Skip to main content

Book Review: Caravan to Tibet by Deepa Agarwal

Debu and Hayat live in Milam, a small hilly village on the borders of India and Tibet. A year ago they lost their father in a snow blizzard when he was coming back to Milam from Tibet following a trade business. Father’s absence makes their life all the tougher, since they are poor and means of livelihood are infrequent in the hills, and his uncle Trilok troubles them above all. However, Debu believes that his father is alive and he should proceed to find him. But the biggest obstacle is the journey that has to take through the snowy high-mountain passes that lead to Tibet. Moreover, he is just a fourteen-year-old boy and so far no boy of his age has been included in the expedition which is usually carried out by veteran traders and mountaineers.


One day Debu sees his father’s amulet in a Tibetan customer’s neck. When he enquires about that amulet the customer says he bought it from the market of Garkot – a famous place in Tibet where his father and other men of the village often went for business chores. This incident revives his hope about his father’s survival and soon he manages to convince both: his sad mother and the men who are about to go on an expedition to Tibet.

Following a treacherous journey, they reach Gyanima – a place where the boy Lama lives in a palace. In the palace, the people of caravan one by one bow before the lama and offer him some or other offerings – as being his first time in the land of the lamas Debu follows the others trace. Ironically, an interesting thing happens when the boy lama draws a liking for Debu. Next morning Debu is taken to the palace and forced to stay with the boy lama and the rest of the caravan marches ahead for Garkot.

One night when Debu tries to escape, the soldiers arrest and present him before the lama. At this point, when Debu narrates his tale and the objective behind coming to the lama’s land, the lama tells him about a person being saved by a meditating monk from a snowy blizzard but it remains unsure whether the person is still alive. To help Debu, the lama sets him off for that monastery which saved and then later nursed his father. Debu is escorted by some soldiers. On the way a gang of bandits attacks them – all the soldiers run away – Debu is taken as a prisoner. The leader of the gang is Nangbo – he has some wicked magical powers. Thus, he knows all the tricks which Debu can apply to run away from the gang.

The bandits make plans to loot the goldfields of Thok Jalong. The gang includes Debu as one of the shooters and when the time comes so close they tie his hands and set him on someone else’s horse. Even Debu does not realize how it all happened – he finds himself in the hands of an old couple nursing his wounded leg. As luck favours his treacherous search so far; soon he discovers his father in the goldfields as one of the working miners. They both narrate each other’s tale and move ahead for Gartok to find other people of the caravan in order to make a return trip to Milam. However, some other quirks of fate await him when they reach Gartok.

The story is staged against the time when Tibet was an independent country and the traders from India frequented that land for business deals. Caravan to Tibet is a tale of an extraordinary bravery of a simple boy who subsisted on optimism until he finds out his father. The writer hails from the Himalaya hence readers find her depiction of the high mountains and people’s ethos credibly appropriate. Simply adventurous and truly promising!

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Poem Summary: Where The Mind Is Without Fear by Rabindranath Tagore

Poem by Rabindranath Tagore: Where the mind is without fear and the head is held high Where knowledge is free Where the world has not been broken up into fragments By narrow domestic walls Where words come out from the depth of truth Where tireless striving stretches its arms towards perfection Where the clear stream of reason has not lost its way Into the dreary desert sand of dead habit Where the mind is led forward by thee Into ever-widening thought and action Into that heaven of freedom, my Father, let my country awake. Short Summary: This poem is written by Rabindranath Tagore during pre-independence days, when India was a colony of the British. The underlying theme of the poem is absolute freedom; the poet wants the citizens of his country to be living in a free state. According to the poem, we see that the poet is expressing his views there should be a country, like where people live without any sort of fear and with pure dignity…they should

Book Review: The Blue Umbrella by Ruskin Bond

Among all Ruskin Bond books, The Blue Umbrella has, so far, gathered immense applaud from readers and critics alike.  This is a short novel, but the kind of moral lessons it teaches to us are simply overwhelming. This is a story of Binya, a poor little girl living with her mother and an elder brother, Bijju, in a small hilly village of Garhwal. One day while herding her two cows back home, she stumbles upon some city people enjoying the picnic in the valley. She is enthralled to see them well-groomed and rich. She craves to be one like them and among many other things of their, a blue frilly umbrella catches her attention. She begins craving for it. On the other hand, the city people get attracted by her innocent beauty and the pendant in her neck. The pendant consists of leopard’s claw – which is considered a mascot widely in the hills. Binya trades her pendant off with the blue umbrella. The blue umbrella is so much beautiful that soon it becomes a topic of conversation fo

Character Sketch of Binya from ‘The Blue Umbrella’ by Ruskin Bond

The Blue Umbrella by Ruskin Bond is a popular children’s story. It features Binya as the main character, though there are other important characters as well, but the story revolves around Binya and her little beautiful umbrella. The story is widely popular among children, thus it has also been included in the schools’ syllabus all across the country. Since it is often taught in the school, thus the character sketch of Binya is often demanded by students from year to year. Character Sketch of Binya from The Blue Umbrella by Ruskin Bond Binya is the main character of the novel ‘The Blue Umbrella’ by Ruskin Bond. Her full name is Binyadevi. As in the hills or anywhere in India it is a kind of trend to call children with their short nicknames. Binya’s elder brother’s name is Bijju, whereas his real name is Vijay. Binya aged eleven is a hilly girl. She lives with her small family in the hills of Garhwal. Her father died when she was two years of age. For sustenance, the