BOOK REVIEW: Dear
Journey Freewheeling / Dear Journey Within
Author: Manas Dewan
Publisher: The Write
Place/ Crossword Bookstores Ltd
Price: Rs 299
CLICK HERE TO BUY THIS BOOK
I could have finished reading this book, “Dear Journey
Freewheeling” in maybe half a day. But then there is no fun reading a book in
one sitting, unless of course it’s a crime thriller and you want to know who
the killer is so that you can end up cussing the fellow for all the brutalities
he or she may have committed. But when a book encapsulates an admirable,
adventurous and fulfilling motorcycle journey undertaken through 18 countries,
then it needs to be savoured and relished and you need to dream along as the
author narrates his incredible experience.
I have always known the author Manas Dewan as one who used
to head the corporate communications team at Mercedes-Benz India. Being an automobile journalist, it is but obvious
that I need to interact with such people in order to fulfil my professional
duties. Many of the corporate communications people I have interacted with,
especially those heading multinational auto companies have
come across to me as insipid, egoistic and haughty. That meant I stayed away
from many of them as much as possible. As for Manas, I could never really form
an opinion, since I barely interacted with him personally as he was based in
Pune and I was in Delhi.
One fine day Manas Dewan quit Mercedes-Benz India and then
he reappeared in my life when he told me that he and his wife Anuradha Dewan
(Anu) were embarking on a journey across several countries on his motorcycle. I
wished them well and wrote about their trip plans on my website:
ON A DUCATI SCRAMBLER ACROSS 18 COUNTRIES- The Dewans
embrace wanderlust, May 19 2017.
Manas and Anu followed their dreams. They went on an
18-country journey on their Ducati Scrambler motorcycle starting from Valencia
in Spain and culminating in Turkey. The journey lasted around four months. So
what got this married couple to quit their plum jobs and dig into their hard
earned savings to buy an expensive motorcycle and embark upon an even more
expensive trip? Very simple…the author kept reminding himself of some very
motivating words, “If you have not chased your dream, then have you really
lived!” Bingo! These words got them to hop on to the ride of their lives.
This book is really a two-in-one story. On one side is the
story Dear Journey Freewheeling (non- fiction) and on the other side
Journey Within (fiction). While the former is all about the motorcycle
journey, the latter is a set of “fables for grown –ups”. As a writer, Manas has proved his versatility
with this book. As for the motorcycle ride, both he and his wife have proved
they are dreamers, risk takers, adventurous and romantic at heart. But when it
comes to the fables, Manas has metamorphosed into a writer with the heart of a
poet. It is sheer brilliance that exudes itself page after page, fable after
In Dear Journey Freewheeling, the
author has described vividly the story of a gypsy heart. As he and his wife
move from one country into another, meeting different kinds of people, winning
them over with their vagabond spirit and in turn falling in love with the
diverse cultures, there is a lot one learns of the planet we live in and the
people who live in them. From friendly people, to helpful border guards, the
book has it all. The “Encounter at the Bosnia Border” was one of my favourites
where the intimidating and bulky passport officer along with his equally bulky
men surrounded Manas and Anu for a selfie “encounter”! There are many more
anecdotes like these that make this book an interesting read.
As for Dear Journey Within, this set of
fables is truly brilliant. The poet in Manas Dewan is at its best here.
Interesting experiences have been stitched together in each of the fable and
narrated with animals, birds and flowers being the protagonists. Many of the
sentences here rhyme and each fable has been written in a short and sweet
manner. In particular I liked “The Common House Sparrow” fable wherein the
sparrow says, “Not every dream can be made—call it luck, call it fate. Chicks
to feed, buttons to mend—upon my work, folks depend. And though I harbour
secret dreams, reality weighs upon my wings. It is my lot to soldier on —
though I dream to travel long. But sometimes through the rain and thunder, in
my home, a gypsy enters— and through their eyes I travel new lands…hearing
their words I put on wings”. A must read
for all those who love to put on wings!
CLICK HERE TO BUY THIS BOOK
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