Kerala is beautiful during the monsoons. The rains not only wash away dust from the leaves, the land also receives a fresh coat of green in various hues. Needless to say, I enjoy the rain from indoors and the days are perfect to indulge in some reading. I am currently in the mood for books that will let me float away to some far off magic lands; riveting but easy to read. I am not looking for any heavy weights. And here are my picks.
The first book is ” Treasures of the Thunder Dragon” by Ashi Dorji Wangmo Wangchuck, Queen Mother of Bhutan. It’s my first book on Bhutan. I knew nothing about Bhutan other than the fact about their famed negative carbon foot print. The beginning two lines were sufficient to capture my full attention.
” Bhutan? Isn’t that the place they call the Last Shangri La? “
” Bhutan? Isn’t it that kingdom frozen in the medieval ages? “
It’s a beautiful read and the simple language allows your imagination flesh out the snow capped mountains, the thick forests, the flower carpeted valleys and the narrow winding roads, as we follow the Queen from her childhood to present. There are pictures and paintings in the book which I consider a lovely bonus. Bhutan is definitely a country I want to visit soon; it can be a potential side effect of this charming book, you want to see whether it is really a paradise on earth. And if you are planning to visit the country, the book is a good guide; the culture, traditions and history explained like a fairytale.
I am hoping to go on a trip to the Emerald Isle, someday; but a bit cautious now in the wake of the past suicide attacks. And as always I want to read about the place before I visit. This would be my second book on Sri Lanka; the first I read was “Running in the Family” by Michael Ondaatje. The books are in no way an overlap; they actually complement each other. This book “The Teardrop Island” by Cherry Briggs is ideal for planning a trip to Sri Lanka; as it is a comprehensive travelogue by the author as she explores the island along the footsteps of Sir James Emerson Tennent.
I was however skeptical about the book purely because of the choice of the colour combination for the front cover. Images for a travelogue on Sri Lanka bring forth green of the land, blue of the surrounding ocean and many other shades except red and purple. Why red and purple ? I do not know, but the book was good. I traversed across the island from Galle in south, all the way to Jaffna in the north and all the places in-between and have made my own itinerary of the places I want to venture out. Her journey was soon after the civil war ended in Sri Lanka and it is through her book that I came to know about the reasons for conflict and the aftermath as people struggle to move on. Good read !!
I have finished two books so far and three more to go.
Till next post, take care !!