Book Review – One Life to Ride

Posted: July 23, 2015 in Book Reviews
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I don’t know how good an idea it is to read a travel book about a certain place that you want to go. But the book that I had assigned for a week’s read, I completed in a day. A nicely written book by Ajit Harisinghani. It isn’t something which is out of the world or isn’t something as extraordinary like Into the Wild but it’s an honest tale by a humble old person. May be I didn’t find it as extraordinary as it should because I knew the roads or it is part of the plan. People who always wanted to do but never were able to do would have loved this book even more I guess.


Reading a book about a place before going on a trip has its merits and demerits. Merits are those, if you are a planner, you know the roads by heart as you’d have already researched on it. You can take a note of what to expect, where to go from one man’s point of view. But demerits are that, what would have been an experience could just end up being plain prose for you. But everyone has their own way of taking a journey and everyone would experience it in their own way.

If it had been read post the trip, the experiences would have been more real. But along with it you should be ready to take the weight of disappointments too. As there is a high probability that you’d have missed certain experiences which the author would have described in the book. There definitely would be experiences which you had and the author wouldn’t have had but we always have the habit of thinking about things we miss rather than the ones which we did.

The best thing about the book is that the author doesn’t crib about his old age. If you crib you’ve to crib like how Woody Allen does, otherwise its plan boring. So that was a huge relief. Along with it were his antics of countering a wild pig, acting like an ex-general and encounters with military people and constantly bugging boat house owner were quite informative. But more than that, it scared me about Srinagar even more.

Add to these antics, the constant talk with himself, the singing he does inside his helmet and the flashbacks were appropriately put in proper place so that it didn’t seem like a hindrance to flow at all. When you read a travelogue, especially that of bikers, you don’t want the engine to stop at all and it didn’t here. In fact it went on full rev always.


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