Colourful Notions: The Roadtrippers 1.0 by Mohit Goyal wants to be neither a guide nor an impartial and exhaustive vision of India with the author wanted exactly the opposite, to tells the feelings of three twenty something ordinary youngsters, with feelings that their visit has inspired and feelings that they tried, and transmits with a great charge of empathy and the ability to convey emotions that only those who write from the heart can have.
The Indian subcontinent is immense, almost a world apart and it takes a lifetime to know everything and maybe not enough and so Ab, Sasha and Unnati, give up their high-paying careers and secure personal life to recount their adventures on a ten thousand kilometres drive across India, as then they get carried away by this current in a modern hippie pilgrimage in search of the unknown.
They look at each other with a glint in their eyes, as if refurbishing those memories while narrating through a sweet tale of a real travel experience that blends the magic that resides in the author's eyes, as India is told gently, in its sounds, colours and fragrances, like an inner landscape from Corbett park to Jama Masjid in Delhi while crusiing across Bhangarh Fort, Goa, Varanasi, Wagah Border, Ellora caves, Sundarbans and many other locales, car breakdowns in Bhuj, wild animals, near-death experiences and highway robbers near Agra.
A trip in this land definitely carries with it a heavy baggage of very personal, touching experiences, probably indelible and adds a piece to the puzzle of this diverse land of the contradictions on which over the centuries has been spilled rivers of ink. It is the charm of this land that goes beyond common sense with the urgent need to put pen to paper of a cauldron of emotions that do not subside with the days.
I often felt nostalgic towards the places described by the author that stole my heart while reading the book as the book has a strong appeal to those atmospheres. I found the precious memories that were buried inside me and I found new suggestions about the places that I missed during my experience.
When a book allows you to extrapolate some old memories and it gives you some brand new ones on which to fantasize, it means that the reading has been a magnificent journey albeit under the warmth of the blankets. The writing is enveloping, deep and never banal. I think the key is this, as we get the different feelings that everyone can have during the same trip, as the author's impressions transmits with a flowing narrative not always found in other travel stories.
When I read travel stories, I find myself always hungry for news and sensations and often rest disappointed because I would like to know more. This trip was fabulous and definitely memorable that gets to the heart of the youngsters emotions. It is fresh and has the taste of youth. Sometimes the travel books seem to be written by the know-it-all. No, it is a vision of an India that is very humble, with no intellectual arrogance.
It is not a reassuring book, which seems very honest talking about complex situations in a really interesting and inspiring book, written with an amazing passion that makes you feel like the travelling companions of the writer and is perfect for those who like to travel literature.
It is only the beginning of a journey that you can take to discover India and to read and give, for lovers of this country, for those who want to approach it with caution and for those who love reading to fly elsewhere.
Publisher: Srishti Publishers ○ Published: 17 November 2016 ○ ISBN-13: 978-9382665809 ○ Language: English ○ Binding: Paperback ○ Pages: 200