I have had the luck to visit some amazing places, without packing my toothbrush. Holmes’s foggy Baker Street, Ms. Marple’s quaint little St. Mead, Nancy Drew’s River Heights, and Swami’s Malgudi. I sort of revisit them every time I dig around the bookshelf. So it was today. Three hours of powercut, and a free trip down booklane. 🙂
I got Ruskin Bond’
s ‘Strange Men, Strange Places’
from a raddhiwalla in Bombay, sometime in 2001. The previous owner, an Urvi Vakil, had scribbled her name on it on 23rd August 1975. She must have brought it at the listed price of Rs. 3. 50, I got it for Rs. 10. The worth
of the book is infinitely more. This book of ‘True Stories from India of Soldiers, Saints and Sinners’ is full of 18th century stories from places like Cambay, Sardhana, Poona, Meerut, Hansi, Khasganj and the Court of Oudh. An adventurous read.
One of the book (series actually) that really got my travel goat was Alexander McCall Smith’s ‘No. One Ladies Detective Agency’
. It even got into K’s system. Mma Ramotswe, Grace Makutsi, Gaborone, and Mochudi influenced us so much, that we decided we had to go
to Botswana. We even looked up air fares, and travel routes. (we thought of flying to Johhanesburg and taking a bus to Gaborone). Tho’ the trip never took place, I live in hope. 🙂
Some books when made into films never make it to the post. Some however do!
I actually fell in love with Pemberly when I saw it in the BBC production of Jane Austen‘s Pride and Prejudice. I almost died wanting to go to Derbyshire. I still do.
The reverse was true when it came to Isak Dinesen‘s “Out of Africa’. Did I fall in love with Africa after I had seen the Sydney Pollack film, or was I always in love with Africa, and the film just reinforced the feeling, I wonder. I have yet to see and read the book (eve tho’ i have searched for it long and hard), and the film has all but sharpened the thirst to go to Africa a bit more. 😦
Come to think of it, my shelf has plenty of books with names of cities and countries. But do they want to make to go there? Is it the characters that bring the city alive or the fact that the cities themselves are living and breathing characters ?
Perhaps I’ll read (travel?) some more to get a hint. 🙂