Monday, August 24, 2009

Books and Travel

Books make wonderful traveling companions. While visiting Yosemite last week, I read The Power and the Glory by Graham Greene, one of my favorite authors. It certainly sated my theological yen. This post captures the books that I like the most and that deal with religion. Obviously, the books don't praise or decry religions or aspects of it. These are just works of art that simply use religion as the background and leave a reader with many questions.
Christianity: The Power and the Glory - set in early 20th century Mexico about the only surviving priest on the run escaping obvious persecution at the hands of secular junta.
Islam: Siege of Mecca: a non-fictional work that grips a reader to the very end; about a very less known event.
Hinduism: Mahabharata translated by C Rajagopalachari. Quite a captivating ancient tale. I am still looking for a good translation of Geeta.
Sikhism: Unholy Terror by Ian Mulgrew. This ended my search of a third party view of the Punjab debacle of the 80s.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Death Valley - Beauty in the Unkindest setting

Must see during April every year - a layer of yellow shimmers in seething >100F temperatures along the entire valley floor. The background is more cruel, jagged barren mountains, an artist's delight comprising all hues raw earth has to offer. For travelers to Death Valley some of my newly discovered tips here:

Mexico City - 25million people

It is incredible that Mexico City's population is more than that of Bombay (at least officially). The business here is done like how it is done in Spain; meetings over long lunches that might get extended well into a late night dinner - with yum arachera meats and can't-count-anymore tequilas! Fascinating that Tequila's chaser is beer. The host mexican's were quite surprised when I nicely enjoyed a full jalapeno.
As for 'getting mugged', I was told not to use the ATM at the airport never venture out alone,etc etc. Didn't matter- as usual, common sense must be used by a visitor in a foreign land anywhere in the world. My last trip was of course marred by swine flu. This time around stuck to the hotel - not for crime but for virus' ;-)