Book Review: ‘Story of a Lone Lady Traveller in India’ is both entertaining and educative
An engaging travel diary, ‘Story of a Lone Lady Traveller in India’, by Shyamali Datta (Sen) fulfils the popular adage “Travel opens your heart, broadens your mind and fills your life with stories to tell.”
Whenever we travel alone or with our family and friends, we forget our regular work for a few days, we escape from the hustle and bustle of city life and try to enter into a tranquil world which may soothe our body and mind.
Travelling can heal us, it can leave us with memories that we can remember or cherish forever.
Nobody likes to lead a monotonous life, hence travelling is the most effective way to enjoy the various flavours of life.
Shyamali Datta (Sen) has highlighted the importance of travelling, even if it is with no one else.
A lone woman traveller may face myriad challenges but the memories would never leave her; sometimes it would soothe her soul, at other times it may act as a lesson of a lifetime.
The book opens with a beautiful and essential description of the author who loves to travel to various places, both in and around India.
From the beginning, she highlights the fact that she is a solo female traveller but that has never worked as a hindrance even though she had had a fair share of unsavoury experiences.
The author has shown how she has been helped by female hotel managers, female caretakers of a railway cloak room, female passengers and helpers and has expressed her gratitude towards them because they could understand her necessities and problems very well, being women themselves.
Being a lone female traveller is not easy in a country like India where the safety of a woman is still not ensured by the authorities.
The author has described some of the horrific incidents as well and how she escaped from those places solely with the help of her presence of mind and courage.
The flow of narrative is lucid, and one incident follows the other without any unnecessary break so that the readers gain more interest while reading about her experiences and challenges.
The author has used simple English to express her thoughts, hence it can appeal to a larger audience.
She has described both the positive as well as the dangers of travelling alone so that her readers can get a clearer picture and can also feel motivated to travel alone, if they don’t wish to travel with any one or in any group.
‘Story of a Lone Lady Traveller in India’ is a must-read for all those bitten by the travel bug as well as those who enjoy reading travelogues.
(Reviewed by Sayantani Sengupta)