Book Title: Transit Lounge
Author: Sunil Mishra
Total Number of Pages: 214
Publisher: Leadstart Publishing Pvt Ltd.
Publication Date: 13 Oct 2017
Genre: Travelogue / Memoir
Transit Lounge is a contemporary book consisting of short incidents, observations and reflections while travelling to 30 countries across six different continents during the last 15 years. The book is a personal account of travels to places in Africa (Nigeria, Ghana, Egypt and Mauritius), South America (Venezuela and Argentina), Asia (China, Iran, Kuwait, UAE, Singapore, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Malaysia and Thailand), Europe (UK, France, Italy, Netherlands, Germany, Denmark, Belgium, Georgia, Turkey, Croatia and Romania), USA, Australia and New Zealand. It was interesting to observe all these different cultures and people from an Indian perspective. The book is a compilation of small incidents and events during such travels; it includes losing an air ticket, dealing with difficult custom officials or getting mugged in a prime location in a foreign country.
REVIEWED BY SOHINEE DEY
I don’t think there’s any living being (and by that I mean humans) who wouldn’t want to travel around the globe. I am a very deserving candidate of such a category. But not all of us are in a position that allows us to travel. So, we are stuck in our homes, probably reading travel books, watching travel videos or hearing people brag about their international trips. *Sigh* Okay champs, I am settling to travel around the world through a book for now. Transit Lounge by Sunil Mishra is one such book that lets you travel the world. You don’t even have to move from your reading position and you’ll already find yourself in Ghana, Kuwait, USA; 30 different countries to be exact.
By now you would have had an idea what the book is all about. Still, I am just going to lay it out clear. The book is a travel memoir or you can say travelogue where the author shares his experiences of travelling to these 30 different countries, the differences that he observes in each of these countries to that of India and also reflects on his inner thoughts and shares them with us. Now, the author started with his travelling during the early years in the 2000 and of course, things have changed now. Working at Infosys, the author had many chances of travelling to the international countries but it wasn’t perceived as a good opportunity by his friends and family, especially when they heard that he will be travelling to Ghana. Sunil Mishra says that he too considered it as a professional compulsion where you “have” to travel but later on travelling for 15 years, he started to see it in a positive light.
Travelling for the first time, he had quite an experience getting through the customs at the airport. But you do learn from your experiences, and the author learnt how to better deal with the custom officials in his later trips.
During the early years, 5000 Cedias (local currency of Ghana) was equal to 1 US dollar. The author found that he was already a millionaire with only a few US dollars in his pocket! He and his friends had a dinner worth half a million Cedias. Wow!! Coming to the people, we often bear false assumptions about the African people and their living conditions. The author was shaken up from such presumptions when he found that the local people are really friendly.
Okay, I am going to fast forward and give a gist of the rest of the chapters because if I sit down to talk about one country for so long, I wonder how long this review will be.
Other than Ghana, in Africa, he travels to Nigeria, Egypt and Mauritius. The author gives a tour of the places he visits and the people he meets and snippets he picks up on during their conversations. He also talks about the economy, the culture and the Indian immigrants.
The book is divided into chapters according to the continents and the countries the author has travelled in those continents. The second chapter talks about the author’s visit to Iran, Kuwait, UAE and Turkey. Visit to Tehran has been a memorable one for the author from the way he talks about this capital. We do have many myths when it comes to Islamic Countries but soon the author found them to false. He also noticed the cultural differences. The author visited Iran in 2005 and he had his chance of seeing the Anti-Americanism close and upfront. There are some more interesting incidences which he accounts in this book.
He also travelled to the US, visited some of the European countries, Australia, New Zealand, some of the Asian countries like Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand and lastly Argentina and Venezuela.
I really liked the overall division of the chapters, how he covers part of the world and not only shares his personal experience but also provides us with an insight of the countries. We get to know about so many different cultures and people through this book. While we can be different from the people living in parts of the different countries, somewhere we do share some similarity with them and you can only see it when you travel to other countries.
The language used in this book is very simple yet it’s interesting. It didn’t feel as if I was reading some sort of travel manual, it didn’t get boring at all. In fact, I was looking forward to the next chapters to find out which country the author is going to explore next. The book is very well narrated. I could feel the author’s enthusiasm in his words. And when the author shows his excitement through, his readers will also feel excited. Travel enthusiasts will find this book highly likeable. If you have travelled to any of the countries mentioned in the book, you might even feel nostalgic and remember your own trip.
The only thing is there are some grammatical errors in the book and though the author shares his personal experience of his travel journey, I felt it would have been much more better if some conversations would have been included. I wanted to see the interactions between the author and the local people of the countries. But still, this book is good as it is.
MY FINAL VERDICT
As I have already said, if you are someone who loves to travel and you are always on the look out to learn about new destinations and explore them, this book could be for you.
Book Cover: ⭐⭐⭐.5
Book Title: ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Writing Style: ⭐⭐⭐.5
Language and Vocabulary: ⭐⭐⭐.5
Grammar and Punctuation: ⭐⭐⭐
POESY IN CHRYSALIS RATING: ⭐⭐⭐.5 / ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
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