The book is very well written it s lively with some nice language, yet easy to read Also, it s full of witty insights I laughed out loud a lot especially in the Europe story, because I could relate to some of the stuff he described.Of course, what ultimately matters in a travel book is how interesting the places are, and there s a nice eclectic selection here It s themed around India the tours are either in India, or outside India with an Indian group There was some variation in how much I liked different stories, but this is likely subjective For instance, I thought the story about a pilgrimage walk in Maharashtra was sly draggy, while I really enjoyed the account of the guided tour in Meghalaya so much so that it made me want to go there someday, likely on a similar tour Definitely worth reading if you re Indian and like travelling or even the idea of it Not very heavy or long either Travel writing as a genre had never really interested me I am fairly certain that the numerous English Comprehension tests I wrote in school that featured extraordinarily tiresome pieces on places around the world are to blame After I passed out, I d read very little travel writing and whatever I d read, I found to be too introspective and unnecessarily geographical for my taste, if not boring Through the years, I managed to maintain the same distance one does with dull, but well meaning uncl Travel writing as a genre had never really interested me I am fairly certain that the numerous English Comprehension tests I wrote in school that featured extraordinarily tiresome pieces on places around the world are to blame After I passed out, I d read very little travel writing and whatever I d read, I found to be too introspective and unnecessarily geographical for my taste, if not boring Through the years, I managed to maintain the same distance one does with dull, but well meaning uncles with it far, but somewhat friendly So I suppose it was slightly out of character that I picked up Srinath Perur s If It s Monday, It Must Be Madurai a collection of ten travel essays, based wholly on conducted group tours the author has taken It was one of the essays Memorial For The Victims Of Repression , which was published as an excerpt in the Open Magazine that initially piqued my interest in the book The essay featured his participating in a conducted sex tour to Uzbekistan Perur, as the self appointed fly on the wall among a group of repressed Indian men, is a joy to read What I particularly loved in that essay, and as I would later find out, the entire book, was that he does not pass judgment on any of his travel companions He merely observes, but his observations bear the kind of extreme sincerity that toes on sarcasm, and delightfully so I laughed with this book in ways I have not laughed with a book in a very long time There are some paragraphs in his essay on a conducted tour of Rajasthan, Desert Knowledge, Camel College that are so hilarious that I read them a coupletimes for extra giggles The Grace of God , an essay in which he describes his experience travelling across Tamil Nadu on a temple tour, made me reminisce about my own family s seemingly never ending temple trips on which I was a very reluctant attendee In Saare Jahaan Se Accha , he takes on Europe with his Desi tour group Perur makes many earnest and thoroughly amusing observations about his group s uniquely Indian characteristics However, one stood out for me that of the the foresight of some of the members who had packed snacks and food from home The reason it did, was because it brought back a rather stark memory from a trip my family made to Hong Kong in 2010, where we wandered around Ocean Park, hungry we were vegetarians and finding vegetarian food in ocean park was akin to finding the proverbial needle in a literal haystack , for close to an hour until we bumped into a family who were kind enough to give us the food they had packed from home for their trip Perur writes about taking a trip to the North East in According to Their Own Genius Reading the essay made me feel quite sad It seemed I wasfamiliar with the places and culture discussed in the essay about Europe than I was about places in my own country Real India , Santa Claus Aa Rahe Hai and The Same Water Everywhere were good to read, but Foreign Culture seemed a bit like a filler arrangement something that he wrote because he wanted a nice round number of essays in his book Incidentally, Foreign Culture might just be the only essay among the ten where it seems the author actually had a holiday, so you can t help but feel happy for him and his toddy induced stupor.My absolute favourite essay in the book, was The Taste Of Sugar Perur undertakes a Wari, the traditional walking pilgrimage to Pandarpur It is not often that you come across a piece of writing which balances being insightful and being side splittingly funny with as much grace as this essay.In all, I cannot recommend If It s Monday It Must Be Madurai enough Read it for the places he s travelled to, butimportantly, read it for the people he s travelled with Travel books are often a compendium of clich s If the when to go how to reach concerns are ever transcended, it is the majestic beauty of the mountains or the vastness of the ocean that is tritely commented upon, apparently granting solace to the writer who is trying to escape the hustle bustle of a megalopolis As if confronting the picturesque to escape the hectic life was all there was to travel If the book in question is sufficiently post modern in conception, it will make a bi Travel books are often a compendium of clich s If the when to go how to reach concerns are ever transcended, it is the majestic beauty of the mountains or the vastness of the ocean that is tritely commented upon, apparently granting solace to the writer who is trying to escape the hustle bustle of a megalopolis As if confronting the picturesque to escape the hectic life was all there was to travel If the book in question is sufficiently post modern in conception, it will make a big deal of the virtues of traveling solo, of backpacking on budget, and so on Indeed, travel as an exercise in self discovery is a hip notion these days But the fact ignored is that the seemingly simple problems of knowing oneself or coming to oneself or being at peace with oneself are lifelong metaphysical projects whose essence cannot be delivered in toto over a two week trip to Ladakh Travel, in and of itself, will not save us In fact, if indeed it does provide something akin to solace and leads to a superior understanding of the self, then precisely because such deliverances aren t permanent, because life as it is must be returned to, travelling can become an imprisoning habit, making larger liberations difficult because of the tastings of smaller gratifications.Thus it is problematic to conceive travel as that which leads to self enhancement, and perhaps better to return to the less attractive idea of travel as an exercise in knowing the outer world If the traveller believes that knowing the world has a value in and of itself, that subjecting herself to the objective world as it exists is a worthwhile activity, then travel can be said to be approached in the right spirit And if, in the process of assimilating realities that were hitherto unseen, her self consciousness does experience an expansion, then all the good One travel book that belittles clich s and stays clear of any dogma, recent or modern, about the virtues of travel, is Srinath Perur s If It s Monday It Must Be Madurai A Conducted Tour of India The book, published in 2014, is a collection of ten essays, detailing travels undertaken by the author with ten unique groups of people The groups are mostly composed of Indians, and most travels are in India Perur travels to Tamilnadu s temples in buses full of retired government servants, to Europe with a desi group, to Uzbekistan with a group of sex tourists, to Pandarpur on a pilgrimage called Wari, and so on The essays are mostly journalistic, so that the tone can be wry in the face of absurdity, or reverent in the face of piety Perur narrates as someone who observes precisely to the degree that invites reflection On the rare occasions that Perur tells us what he felt in a given scenario, he has the good sense to break through the ironic veneer, so that what is delivered seems like zen wisdom Recommended Full on entertainiment A travelogue on ten conducted tours with different Indian groups 1 Tamil temples package2 Europe famous spots3 Deserts of Rajasthan4 Kerala backwaters5 Sex starved tourists for Uzbekistan6 Slum tourism of Mumbai7 Journeys with Meaning tour of North East8 Musical trail of Kabir through MP Rajasthan Gujarat UP Pakistan9 Village life innovations through Madhya Pradesh10 Traditional Wari walk of MaharasthraWritten in an ironic and funny way, the places explored in t Full on entertainiment A travelogue on ten conducted tours with different Indian groups 1 Tamil temples package2 Europe famous spots3 Deserts of Rajasthan4 Kerala backwaters5 Sex starved tourists for Uzbekistan6 Slum tourism of Mumbai7 Journeys with Meaning tour of North East8 Musical trail of Kabir through MP Rajasthan Gujarat UP Pakistan9 Village life innovations through Madhya Pradesh10 Traditional Wari walk of MaharasthraWritten in an ironic and funny way, the places explored in the book are equally good to the persons explored through it The parts I enjoyed the most were the author s retrospect on some of the tours detailing on the people s motive and mindset during the tour, in contrast to the observed aftereffects and how they fared in life in a few years.Very much recommended