Motorcycle Diaries and a rain-filled weekend


Yet another bus journey over the weekend and I finally managed to complete book – Motorcycle Diaries by Ernesto “Che” Guevara. It really took a long time, with 2 weeks being quite long for a small book such as this. It was partly due to the fact that beginning of the book seemed shallow to me. The description of “Che” Guevara’s motorcycle ride with his friend Alberto seemed more like a daily narrative of the number of times the vehicle broke down or they were thrown out of it, or the days when the duo went hungry throughout, when desperate attempts to find food at homes they went past along the way, failed. But as the pages turned, things started to get more intense. The story of the Incas at the city of Cuzco, the miserable life of the leprosy hospitals they visited along the way, at Chile, Peru and Venezuela were described with such profound details that I got completely engrossed in it to the extent that by the time I finished the book, I realized I was almost at the end of my five hour journey! Even the “daily narrative” started becoming a lot more descriptive, with references not just limited to the food they ate or the “mate” (an Argentinean drink) they drank. At times I found myself living through their journey across the Amazon river on a raft named Mambo-Tango, up the steep slopes of Andes on a train which went up and slid back periodically, unable to climb any further at 4000 meters above the sea level, and at San Pablo Leper Colony, where they celebrated “Che” Guevara’s 24th birthday with Pisco , a Peruvian National drink.

And I realized that this was the narrative that changed a young adventurer seeking personal glory to a matured medical revolutionary, somewhere along the course of the journey. An honest portrayal of his feelings and thoughts, all along, shows this gradual change that descended on him, as he journeyed across the Latin American countries. I must say, it was truly one of the best books that I’ve read in the recent past …..

Let me go slightly offtrack here and this goes to a rainy weekend that I had, when I literally got drenched beyond limits! 🙂

Here's to a rainy weekend

My tryst with photography has been limited to my phone for the past 4-5 weeks as I left my camera at NYC with my uncle. Ever since that, travels seem worthless and I started losing the yearn to see places, simply because I couldn’t capture those moments, beyond a point. I hope to reunite with my camera as soon as next week, if everything goes well!

And here I am back in Syracuse after a delayed bus journey driven by an aging bus driver with a fiercely shaking pair of hands and a cab drive from the station to home, with a driver who refused to start his engine, without putting my amusingly small backpack in the ridiculously large trunk of his cab, so as to not spoil the leather seats of his car!

Offbeat: Two more books added to the list – “Getting the best of it” by David Sklansky and “How we know what isn’t so” by Thomas Gilovich – that my company generously gifted me along with a backgammon game set, in a wonderfully carved wooden case 🙂

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~ by Niranjan Nandakumar on June 16, 2008.

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