Book Review: Battlefields and Paradise by Sabir Hussain
Jammu and Kashmir is a bone of contention that has kept the political pot in South-East Asia boiling for sixty years. From insurgency to excesses committed by armed forces, exodus of Pandits to the mass graves and half widows – the land that was once called ‘Paradise on Earth’ lies bleeding now. Yet, the beauty of the place keeps attracting thousands of tourists. And bike trips from Delhi to Ladakh are often heard of.
Battlefields and Paradise is a travelogue penned by former journalist Sabir Hussain. He embarks on a month-long solo bike trip to Turtuk in Ladakh from Delhi; as adventurous and scary as it sounds, the book keeps you hooked on till the last page. Written in plain language, the narrative never gets tiring and keeps the interest going with the detailed account of the road trip. The thrill of riding through Zozi La Pass and going so close to the LOC can hardly be expressed in words but Sabir Hussain excels.
Being a journalist, Sabir’s account of his journey also has a touch of ‘reportage’. Thanks to the picturesque description by Sabir, one can actually feel he is riding with him on the journey. The words vividly describe the changing locales – from the busy, polluted NCR to the lush-green Punjab and then on to the Hills. Sabir’s experience on the road will surely inspire hundreds of other bikers who plan to ‘take the plunge’. The little tidbits in the book about the places he stayed in, the little chats with the local people add to the pleasure of reading.
Read Battlefields and Paradise if you are a travel enthusiast, or if you are not. You will surely love the experience of being a part of a 3200 km road trip through one of the most dangerous terrains on Earth.
My Rating: 4/5 stars
P.S. – Thank you Westland Books for the review copy of the book.
Posted on February 5, 2017, in Books and tagged Battlefields and Paradise, Book, Book Review, Bookreview, Books, Jammu & Kashmir, journalist, Kashmir, Ladakh, reporter, road trip, Sabir Hussain, Times Now, travel, travelogue, Westland Books. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.