HYDERABAD: We walk to the monasteries, meditate on freezing slopes, dance on the foothills of the Kailash and confront death in the mountain air, reads the blurb of Walking in Clouds by Hyderabad-based writer Kavitha Yaga Buggana. The blurb gently nudges you into reading more and it’s a perfect summer read for those who love travel and spiritual travel in particular. The slim 153-page book by Harper Collins is a memoir of this development economist. It is her journey to Mount Kailash and Lake Mansarovar and it appeals to those who are seeking themselves, while on travel, especially long, arduous ones.
The book begins with how she convinced her family to let her pursue this dream of hers despite her lack of fitness and how she ends up embarking on it with her cousin Pallu. It helps that Kavitha is a newbie to trekking and the whole ‘being a pilgrim’ persona as it makes her writing relatable. The book also lets us know whether or not she is able to overcome her sudden and acute illness to actually finish the parikrama.
From forming her own opinions about her co-travellers to changing it at the end of the trip, for her keen observation of all things foreign from the perspective of an Indian, all add to making the book a good read.
There are adequate photographs also, thus making the book not just as a memoir but a visual travelogue as well. My favourite chapter is how the team of travellers is losing it because of weather but still manage to keep their shoulder to the wheel, including dodging an earthquake! In the middle of the book, she recalls an incident on being asked ‘why Indians worship an elephant’ in a Vietnamese restaurant in the US. Looks like she got her answers during the journey. A must-read if the thought of taking a pilgrimage to Mount Kailash, considered heaven on earth, has ever crossed your mind.
Publisher: Harper Collins
— Manju Latha Kalanidhi