Skip to main content

Featured Post

Ladakh - Planning The Trip

Over 2000 Km by road, in around 10 days. Stunning landscapes, wonderful people. That sums up our Ladakh trip. But how did it actually work? How did we make it happen? Read on to find out!  Leh, the capital of Ladakh , is accessible by air and road. Flying into Leh is the easiest, and time-saving option, while the road is the time consuming one, but with the added advantage of driving past some of the most beautiful landscapes in our country. Each option has much to recommend it, and we chose the road for just one reason – altitude sickness. Altitude sickness was one of my biggest concerns, since I suffer from motion-sickness. Yes, I do travel a lot, but that is despite my condition, and, over the years, have learnt how to handle it. I struggled with it when we visited Nathu-La in Sikkim, and wondered if I would be able to manage a week at the even higher altitudes that we would encounter in Ladakh. This was the reason we stuck to a basic plan, of only 9 days in Ladakh, though we

Book Review - Hot Tea Across India


The minute I heard of the book, ‘Hot Tea Across India’, I just knew that I had to read it! After all, tea is something Shankar says I practically live on, while travelling! While he can’t stand the sweet and watery liquid that passes for tea in most places these days, and prefers to abstain, I can’t stay away it, especially on train journeys, where both Samhith and Shankar now know to call out to every chap selling chai, especially masala chai on any station small or big!

Image courtesy: Westland Books

Coming back to the book, I received an invitation to the launch, and I was so enthusiastic, that I wrote straightway to the organisers, asking if they could spare me a copy. They were so obliging that the book landed on my doorstep the very next day! Being all alone at home, and with the writer’s block, which refuses to leave me, I decided to start at once. Unfortunately, as it turned out, I was unable to attend the book launch after all. It would have been nice to meet the author, Rishad Saam Mehta, but that is something that looks difficult as of now! I promised the publishers that I would write a review, so here goes....

Rishad Saam Mehta is an engineer turned travel writer and photographer, and this book is an account of his road trips across India – from the snow-covered roads of the Himalayas to the winding lanes of Munnar. He talks of his experiences along the journeys, the memorable as well as the not-so-memorable encounters, and of course, the ubiquitous tea, which shows up no matter where he goes!

The major part of the book is about his drives in the Himalayas. While I haven’t been lucky enough to visit any of those places yet, and I don’t even share the same love for driving that he does, I was caught up in his experiences, and for the next few days even wished that I would sometime go along the same routes that he did! His experience at the Raid-de-Himalayas is the kind of adventure I wouldn’t even think of trying, but something that had me gripping the book tighter as I read! Reading about him hitching a ride from Mumbai to Delhi on a truck had me laughing all the way, and his account of the ‘Luxarey’ bus ride from Haridwar to Manali had me smiling ruefully in agreement.... I have been on such buses many a time! The story of his first car was something I liked so much that I read it out to Samhith, as an example of how to write an 'autobiography of a car'!

The book is a light and enjoyable read, one that makes you laugh or smile all the way. My only complaint is that the Himalayas take up most of the book, leaving very little room for the other places, especially the southern and eastern parts of the country. That said, his Himalayan experiences are so much fun that it would have been a pity to leave any of them out! The book is the perfect light reading for anyone who loves to travel, or even those who love to read about travel! It is, however, not a guide book, or even a guide to the best tea places, so do not expect any specific details. Tea is something that just crops up everywhere he goes, which is true no matter where you go in India, but the book is more about the experiences than the tea. itself. 

All in all, the book came at a perfect time for me. I enjoyed the book, and hopefully writing this review will break the writers block and help me catch up with all the posts I have to write about my own travels and experiences!

Special thanks to Westland Books and The Book Lovers, for giving me an opportunity to read this wonderful book!


Comments

  1. Its a nice read.

    http://rajniranjandas.blogspot.in/2012/04/beside-cauvery.html

    ReplyDelete
  2. I should read this soon!! :) sounds fun!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. yes, you should, Aarti! I am sure you will enjoy it too!

      Delete
  3. Anu if this is your writer's block ... well I want to have one!

    I am reading this while having chai as well!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Mridula, this is the result after a long tryst with writers block :D have so much to write, and now dont know where to begin!! havent been able to write a proper travelogue in ages!

      Delete
  4. I need to lay my hands on this. Thanks for the review.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, you should, Indrani! am sure u will enjoy it!

      Delete
  5. Beautiful review. Unfortunately Chai got relegated.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well, PNS, there is quite a bit of tea in the book! its just that his adventures are more exciting!

      Delete
  6. Anuradhaji, If ever you would want to cobble up a group for travelling to Himalayan places, please count me in.
    Judging by the way you write, it will be a pleasure to visit places with you.:-)
    Pattu

    http://www.gardenerat60.wordpress.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much!!! If I ever get to go to the Himalayas, I will certainly remember you!!

      Delete
  7. Great title for a book, would read it for sure!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Great!! do read it and let me know what you think!

      Delete
  8. Traveling in India is a tricky affair... and though there have been books and movies on the same, you just can't get enough of it!

    This book seems interesting, especially owing to its title! After all, isn't tea what distinguishes India from everywhere else?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So true!!! travelling around India can be quite a challenge! and you can never have enough of it! as to tea, well, Indian chai is completely unique!!!

      Delete
  9. Raji ParthasarathyApril 22, 2012 at 6:59 PM

    Nice review Anu.wish to read the book soon.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. THanks Raji!! Do read the book and let me know what you think!

      Delete
  10. what a wonderful site. i am so happy to have found you. thank you for this suggestion. i love this kind of story. i recently finished a.wainwrights book 'a coast to coast walk' and was compelled to take a walking tour of england. perhaps this book with finally get me to india.
    i'll write back once i've read it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much, Frank! I really hope you get to visit India soon! meanwhile, looking forward to hearing your view on the book!

      Delete

Post a Comment

Thanks so much for stopping by. Please leave a comment for me so that I will know you have been here....

Popular posts from this blog

The Havelis of Bikaner - A Photo Post

The lanes are narrow , twisting and turning amidst buildings old and new. Crumbling old structures with intricate workmanship stand side by side with art deco buildings, and more modern constructions, which follow no particular style. Autos, bicycles, motorcycles and vans rush past, blowing their horns as loudly as possible, while cows saunter past peacefully, completely unaffected by the noise. In the midst of all this chaos, children play by the side, and women go about their chores, as we explore these by-lanes of Bikaner, and its beautiful Havelis. Facade of one of the Rampuria Havelis

Bhedaghat - Home of the 81 Yoginis

The Narmada flows down the mountains , carving out a path for herself as she makes her way down to the plains of Central India. She cascades from the rocks, her fine spray making it appear as if billows of smoke (dhuan) arise from the flowing streams of water (dhaar), giving it the name Dhuandhar. Dhuandhar Falls The force of her flow creates a gorge , smoothening and carving out the rocks into fantastic shapes, the pure white of the rocks standing starkly against the shades of the water. It is a joy to cruise down the river in a boat, seeing the natural contours created by the river, now famous as the Marble Rocks. We are at Bhedaghat, located on the banks of the Narmada near Jabalpur, where thousands of visitors turn up to see these natural landscapes, creations of the sacred Narmada, and pay obeisance to her. However, to me, the most interesting thing about Bhedaghat, isn’t the falls or the rocks, or even the river. What makes Bhedaghat special is t

Kabini Part 3 - After the Rains

Visiting Kabini in peak summer, we hadn’t bargained for the rains, which dominated our three days at the Lodge. While animal sightings were understandably lesser than usual, seeing the forest in the rain was an interesting experience in its own way. However, as we headed back into the forest for our second and third safaris, we hoped the rains would let up, and allow us to see more animals! Winding jungle paths