I realised that I had not put out a blog about my latest book, as I had been in a hurry to launch it before I went off on a trip to Japan. After I came back there was all this kerfuffle about the COVID 19 outbreak and lockdowns and quarantines and all kinds of stuff, and it rather slipped my mind.
I started writing my next book and realised that the new book was almost ready, and I had not written my blog for the earlier book yet! Yikes!
So here goes - MY 11th BOOK - ONE MAN GOES TREKKING.
This is the second book in the the ‘ONE MAN GOES BACKPACKING SERIES’ which is about ...er...my backpacking adventures. (Duh. right?) This story is about the strange effects of going on crazy trips and writing travelogues...you come in touch with very strange people.
It is about how I met the pest called SHE WHO MUST BE OBEYED for the first time, and how we went for a trek together. Not just any trek - a month long trek to the highest trekking point in the world - Mt Everest Base Camp in Nepal.
We started the trek hardly knowing each other, and ended it as...well, knowing each other far better. It was basically her form of courting - normal people go on dates, legends go on trips, and mad people go on month long treks in the high Himalayas!
The strangest love story ever.
While I was writing this, I felt that I should share the history - the most fascinating, amazing history - of how and why these high mountains were measured, and how the mountaineering bug hit the world, and how the trekking boom followed that. My researches led me into fascinating areas - the British invasion of India and the need to map and measure their new possessions, the first global cold war with Russia, the ‘Great Game’ and ‘Kim’ by Rudyard Kipling, the amazing scientific minds and the wonder of the Great Geological Survey of India, the history of Tibet and the urge of the west to explore the forbidden kingdom on the roof of the world, the discovery of the great Himalayas and realisation that these are the highest peaks in the world, the rush to ascend the top of Mt Everest - and even why it is called Mt Everest.
I found all these stories extremely fascinating and tried to weave them into my narrative.
Apart from the story in the book - the story of how the book was written is equally fascinating. I went on this trek in 2002, and kept a journal at the time. And wonder of wonders, I still had that journal 18 years later! Thus I could refer to it for facts of our journey and not trust to my most undependable memory. Given my penchant for losing things, and HER penchant for throwing stuff out - this is nothing less than a miracle!
This book was written in the strangest of places. I carried my bluetooth keyboard with me on my various trips and wrote in the strangest of places. I wrote it on planes, I wrote during my biking trip to Arunachal Pradesh, I wrote in our campsite in Arunachal Pradesh when we were attending the Ziro Music festival.
At one point my bike had a puncture in the middle of nowhere in Arunachal Pradesh. Luckily I had the great bawa with me and he took off the tyre and went off in search of a repair fellow and I stayed behind with my one-legged bike.
What to do just sitting there? I promptly dug out my keyboard and phone and started typing! The various people passing by looked at me curiously and a bunch of nice kids stopped and asked what was the problem and if they could help in any way. And after I explained that it was a puncture and my friend had gone to get the puncture repaired, they asked the question which was the real reason they stopped.
‘What on earth was I doing?’
I explained that I was a writer and was writing a book. They must have thought that I was crazy :)
Finally, after 18 years in the making - the book is released! The story behind SHE WHO MUST BE OBEYED is out! I was happy to see the book at No. 1 in Hot new releases on Amazon, and I hope that people will enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed doing the trip and writing about it.
You can check out the book here
I blog about my travels - and the thoughts they set off! Sometimes the simplest destinations can be the most thought-provoking!