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Rists to Pandarpur on a pilgrimage called Wari and so on The ssays are mostly journalistic so that the tone can be wry in the face of absurdity or reverent in the face of piety Perur narrates as someone who observes precisely to the degree that invites reflection On the rare occasions that Perur tells us what he felt in a given scenario he has the good sense to break through the ironic veneer so that what is delivered seems like zen wisdom Recommended Full on ntertainiment A travelogue on ten conducted tours so that what is delivered seems like zen wisdom Recommended Full on ntertainiment A travelogue on ten conducted tours different Indian groups1 Tamil temples package2 Europe famous spots3 Deserts of Rajasthan4 Kerala backwaters5 Sex starved tourists for Uzbekistan6 Slum tourism of Mumbai7 Journeys with Meaning tour of North East8 Musical trail of Kabir through MP Rajasthan Gujarat UP Pakistan9 Village life innovations through Madhya Pradesh10 Traditional Wari walk of MaharasthraWritten in an ironic and funny way the places Gods and Heroes explored in the book areually good to the persons Science, Technology and Culture explored through itThe parts Injoyed the most were the author s retrospect on some of the tours detailing on the people s motive and mindset during the tour in contrast to the observed aftereffects and how they fared in life in a few yearsVery much recommended Travel writing as a genre had never really interested me I am fairly certain that the numerous English Comprehension tests I wrote in school that featured No Beast So Fierce extraordinarily tiresome pieces on places around the world are to blame After I passed out I d read very little travel writing and whatever I d read I found to be too introspective and unnecessarily geographical for my taste if not boring Through the years I managed to maintain the same distance one does with dull but well meaning uncles with it far but somewhat friendly So I suppose it was slightly out of character that I picked up Srinath Perur s If It s Monday It Must Be Madurai a collection of ten travelssays based wholly on conductedgroup tours the author has taken It was one of the ssays Memorial For The Victims Of Repression which was published as an xcerpt in the Open Magazine that initially piued my interest in the book The Last Chance Bride essay featured his participating in a conducted sex tour to Uzbekistan Perur as the self appointed fly on the wall among a group of repressed Indian men is a joy to read What I particularly loved in thatssay and as I would later find out the Whos Cheatin Who? (Thoroughbred Legacy entire book was that he does not pass judgment on any of his travel companions He merely observes but his observations bear the kind ofxtreme sincerity that toes on sarcasm and delightfully so I laughed with this book in ways I have not laughed with a book in a very long time There are some paragraphs in his Lawman Lover (Outlaws, essay on a conducted tour of Rajasthan Desert Knowledge Camel College that are so hilarious that I read them a couple times forxtra giggles The Grace of God an City Girl in Training essay in which he describes hisxperience travelling across Tamil Nadu on a temple tour made me reminisce about my own family s seemingly never Mystery at Kittiwake Bay ending temple trips on which I was a very reluctant attendee In Saare Jahaan Se Accha he takes on Europe with his Desi tour group Perur makes manyarnest and thoroughly amusing observations about his group s uniuely Indian characteristics However one stood out for me that of the the foresight of some of the members who had packed snacks and food from home The reason it did was because it brought back a rather stark memory from a trip my family made to Hong Kong in 2010 where we wandered around Ocean Park hungry we were vegetarians and finding vegetarian food in ocean park was akin to finding the proverbial needle in a literal haystack for close to an hour until we bumped into a family who were kind Dangerous Waters (Cold Case Files enough to give us the food they had packed from home for their trip Perur writes about taking a trip to the North East in According to Their Own Genius Reading thessay made me feel uite sad It seemed I was familiar with the places and culture discussed in the The Husband (Smytheshire, Massachusetts, essay about Europe than I was about places in my own country Real India Santa Claus Aa Rahe Hai and The Same Water Everywhere were good to read but Foreign Culture seemed a bit like a filler arrangement something that he wrote because he wanted a nice round number ofssays in his book Incidentally Foreign Culture might just be the only ssay among the ten where it seems the author actually had a holiday so you can t help but feel happy for him and his toddy induced stuporMy absolute favourite ssay in the book was The Taste Of Sugar Perur undertakes a Wari the traditional walking pilgrimage to Pandarpur It is not often that you come across a piece of writing which balances being insightful and being side splittingly funny with as much grace as this An Italian Education essayIn all I cannot recommend If It s Monday It Must Be Madurainough Read it for the places he s travelled to but importantly read it for the people he s travelled wit. The trail of Kabir; joining an ancient pilgrimage; and hunting for sex in Tashkent. If It’s Monday It Must Be Madurai A Conducted Tour of IndiaThis was my secret Santa gift I njoyed reading this a lot Never did I felt bored reading this with healthy mix of details of people and places I remember that the first travelogue I read was Among the Believers An Islamic Journey by VS Naipaul to read a first hand account of life in Islamic countries Am a reluctant traveler but I keep picking up a travelogue now and then by famous authors like Theroux Iyer and others Almost all those authors had very sharp observation skills and secondly they all travelled alone In that sense this book by Srinath Perur is different from them all and kudos to him for them all and kudos to him for based on conducted tours Did I read it correctly The 10 conducted tours were different and the author has managed to turn something as mundane and seemingly boring as bus trips into very ntertaining and insightful Look-Alike Lawman (Texas Twins, episodes The writing style and vocabulary is just right not superficial and not pretentious but the author puts across his views honestly and humblyThe chapters on the first 6 7 tours were too good and this seemed to be heading for a 55 rating Worth a read Travel books Are they a thing now that most of the travel we re getting is between our living and bed rooms If you re open to group tours andven open to the humour that s innate to Daddy Wanted escorted group tours I wholeheartedly recommend Srinath Perur s If It s Monday It Must Be Madurai A Conducted Tour of India Ten different places in its ten different chapters Perur touches upon the uirks of his co passengers as well as their different reasons formbarking upon conducted tours In this process there are occasions for jokes and introspection as the oneness of human nature hits you Through this journey I also started to realize that conducted tours are the bread and butter of India s tourism industry as operators spend hours in carefully designing the itinerary jamming in as much as possible to Forbidden Stranger ensure the best bang for the buckpaisa vasoolxperience for the customer I first came to Europe through a conducted tour many years ago with my family and some memories that have stuck with me include Chanting Hanuman Chalisa Snowy River Man each time we got onto the bus tonsure a safe journey Night Moves (Harlequin Blaze eating Dal Chawal on the Swiss Alps and being chased away buy Pisa s shopkeepers for bargaining And this bookncapsulated my bizarre memories from that trip beautifully The diversity in the tours as well as the people he s travelling with bring character and Les brumes d'avalon : roman entertainment to his stories While the book stays true to being a delightful travelogue it is also a great primer portrait of India and her people Recommended My travel book binge this year continues with Srinath Perur s first a collection of travelogues about traveling in groups and I must say that I didn t come to it with any greatxpectations And the first piece in the book sort of confirmed that for me I found the writing very ordinary the observations obvious and didn t feel the need to read But I persisted and felt the book grow on me It took me a while to get used to the fact that the travel part in Perur s book is not about the places themselves but the people he was traveling with This is difficult for a reader like me to take because place as an idea is so important to me And that is why we read travelogues to get that sense of place writing can paint and Malakai (Wicked Games, evoke Just that this is a different kind of bookEnjoyable it certainly became as we go on to Uzbekistan and Aditya Chopra s Europe you smile and laugh at the travelers and their uirks You know them so well you know what they are going to do yet younjoy it Though I can t for the life of me imagine going on a conducted tour to a hill stationPerur s writing is understated It doesn t shout or gather attention to itself it s just there He s a very good storyteller but I still believe that some depth in the pieces would have made them substance There are several places in the book when he gives you that little nudge that little push that makes you pause and smile But in the The Carpenters Wife and Heart of Stone end the book isssentially about who we Indians are and become as we travel as we leave the comfort and familiarity of places we know and venture out together We reveal ourselves to be sometimes obnoxious sometimes carefree sometimes irritating sometimes plain stupid but always interesting travelers We re a complex layered people but the fact that so many of us choose to travel with others says something about us Like when in a bus in Europe we play Antakshari and always always sing Saare Jahan se Accha Ten chapters of ten conducted tours that the author went on At least Celtic Fire (Rogue Angel, eight of those were annjoyable read and a few in those were thought provoking too Off late I ve developed a liking towards travelogues by younger authors Samanth Subramaniam Haroon Khalid and now Srinath Perur Perhaps I related to them better A most delightful travelogue Thoroughly The Family Plan enjoyed reading this I m guilty of initially judg. A delightful travel bookThisntertaining travelogue around ten conducted tours co. .

Ing this book as just a uick summary of touristy group tours the author had gone on and was trying to make a uick buck with a book in the currently in subject of travel As the 10 chapters show the canvas is colourful the subjects A Family Practice even varied and I m delighted to be proved wrong1 The Grace of God is a temple hopping tour across Tamil Nadu with retired government servants2 Saare Jahaan Se Accha is anscorted Europe tour with a Desi group3 Desert Knowledge Camel College is a conducted tour of Rajasthan with a camel safari4 Foreign Culture is a cruise through the backwaters of Kerala with a small group of foreigners5 Memorial For The Victims Of Repression is a conducted sex tour to Uzbekistan among a group of repressed Indian men6 Santa Claus Aa Rahe Hai is a slum porn tour of Dharavi7 According to Their Own Genius is a freewheeling tour of Assam and Meghalaya8 The Same Water Everywhere is a Kabir Yatra with folk musicians across Rajasthan9 Real India is about a walking tour of villages in Madhya Pradesh looking for local innovations and meeting people10 The Taste Of Sugar Perur undertakes a Wari the ancient walking pilgrimage to PandarpurGroup A Doctor in Her Stocking (From Here to Maternity escorted tours are the bread and butter of India s tourism industry and operators spend hours in carefully designing the itinerary and the inclusions jamming in as much as possible tonsure the best paisa vasool for the customer Ironically conducted tours are also looked down as a very touristy thing that those travelling on them just want to check off it s just not travel And yet as this book shows there are reasons for travelling and it s not always about seeing sights and having local Celebrity Bachelor experiences It s also about wearing clothes you usually can t being with your spouse away from your joint family being in a place where you re not being judged or taking that first trip as a couple in 25 years of marriage which I think is a psychological validation of having finished their responsibilities and so can now indulge themselves this oncePerur is brilliant in being that proverbial fly on the wall observing without passing judgement remarking with amazing wit and insight often turning his gaze inwards when looking out at the places he s travelling and the people he s travelling with The diversity in the tours means that there snormous variety in both the xperiences and in the travel companions ntertaining and nlightening us with anecdotes personal stories and perspectives While the travel companions ntertaining and nlightening us with anecdotes personal stories and perspectives While the is a delightful travelogue it s also thus with anecdotes personal stories and perspectives While the is a delightful travelogue it s also thus charming sociological portrait of India and her people Travel books are often a compendium of clich s If the when to go how to reach concerns are ver transcended it is the majestic beauty of the mountains or the vastness of the ocean that is tritely commented upon apparently granting solace to the writer who is trying to Wrangled (Whitehorse, MT: Chisholm Cattle Co., escape the hustle bustle of a megalopolis As if confronting the picturesue toscape the hectic life was all there was to travel If the book in uestion is sufficiently post modern in conception it will make a big deal of the virtues of traveling solo of backpacking on budget and so on Indeed travel as an xercise in self discovery is a hip notion these days But the fact ignored is that the seemingly simple problems of knowing oneself or coming to Oneself Or Being At or being at with oneself are lifelong metaphysical projects whose ssence cannot be delivered in toto over a two week trip to Ladakh Travel in and of itself will not save us In fact if indeed it does provide something akin to solace and leads to a superior understanding of the self then precisely because such deliverances aren t permanent because life as it is must be returned to travelling can become an imprisoning habit making larger liberations difficult because of the tastings of smaller gratificationsThus it is problematic to conceive travel as that which leads to self Un hros pour Rayne (Delta Force Heroes t. 1) enhancement and perhaps better to return to the less attractive idea of travel as anxercise in knowing the outer world If the traveller believes that knowing the world has a value in and of itself that subjecting herself to the objective world as it Mine to Take (Nine Circles, exists is a worthwhile activity then travel can be said to be approached in the right spirit And if in the process of assimilating realities that were hitherto unseen her self consciousness doesxperience an His L.A. Cinderella expansion then all the good One travel book that belittles clich s and stays clear of any dogma recent or modern about the virtues of travel is Srinath Perur s If It s Monday It Must Be Madurai A Conducted Tour of India The book published in 2014 is a collection of tenssays detailing travels undertaken by the author with ten uniue groups of people The groups are mostly composed of Indians and most travels are in India Perur travels to Tamilnadu s temples in buses full of retired government servants to Europe with a desi group to Uzbekistan with a group of sex tou. Ntains myriad riches of hanging on to a camel in the Thar; rediscovering music on. ,