One cannot possibly think of anything worth mentioning about an evening’s outing through the city’s busy alleys. Nor can a stopover at Chalai market come across as particularly fanciful. However, these presumptions can go for a toss if the visitor is but a 10-year-old. What is mundane for the adult eyes can hold innumerable wonders for a child. And through the imaginative descriptions of Sera Mariam Benny, these places acquire a charm long lost to the city-sore eyes. Her travelogue, released here recently by author Aswathi Thirunal Gowri Lakshmy Bai, is a collection of travel notes that Sera has penned after family outings.
Sera could well be the youngest author to write a book in the genre of travel writing. She has earlier garnered kudos for her talent in painting and has conducted a solo exhibition in the city. A class 5 student of Holy Angels’ Convent, Nanthancode, sights and sounds obviously make a deep impact on the imaginative mind of this little girl. Her book begins with ones about the picnics she had gone on as a seven-year-old.
“I have had the habit of writing about things I noticed. They could be interesting aspects about the place, people or a sight that I found especially memorable,” says Sera.
The vivid descriptions of places like Madurai and Munnar bring out her talent to weave words into fabulous patterns that are both appealing and accurate. On the other hand, her curious little eyes seek out fascinating details in places like Bharanaganam Church, Kochi’s old streets and Bangalore’s sleek suburbs. Her account of the village of Kathaparambu, which is also her home town, is rich with a copious dose of descriptions about the pristine nature. The spell that the rural setting cast over a child accustomed to the sights of the city is put down with surprising clarity of thought. The train journey to Ernakulam which Sera went on with her father is another interesting episode in the book. The passing sights on the way are recounted with a telling resplendence.
The 40-page book also contains accounts of trip to Madurai Meenakshi Temple, adventure parks etc. The author has chosen to narrate the events like a story.
The easy flow of the narrative and the writing style evocative of a conversation between the author and children her age make it a hearty read. The colourful presentation also reflects Sera’s love for the paint palette.