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Book Review – People & Places: Walk My Journey by Husna Kassim

When we are children travelling is a fantasy. When we grow up travelling vanquishes due to societal pressure and career aspirations. And then finally when we get that senile budge and look through the things post retirement, the time is ripened for taking up that travel bucket list once again left behind years ago. But I firmly believe be it any age or phase, travelling is a special feeling that one gets during the journey or upon reaching the destination. As we land, roam, see, and interact with people and places our perception about others begin ossifying in an unbidden moment that we live and experience at that place.

I may not be a foreign traveler, however I extensively traveled India and it was enough for me. I love travelling and still wish to hop around the world from snow-capped mountains to scenic beaches. Reading travel books/novels is my first priority among all genres. On recommendation I picked up “People & Places” by Husna Kassim. This book is special to me because of the countries the author frequented, because these are my favourite ones too.

Though the book is bifurcated into two, I was glued to first part for it was constantly feeding my traveler curiosity. I wish I could snip amazing pictures from the book…The Trans Mongolian Express at Ulan Bator station…I wish I could board Jammu to Kanyakumari train that will take me from North to South – the entire length of India. Anyway, I could make out from the pictures that Husna really travelled through and met people with a big heart. Her own country’s tranquil beautiful beaches add charm to the overall travel reading session in the book.

“There is something soothing about the sound of ocean waves, the repetitive slow whooshing sound as the warm sand get pulled back into the sea with every retreating wave. Shimmering blue waters, fine white sandy beaches, sunshine on most days, swaying coconut trees, and friendly kampong folks are some of my recollections of a couple of villages I discovered along the coast of the district of Setiu, Terengganu.”

Husna vividly captures her encounters with cultural point of interests, cuisines & restaurants, and peculiar things of the places and people in the souks, markets, alleys, streets, etc. Most fascinating ones include that one hotel in Spain offering stew of a bull killed in a bull fight. She initiated a healthy debate on same…as why half Spain loves and opposes the bull fighting.

The expanse of the book is only not limited to a fewer tourist spots. Wherever she goes, she also tries to capture the mood of people about social, political, and economical causes. For that I found her discussing one deputy PM of Malaysia, interviewed a few people in Turkey for the president Erdoğan, and shared snippets of Arab Uprising in Tunisia and there is more in the depths of the book.

An all-encompassing travelogue in its soul and spirit! Beautifully written with pictures that adorn the narration way beyond its limit! Before I conclude this review, I would like to say that the book cannot be covered in one review; it has themes, variety, and diversity that expect a totally absorbing read.

You can buy the book from Amazon/Kindle.


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