Paul Kalanithi's book When Breath Becomes Air is an unsettling read which at the same time leaves the reader with a compelling sense of optimism. It is a stirring experience of knowing a man's mind from the frighteningly close distance of his own words, as he prepares himself to meet his end. It certainly doesn't seem … Continue reading When Breath Becomes Air
Reading biographies can be an unsettling feeling. Since school, I have read several biographies - first being Gandhi's My Experiments With Truth. It has become one of my favourite genre of reading for its deliverance and reflexivity that it comes along with. However, it has taken several years to understand the nature of discomfort, or … Continue reading Reading Biographies
Granta Magazine pursued this question with a clutch of writers in Issue 138 on Journeys. In the bookstore last week, I took to a corner and began pouring down the responses. It wasn't driven by curiosity. Instead, it was to figure out if there is a general perception among the authors (many of whom are noted … Continue reading Is travel writing dead?
This is about a week spent cycling to Leh from Manali, alone. This distance of 480 kilometers has sent me home with a few lessons. Some obvious - about physical capability, perseverance and comfort with uncertain weather, and some less obvious that I hope to probe with this act of writing. Besides, every journey works … Continue reading Outside familiar & routine: A cycle ride
It was a ride to Ooty in the monsoon of 2013. Being no good with dates, the ride registers a clear memory because Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance (ZAMM) by Pirsig was in the bag. At the breakfast table, hundred kilometers down on the road to Mysore, ZAMM was making partial sense. Details … Continue reading Reading Pirsig on road trips
This morning, I read a very tender story - of a woman named Lois who fell in love with Kerouac (story via Brain Pickings). Their relationship continued on and off for several years. After several years, when Lois was under depression and grief from losing her mother, Kerouac turns up at her doorstep only to … Continue reading Written word in our times
The following lines were written in July, 2016 as I took the road from India into Nepal's capital. They remained frozen in their state of incompleteness for months until this morning when I find myself taking the same direction, if not the road. Meaning making from travels has always taken this disorderly fashion - … Continue reading Travel and meaning-making