BEYOND THE EXPERIENCES OF TRAVELLING: A REVIEW OF TARUN LOYING’S MOTOR CYKELERE XATBHONIT EBHUMUKI -A GLANCE UPON THE SEVEN SISTERS THROUGH BI-CYCLE

Prashanta Puzari

The interpretation of North-Eastern Culture through travelling is the central objective of this book entitled Motor Cykelere Xatbhonit Ebhumuki (A Glance Upon the Seven Sisters Through Bi-Cycle).  The author facilitates here the idea of trans-culturalism through his way of observation. It expresses his concern about the beauty of seven states from North-East India which seems to be unique in his eyes. The title is fundamentally interesting as it conveys the enthusiasm and the spirit of adventure of the traveller through his selection of cycling to encompass the wide range of North-East India. Another important point to be observed regarding this book is the author’s use of different approaches to portray the various facets of the region. One such significant outlook is the beginning of the travelogue with an interview with Zoramthanga, who, despite being the most significant person in the history of Mizoram, wants to call himself “The Most Unusual Person” in Mizoram. His analysis of Mizo freedom movement and the Indian politics alongwith the state educational condition is really thought-provoking. The literary instances inside the travelogue establish the whole work as a work of art too. The traveller’s interest in the native songs and films and his literary consciousness produces an aesthetic atmosphere in the whole text.  The Bihu songs and the Hindi songs carry on a combination of the national and the local flavour to a great extent. The regional context thus remains transcendental. Furthermore, it is to be noted that the author adds certain geographical as well as socio-cultural information in case of the states and the tribes like those living in Nagaland, Tripura etc. It helps in the construction of an informative structure in the entire travelogue. But the lack of importance giving to the selection of places in this travelogue is problematic to certain extent. For instance, the author provides comparatively larger space to the regions from Assam than other places from North-East India. But undoubtedly, this book will explore different ways to view the uncut stories of the region through the description of his experiences. Many times, the author develops a humanitarian attitude but at large his keen interest in scripting the experiences spontaneously is utterly objective. The narrative style is quite lucid as well as simple. The author observes those little little things in life with deeper seriousness. The letters written on the posts nearby the roads, the epitaphs on the graves of the soldiers in the war cemetery are those little but significant moments which acquire places of importance in the travelogue. The Inter-textual elements in the book realizes the readers a sort of pleasure. In the words of St. Augustine, “The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page”. This travelogue encourages the readers to read each page to have the aesthetic and practical knowledge that the author shares with potential effects.


About the reviewer: The reviewer, Prashanta Puzari teaches English in the Department of English, Assam Women’s University, Jorhat. His interest lies in the area of literary criticism and translation. He has published various articles in journals and newspapers.

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