Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Book Review: Monkeys, Motorcycles and Misadventures by Harsha

Title: Monkeys, Motorcycles and Misadventures
Author: Harsha
Pages: 230
Price: 225.00 INR
Publisher: Leadstart Publishing


After having recurring dreams, a man considers retracing Lord Hanuman's epic journey from India to Sri Lanka. While rationality argues against the pursuit, the dream appeals to something deeper, and he sets out with two friends on a 1200 kilometer trek across South India. The journey however, doesn’t turn out to be quite what they expected. Along the way, through encounters with evil cans of pepper spray, wise men, pimps, hell hounds, and manic elephants, they are forced to confront their personal demons. At one of their lowest moments, plagued by doubt, they lose all hope. That's when they experience a sign, the first of many, which renews their spirits and helps them push forward.
Monkeys, Motorcycles, and Misadventures, provides a candid account of the trio’s incredible journey - their misgivings, sufferings, and triumphs, all in search of faith.


A round trip and a search for lost faith, Harsha Vardhan’s ‘Monkeys, Motorcycles and Misadventures’ is a breezy yet insightful read. As you’ve already guessed, this book is a travelogue charting the course that Hanuman had taken in order to rescue the kidnapped Sita from Ashok Vatika in Lanka. The writer, after having recurring dreams, considers retracing the epic journey from India to Sri Lanka. He ventures out with two friends on a 1200 kilometer trek across South India. This book is a well written and balanced journal highlighting the journey of the trio and their many experiences gathered on the way.
I being an armchair traveler enjoyed every bit the author had to offer. Of course it was a gentler, more pleasurable journey for me than it had been for the writer simply because while I enjoyed his trek sitting in the comfort of my room, he had to brave the scorching sun and adverse terrains. Harsha, not one for crowds, doesn’t feel at home with the traditional way of rushing around tourist spots. In most places he visits, there’s a sense of man and nature being in harmony – Mahendragiri being a notable exception. But it was there that his faith was restored in god.
This book is a travelogue cum memoir in which the writer, unmoored by the loss of his beloved grandmother and consequently that of his faith, seeks a resolution of some kind on a journey. It’s a joy to read. There’s right amount of humour, wit and insight. In addition, I really enjoyed the verbal exchange among the three friends. I’d recommend it to all those you enjoy reading non-fiction.

About the author

Harsha is a freelance writer and the author of ‘Monkeys, Motorcycles, and Misadventures’. After graduating with a Master’s in Business Administration, he worked with a large IT company for a few years, before taking a sabbatical to trek the Hanuman route. In 2013, he moved to a beach town, where he spent a year beach bumming, mooching off family, and writing ‘Monkeys, Motorcycles, and Misadventures.’


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I'd like to thank author Harsha for letting me review his book. I do hope you end up liking the book when you read it. Thank you so much for stopping by, and happy reading! 


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