WRITING STYLE: 4/5
ENTERTAINMENT QUOTIENT: 4/5
People know me as a book lover. After all, that is the reason I have a book review website and a YouTube Channel for books. But books are not my only love, I am also a passionate traveller and hence I have a YouTube Channel about Travel, too. Check out That Nerdy Traveller for more information. When this book came to me for review, I had a reason to be happy because this was something which represented both my interests – Books and Travel. Needless to state, I sat down to read this book with much zeal and enthusiasm.
Battlefields and Paradise is a nonfiction travelogue in which the author writes about his trip from Delhi to Turtuk which is India’s northernmost point on the LoC. Sabir Hussain has had a long career as a journalist. His most celebrated stint has been with India’s foremost English Channel, Times Now. In his late forties and just on the verge of fifty, Sabir sets out to fulfil one of his most cherished dreams – a solo ride from Delhi to Turtuk in Ladakh.
On his journey, he rides a very ordinary bike, travels solo, engages in passionate talks with ordinary Kashmiris while learning about their daily lives and a bit or two about the politics of the state. His journey is not a touristy one. He lives with locals, stays in low budget accommodations, seeks out eminent locals and pursues things which a normal traveller cannot even think of.
In describing his journey, he also familiarizes the reader with the local specialities and local culture. He has talked about the local economy, animals and even local royalty. Sabir writes in a way which makes Ladakh come alive in eyes of the reader. His writing is full of passion; passion for travel and passion for the local culture.
His background as a journalist helps him dig out stories and information which normal tourists and travellers can never know. This increases the reading pleasure immensely. I personally loved the simple narratives of a hotel owner, a government employee, a Kashmiri local journalist, a tea stall owner, a bus driver, a Bactrian camel owner, a poor royal heir. These were the accounts which brought the book and Kashmir closer to my heart.
Battlefields and Paradise is all of 285 pages and can be read in a sitting of 4-5 hours. I, however, choose to read the book slowly and completed it in 10 days. There are 16 chapters in the book and each of the chapters represent a particular leg of the author’s journey.
I rated this book four out of five stars on the subject, writing style, and entertainment quotient. Ladakh is one of my favourite places to be and reading about it gave me a new high. The writing style of the author is such that he combines his journalistic skills and passion and pens something which is unique and beautiful. Lastly, the entertainment quotient was spot on and the book was anything but dull to me.
Watch the YouTube review below:
Can’t wait to read Battlefields and Paradise? Buy your copy at the link below.