nother find in a local curbside, a book republished in 1975 (from it’s original back in ’35) about a popular Canadian travel & adventure writer who traveled to and around India. Specifically, he made his way (by car) (with a lot of spare tires) up to Northern India and the Khyber Pass. Look, I’ve done Central/North India too, but that was with a travel guide and a lot of shepherding. This guy just took off in his car with a driver and guide, not knowing where he’d end each day.
To me, India was a strange and wonderful place, but in Mr. Sinclair’s time it was even more exotic. Not only were there the innumerable “taxes” and roadside bandits (who could be bought off), there were all sorts of strange things (like railroad bridges that served as major pedestrian/traffic routes). All of this comes through Sinclair’s clever pen (I laughed out loud when, describing an overnight stay in a local palace, he noted the bed as being as big as a tennis court).
Of course, there are depressing passages as well (for India can be as heart-breaking as it is wondrous). He goes on at length about the grim practice of child brides and the concept that a female widower may not remarry. Consider that most child brides, being young (and forcibly married to older men) will outlast their “keepers”, meaning they are doomed to isolation, poverty and possible death. And then there is the heat, the beggars, the crazy religions (including the cows wandering everywhere in big cities, unrestrained and unmolested). So yes, Sinclair’s journey is not only travel in a distant place but a distant time as well.
I really enjoyed this one. Worth a look-for. My copy will be in Joybird Books of you want it.