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Book Review – Chai Chai

As the book cover correctly reads, it’s about places on the Indian map at which people stop but never get off. Writing about travels to ‘unheard of’ places is not an easy task. One needs to bring the essence of the place in his/her writings to do justice to the beauty and exclusivity of the place. Something that unfortunately, Biswanath Ghosh has not been able to so.

He talks about the major railway junctions across the country, where trains stop for a long time, but people don’t go out to explore beyond the stations. The choice of topic by Ghosh is good, but the book also serves as an example of a superior topic ruined due to poor execution. For instance, he describes each place in a standard mode with a first person account of occurrences from the time he steps out of the train. Such descriptions are good for a one-time read, but it continues in the same way about every place, giving all the places a very similar feel and ultimately making it a dull read.

Secondly, he fails to grip the reader by giving fresh and interesting facts about the places. Also, the facts given by him in certain places are very brief. Bringing to life the local flavour of the place is something that the book lacks.

Read this book if you like reading about travels and exploring new places.

– Ravi Ved

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