Jan 4, 2014

The Ukimwi Road

I read about this book on Yogesh Dhimate's blog. That blog is no longer online and he hasn't created new one yet as far as I know.  If you are aware about a new link where; he writes please share the link with me.  So firstly I must thank Yogesh for suggesting this book. And a trivia, can this be Yogesh's new blog?  Reading this book was on my list for the last three years. My friend Rohit Keluskar was set to do a bicycle ride from Ahemadabad to Mumbai and I had thought that I will read this book and send it with a friend to India as a gift to Rohit. That friend of mine ran out of space and weight to carry the book and I did not finish reading it in 2011. In between many unsuccessful attempts were made to read the book, but all in vain. I even carried the book during holidays. Rohit graduated from National School of Design long back and that reminds me that I have to get in touch with him and check more. This should explain the reason why I am happy to read this book.

Because the book was read over such a long period of time, unfortunately I did not get to enjoy it. This is journal of author Dervla Murphy’s journey on bicycle through the AIDS infected poor countries of Africa. She covered 3000 miles on her bike, “Lear”.  It might be due to my lesser attention span spread over number of years, I did not quite enjoy the writing style. She has tried to add exact details as she pedaled across the impoverished countries but somehow misses to catch attention. She often quotes at length details of logs from early explorers of the continent which doesn’t help to make understand the point she is trying to make. If she had told what her interpretation was I would have liked it much. And again I don’t want to be unfair to the author; a rereading will make most of the points clear. I will keep the book with me and reread it.

The author did not spend more energy in concluding the book. For a reader it is important to know what is going on her mind. And I would not have mind if more pages were spent on the reflection on state of things there. This is important because a cyclist sees things at a slower pace. The book, “An Imperfect Offering” comes out when these two books are compared. Dr. James Orbinski has written the book with such a great passion that it made me cry at times. He has spent long time serving war victims and refuges in Africa, and is aware of the nature of things there. 

I would recommend this book to anyone interested in a unique travel memoir where one finds moments to triumph over the human spirit. 

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