Skip to main content

Book Review: Travelthon Tales by Anuj Tikku

Travelthon Tales by Anuj Tikku is an interesting read. More precisely, it is not a boring travelogue or travel diary of a random tourist, rather, a book with stories of varied backdrops. The collection, in all, has 13 riveting short stories that the author heard or came across while travelling around the world.

As you begin drowning in the book, one fact ossifies that Anuj Tikku is a well-travelled celebrity. Through these stories, Anuj just not takes his readers to places but also introduces them to the reality, history, and life insights of others that we do not get to see when we are confined in our homes.

In the story, 'A Tour Guide's Day', he exposes the everyday struggle of a tour guide of Chittorgarh. How that guide was excited to have a big client for the day so that he can pay the school fee for his daughters. On the back of the Rajput history, and with mean traits, the guide puts all efforts to bewitch his client of the day. On the other hand, the traveler gets into the dilemma while listing to stories, as the history suggested women otherwise. Overall, the story succeeded in conjuring up the contemporary challenges of a modern-day tour guide in a place where the realms of history lie open to tourists’ vulnerability and today’s parody of contradiction.

The stories have backdrops of countries like Afghanistan, Ukraine, and many Indian places like Katra, Agra, Mumbai, and also tribal people who live inside the wildlife sanctuaries. The last story, ‘Once Upon a Time in a Forest’, the author has subtly presented the intrigues of wildlife enigma. It was also evident as how humans disturb the nature and pattern of animals, and the result leads to the conflict of interests. Well, this story also has some suspense elements.

Stories like 'My Dad – My Bheema Shila' and 'The Ghost in the Cemetery' are based on Tikku's personal travel stories, where he felt a sense of attachment for his late father. Remembering father through stories is a good way of paying respect and tribute to one's father. That's a lovely gesture from the author.

Other than sheer travel stories, there are stories that basis build on migration or when someone is rendered homeless. Sold to Taliban, told in three parts, is a perfect story that weaves the craving of freedom and love in one's life. It was interesting to note how Bollywood people (indirectly) helped one young girl escape from the clutches of a Talibani. 

Not just travel, there are many aspects that inevitably get covered with these 13 stories. The language of the book is easy-to-understand, with no glaring grammar glitches. Overall, a good book for story and travel lovers. Anuj Tikku is a famous face in Bollywood, you can always read more about his other books.


Popular posts from this blog

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 for village…

Story Summary: The Accidental Tourist by Bill Bryson

The Accidental Tourist by Bill Bryson is a short story that highlights the importance of having suave and elegant manners at the time of travelling. In this story, we see that the narrator almost flies over 100,000 miles every year because of his job’s nature. So, we can say that the narrator is an accidental tourist, though he doesn’t enjoy travelling but still he has to because of his job. However in his own words he says that he is sort of a confused man who often forgets the roads and gets into wrong alleys or gets trapped into self-locking doors. In this story, he takes us to some of his awry travel experiences where he did some crazy things, though unwittingly.
Most of his experiences are based around airports or inside the flights. On one instant, while flying to England from Boston with family for Christmas, he forcibly opened the zip of his bag, as a result it broke down and all the stuff littered on the ground. This made him embarrassed and the people around him.
One day in…

Poem Summary: The Tale of Melon City by Vikram Seth

The Tale of Melon City by Vikram Seth is a humorous poem about a king who is just opposite the terms ‘just and placid’. Rather the king is excited about everything in his kingdom.

The poem is about one hasty decision of king that costs him his life. He orders to build an arch from where he can instruct the spectators. Well, the construction of the arch goes awry, as when the king stands, the arch being built too low, it touches the crown and as a result it falls down. Falling of the crown is a matter of insult for the king, thus he orders to hang the chief of the builders. Noose and gallows are prepared. The crowd is ready to witness the convict go lifeless. But just in time the chief of builder blames the workmen for fault. Next the workmen are taken to the death penalty; they too cry aloud saying that this is the mistake of a mason. The mason is then put next for the death punishment; well he passes the blame on the architecture. Well, the architecture being a clever guy says that …