Srinath Perur: If It’s Monday It Must Be Madurai A Conducted Tour of India

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Zbekistan among a roup of repressed Indian men6 Santa Claus Aa Rahe Hai is a slum porn tour of Dharavi7 According to Their Own Genius is a freewheeling tour of Assam and Meghalaya8 The Same Water Everywhere is a Kabir Yatra with folk musicians across Rajasthan9 Real India is about a walking tour of villages in Madhya Pradesh looking for local innovations and meeting people10 The Taste Of Sugar Perur undertakes a Wari the ancient walking pilgrimage to PandarpurGroup escorted tours are the bread and butter of India s tourism industry and operators spend hours in carefully designing the itinerary and the inclusions jamming in as much as possible to ensure the best paisa vasool for the customer Ironically conducted tours are also looked down as a very touristy thing that those travelling on them just want to check off it s just not travel And yet as this book shows there are reasons for travelling and it s not always about seeing sights and having local experiences It s also about wearing clothes you usually can t being with your spouse away from your joint family being in a place where you re not being judged or taking that first trip as a couple in 25 years of marriage which I think is a psychological validation of having finished their responsibilities and so can now indulge themselves this oncePerur is brilliant in being that proverbial fly on the wall observing without passing judgement remarking with amazing wit and insight often turning his When Da Silva Breaks the Rules (Blood Brothers, gaze inwards when looking out at the places he s travelling and the people he s travelling with The diversity in the tours means that there s enormous variety in both the experiences and in the travel companions entertaining and enlightening us with anecdotes personal stories and perspectives While the book is a delightful travelogue it s also thus a charming sociological portrait of India and her people Travel writing as aenre had never really interested me I am fairly certain that the numerous English Comprehension tests I wrote in school that featured extraordinarily tiresome pieces on places around the world are to blame After I passed out I d read very little travel writing and whatever I d read I found to be too introspective and unnecessarily eographical for my taste if not boring Through the years I managed to maintain the same distance one does with dull but well meaning uncles with it far but somewhat friendly So I suppose it was slightly out of character that I picked up Srinath Perur s If It s Monday It Must Be Madurai a collection of ten travel essays based wholly on conductedgroup tours the author has taken It was one of the essays Memorial For The Victims Of Repression which was published as an excerpt in the Open Magazine that initially piued my interest in the bo. Ntains myriad riches of hanging on to a camel in the Thar; rediscovering music on.

This was my secret Santa ift I enjoyed reading this a lot Never did I felt bored reading this with healthy mix of details of people and places My travel book binge this year continues with Srinath Perur s first a collection of travelogues about traveling in Fifty Ways To Be Your Lover groups and I must say that I didn t come to it with anyreat expectations And the first piece in the book sort of confirmed that for me I found the writing very ordinary the observations obvious and didn t feel the need to read But I persisted and felt the book Caught on Camera with the CEO grow on me It took me a while toet used to the fact that the travel part in Perur s book is not about the places themselves but the people he was traveling with This is difficult for a reader like me to take because place as an idea is so important to me And that is why we read travelogues to Wyoming Strong (Wyoming Men, get that sense of place writing can paint and evoke Just that this is a different kind of bookEnjoyable it certainly became as weo on to Uzbekistan and Aditya Chopra s Europe you smile and laugh at the travelers and their uirks You know them so well you know what they are Arabian Nights going to do yet you enjoy it Though I can t for the life of me imagineoing on a conducted tour to a hill stationPerur s writing is understated It doesn t shout or Enchanting Baby (The Birth Place gather attention to itself it s just there He s a veryood storyteller but I still believe that some depth in the pieces would have made them substance There are several places in the book when he Wild Nights with Her Wicked Boss gives you that little nudge that little push that makes you pause and smile But in the end the book is essentially about who we Indians are and become as we travel as we leave the comfort and familiarity of places we know and venture out together We reveal ourselves to be sometimes obnoxious sometimes carefree sometimes irritating sometimes plain stupid but always interesting travelers We re a complex layered people but the fact that so many of us choose to travel with others says something about us Like when in a bus in Europe we play Antakshari and always always sing Saare Jahan se Accha I muilty of initially judging this book as just a uick summary of touristy Midsummer Night (Lady Julia Grey, group tours the author hadone on and was trying to make a uick buck with a book in the currently in subject of travel As the 10 chapters show the canvas is colourful the subjects even varied and I m delighted to be proved wrong1 The Grace of God is a temple hopping tour across Tamil Nadu with retired Always You government servants2 Saare Jahaan Se Accha is an escorted Europe tour with a Desiroup3 Desert Knowledge Camel College is a conducted tour of Rajasthan with a camel safari4 Foreign Culture is a cruise through the backwaters of Kerala with a small roup of foreigners5 Memorial For The Victims Of Repression is a conducted sex tour to A delightful travel bookThis entertaining travelogue around ten conducted tours co.

( KINDLE If It’s Monday It Must Be Madurai A Conducted Tour of India ) author Srinath Perur –

Ok The essay featured his participating in a conducted sex tour to Uzbekistan Perur as the self appointed fly on the wall among a roup of repressed Indian men is a joy to read What I particularly loved in that essay and as I would later find out the entire book was that he does not pass judgment on any of his travel companions He merely observes but his observations bear the kind of extreme sincerity that toes on sarcasm and delightfully so I laughed with this book in ways I have not laughed with a book in a very long time There are some paragraphs in his essay on a conducted tour of Rajasthan Desert Knowledge Camel College that are so hilarious that I read them a couple times for extra Lucy Carmichael giggles The Grace of God an essay in which he describes his experience travelling across Tamil Nadu on a temple tour made me reminisce about my own family s seemingly never ending temple trips on which I was a very reluctant attendee In Saare Jahaan Se Accha he takes on Europe with his Desi tourroup Perur makes many earnest and thoroughly amusing observations about his roup s uniuely Indian characteristics However one stood out for me that of the the foresight of some of the members who had packed snacks and food from home The reason it did was because it brought back a rather stark memory from a trip my family made to Hong Kong in 2010 where we wandered around Ocean Park hungry we were vegetarians and finding vegetarian food in ocean park was akin to finding the proverbial needle in a literal haystack for close to an hour until we bumped into a family who were kind enough to ive us the food they had packed from home for their trip Perur writes about taking a trip to the North East in According to Their Own Genius Reading the essay made me feel uite sad It seemed I was familiar with the places and culture discussed in the essay about Europe than I was about places in my own country Real India Santa Claus Aa Rahe Hai and The Same Water Everywhere were ood to read but Foreign Culture seemed a bit like a filler arrangement something that he wrote because he wanted a nice round number of essays in his book Incidentally Foreign Culture might just be the only essay among the ten where it seems the author actually had a holiday so you can t help but feel happy for him and his toddy induced stuporMy absolute favourite essay in the book was The Taste Of Sugar Perur undertakes a Wari the traditional walking pilgrimage to Pandarpur It is not often that you come across a piece of writing which balances being insightful and being side splittingly funny with as much race as this essayIn all I cannot recommend If It s Monday It Must Be Madurai enough Read it for the places he s travelled to but importantly read it for the people he s travelled with. The trail of Kabir; joining an ancient pilgrimage; and hunting for sex in Tashkent.

If It's Monday It Must Be Madurai and the translator of