Title: Indian Stories: Images and Thoughts
Author: Ravi Valluri
Genre: Non-Fiction, History, Spirituality
First Publication: 2020
Book Summary: Indian Stories: Images and Thoughts by Ravi Valluri
“Not all those who wander are lost.” -J.R.R.Tolkien.
India is a never ending saga and story. This ancient civilisation has amazing stories to narrate. Each tale is steeped in rich culture, history and a tapestry which resonates with those delving to discover India. The country is a cradle of several cultures, religions, art, architecture, spirituality and sciences. Several dynasties and kingdoms have attempted to be suzerains of this fabled land. But the free-willed, enterprising people have braved several storms and woven extraordinary tales.
This book is segmented into four parts, wanderlust-discovering India by train, wondrous India- discovering the lesser-known trails, well-known personalities, lesser-known people and lastly wavering mind, wandering thoughts.
Indian history has been fashioned and shaped by both known and lesser- known people, all blessed with a robust mind. Eminent philosophers like Adi Shankara and Buddha, in quest of harmony and the Indian ethos were on a voyage. May readers too discover the spirit of India through this book. A a no bhadra krtavo Yantu Vishwatah -let noble thoughts come to me from all directions. – Rig Veda.
Book Review: Indian Stories: Images and Thoughts by Ravi Valluri
Indian Stories: Images and Thoughts by Ravi Valluri is an encyclopedia for all Indians and anyone even slightly interested in knowing about India. Partly a travelogue, partly a history book, ‘Indian Stories: Images and Thoughts’ provides information that is not usually found in school history books. It is most fascinating when Ravi Valluri describes an ancient monument or place and then visits it in person. History comes alive then. Not only it’s about buildings and monuments and places, it’s about people too. He describes the lives of the people who shaped and glorified India. I haven’t the faintest idea how author Ravi Valluri manages to pull it off; but in ‘Indian Stories: Images and Thoughts’, he does a wonderful job. This book clearly depicts the author’s love for India and its people and their history.
This book represents the best one volume answer to everything you ever wanted to know about India but couldn’t. Author Ravi Valluri takes readers by hand and does his best to provide insights of real India. Author is sufficiently engaged and enthusiastic about his subject matter that his enthusiasm is translated to the reader and you actually want to get more from him.
I guess the obvious question to ask when reading volumes of history books is a simple one: did you learn anything? Happily, I can report that with this volume, I learned- a lot. There’s a lot more to India than Bollywood movies, curry and choking traffic…
Indian Stories: Images and Thoughts is divided into 4 parts, each consisting its own magic:
Wanderlust: Discovering India by Rail
In this section, the author brings us on a journey to the beautiful places of India by one of the biggest railway networks. He uses different trains and routes to discover the wonderful places. It will definitely make you fall in love with trains.
Wonders India: Discovering the lesser-known trails
This section brings you to lesser known and wonderful traveling spots of India. It’s delightful to read the description of these places. It will give you new traveling goals.
Well-Known personalities, lesser-known people
This section is full of popular personalities who have made India proud. There are many personalities from freedom fighters, politics, sports, and Bollywood celebrities, that the author discusses here. Each chapter in this section will give you insights of their lives.
Wavering Mind, Wandering thoughts
In this section, the author discusses about self-improvement. This section is a bit of a self-help genre but you’ll learn a lot from it.
The author adds another dimension to these stories and makes them much more interesting by introducing some modern day aspect, say an existing but long forgotten ruin or a living person who is directly related. Its nicest charm is that it conveys, sweetly, the author’s absolute love for the country. The understanding with which author Ravi Valluri presents his stories becomes contagious and after this relatively long read one feels immersed into the magic and mysteries of India.
‘Indian Stories: Images and Thoughts’ is an utter delight from beginning to end. A smorgasbord of historical people and places, facts, festivals and parties, pilgrimages and ancient texts. It is also full of touching examples of everyday life – as Ravi Valluri explores with a kindly eye, the nooks and crannies of India and its people.
The scope of the book is incredible, but Ravi Valluri’s skills as a writer are so brilliant that you just float effortlessly from theme to theme, carried on a cloud of warmth. The book covers an amazing spectrum though, and of course different bits of it will appeal more or less to different people.
Overall, Believe it or not, author Ravi Valluri manages to achieve the near impossible and put the history and present of this magnificent country into a single volume. If you need to learn about India or want to travel to India, rest assured that author Ravi provides a remarkably clear-eyed view. ‘Indian Stories: Images and Thoughts’ by Ravi Valluri is a marvellous work to luxuriate over and enjoy at a slow pace.