Enjoyed reading about migrant saga and offbeat destinations in India
I read Poornima Apte’s review of Minal Hajratwala’s Leaving India in your May issue (“A Moving Tale of Migration”). This book about her “family’s journey from five villages to five continents” is commendable. About three months ago, I borrowed it from the Lilburn library. After reading a few pages, I found the book so interesting that I could not stop until two a.m. on some nights. It talks about the Khatris (Kshatriyas), a warrior caste in Gujarat, though the focus is on Hajratwala’s family. Motiram, her great-great grandfather, was a pioneer who paved the way for his family when he moved to Fiji and opened a tailoring shop. Eventually, several members of her extended clan settled in other countries, including South Africa, Britain and the United States. The author, who took eight years to complete Leaving India, has done a very good job of describing the struggles and triumphs of these migrants. It’s a wonderful book that’s well worth reading.
In the same issue of Khabar, after reading “28 Offbeat Destinations in India” (Desi World), I came to the following conclusions: First, many Indians who go abroad do not know enough about India’s unsung tourist destinations. I did extensive train travel on two occasions, for 60 days and 65 days, from the east to the west, from the south to the north, and in central India. Nevertheless, I was able to visit only five of the 28 Indian destinations mentioned in Khabar’s roundup. Second, people who go to India visit big historical cities and famous religious centers, but as a rule they do not make trips to spots that are full of natural beauty. Third, due a lack of geographical knowledge, lots of visitors do not even know where all these interesting and beautiful places are in India.
On both my trips to India, I wrote to the Tourism Department for guidance, but received no response. In order to attract tourists, they should widely publicize these wonderful destinations in the media. Khabar deserves congratulations for publishing such articles. Lilburn, Georgia
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