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Devika A. Rosamund’s “The Road East to India”

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Title: The Road East to India: Diary of a Journey of a Lifetime

Author: Devika A. Rosamund

Publisher: Matador

Copyright: January 11, 2017

ASIN: B01MY7NE7P

Format: E-Book, 167 Pages, $5.99 [Kindle], $9.99 [Barnes & Noble Paperback], $5.99 [Nook], $4.61 [Google Play], $3.99 [iBooks]

Summary:

The Road East To India is the memoir of Devika A. Rosamund, written at the time of her travels to India alone in 1976, aged just 22. In her diary she records her adventures and reflects on her personal experiences, emotions and the relationships she formed with fellow travellers and indigenous people.

Devika’s journey begins in Amsterdam where she saves money for her exciting trip. Once she has earned enough money by working relentlessly, she travels by bus as far as Iran, and then continues by local transport through Afghanistan and Pakistan to India, braving many dangers on the way. The journey to India takes six weeks, and once there she goes on to travel around the country, visiting many famous places she has only ever dreamt about before, including the Himalayas and Sri Lanka. Devika takes many risks and experiences some frightening situations on her journey which are recorded in this diary. On one occasion a hotel worker breaks into her room in the middle of the night.

Finally, after travelling up the west coast of India, Devika discovers an ashram and finds herself sat at the feet of a spiritual master, where she learns about meditation. Her spiritual journey takes a turn for the worst when the monsoon season arrives. The house where she is staying is completely flooded and consequently she becomes very sick, with doctors worried for her life. She very fortunately recovers, and is able to return to England to complete the final year of her studies. Devika concludes her memoir by saying that great adventures inevitably always include risk and danger and this is what makes it a journey of a lifetime.

The Road East To India will appeal to those who enjoy travel memoirs and are interested in what it was like for a young woman to travel alone overland to India.

Review:

Have you ever been fascinated by different cultures from all over the globe? Do you find the Counterculture of the 1960’s and 1970’s compelling? Are journal-type memoirs something that you enjoy?

If you have answered ‘yes’ to any of the above questions then I suggest that you read Devika A. Rosamund’s The Road East to India. In this memoir, Ms. Rosamund shares with us what it was like to be a young 20-something woman travelling across the European and Asian continents in the late 20th century. The memoir begins in August 1975 when she is in Kent, England and concludes once more in London, England in August 1976. In the book, the author travels to Amsterdam, Belgium, Germany, Austria, Yugoslavia, Greece, Turkey, Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, and Sri Lanka.

The author has such a pleasant and engaging style of writing which immediately drew me into the narrative of the story. The flow of the book is steady and, in some points, it is fast-paced (which certainly keeps the story interesting). The tone and atmosphere of this book was somewhat spiritual and hopeful. The author’s open-minded approach to other cultures was refreshing and it was fascinating to see how she interacted with individuals from a range of different cultures. Some of the interactions were downright disturbing, including men who sexually harassed her. It certainly was very telling about the nature and nuances of different cultures. For example, there was a certain location that she was in and the men continued to propose marriage to her. They could not fathom the idea of a woman travelling independently through their country. What interested me the most was seeing the co-mingling of two different cultures and how each individual (from diverse cultures) acted. It was told completely through Ms. Rosamund’s eyes certainly but I was captivated.

From the first page to the last, I felt like I was there the entire time alongside Devika. She had such a compelling way of describing the locales and the scenes into which she adventured. For someone who just loves learning about all kinds of cultures, I found it impossible to put the book down. I am thankful to the author for sharing her experiences travelling a route that would likely be dangerous to travel in this current era. All in all, I found The Road East to India a very human story which has all kinds of aspects that any reader can relate to.

Rating:

 

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