Nanda Devi : Book Review

Title: Nanda Devi

Author: Sandeep Madadi

Genre: Travelogue

Rating: 4/5

Buy at:  Amazon (Nanda Devi)

 


Book Blurb:

There are mountains, particularly in some ranges of the Indian Himalaya, that have grown taller in our minds. Many of them are made taller, tougher, and almost legendary by an intricate veil of mythology and mystery around them. Add a rich legacy of heroic explorations, epic ascents, tragic accidents and a generous dash of romanticism to that and you have Nanda Devi. For reasons known yet unexplained -plutonium or pollution, political or practical – since 1983, Nanda Devi and its sanctum sanctorum remain out of bounds. This is a narrative of mountain travel and exploration set in the backdrop of the Nanda Devi Sanctuary that offers a vigorous description of men as much as the mountains. The intertwined narrative of this book attempts to take you on a voyage into the forbidden Inner sanctuary, back to those good old days, reflecting on the prior explorations, mythology, wildlife, and the native hill tribe culture.

Review:

Little did I know of the numerous myths and legends of the Himalayan locales. Neither of the beautiful picturesque views of the several mountain ranges, the several peaks, accessible and inaccessible to human, the Himalayan flora and fauna and the weather conditions there. Nor of these stories from so many treks by so many famous mountaineers. People worshipped the Nanda Devi, it was not just a mountain, inanimate peak, but a deity that sustained life in its abode. People sought permission, performed rituals and a pooja before the start of the trek. The description of life and views of the outer and inner sanctuary were so mesmerizing, almost out of this world. Such hidden beauty, away from human habitation, away from traversed lands, amidst tough terrain almost impossible to pass through. Facing the harsh uncertain weather conditions at that altitude, keeping at a safe distance from the wild animals especially the predators, and mustering the courage to keep climbing, days on end, is no mean feat.

My only problem with this book is its font size. The letters are too big for a comfortable read. Such a font size is apt only for children’s books. Otherwise, I thoroughly enjoyed this travelogue on mountaineering with anecdotes from previous famous mountaineers. It is a treat to the imagination. Loved the visuals and the photos in the book. Many Hindu myths and legends find a place here, with significance to the mountain deities and the local people. There are several books mentioned in this one, written by fellow mountaineers of the yester years, a treat for any bibliophile. I recommend it to anyone who loves travel memoirs and true adventure tales, they’ll be thrilled to read this.

 

Buy the book here.

I thank Blogchatter for sending this book across. #TBRChallenge

 

This review is powered by Blogchatter Book Review Program.

 


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Queeristan by Parmesh Sahani

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  Queeristan (Amazon Link) Thanks to Audible Free Trial I listened to this amazing non-fiction on LGBTQ inclusion in Indian workplaces. Author Parmesh Sahani identifies as gay Indian, working closely with Godrej higher management and employees for years to create an inclusive workplace, both legally and in spirit. This book is a result of those years of experience, research, collaboration with individuals from difference spectrum of the society and organizations who has successfully transitioned into a queer friendly one.   Indian history is inclusive. From the Khajuraho temple architectures, to Konark to the Rig Veda, there is existing proofs even 2000 years ago of Indian inclusiveness of queer. It’s the draconian British law that criminalised it, which was scraped in 2009, came into effect once again following a sad judgement in 2013 and eventually was scraped off for good in 2018. I am in awe of the lawyers who fought this legal battle- colleagues and partners – Arundhati Katju

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