What an Indian Learned from His Thirty-Day European Odyssey
by M. P. Prabhakaran
PageTurner Press and Media

"The more I travel, the more I discover my ignorance."

In Prabhakaran’s book of his 2009 European explorations, he recounts discovering remarkable personal and cultural connections, often through conversation with fellow travelers and local residents—a singular benefit of travel. Viewpoints were shared with locals, such as the college student in Moscow who expressed thankfulness to the Internet for keeping him and his countrymen informed about the outside world in what was still largely a closed society. Some Germans he met confessed residual guilt for the evils of Nazism, while fellow Indians joined him for meals and mutual understanding. Chatting with a young mother during a bus ride from Stockholm to Vaxholm revealed much that the well-traveled Prabhakaran would not have known about Sweden. Often the open-minded author shared perspectives with those who, like him, were seeing for the first time the countries on his itinerary, including Scandinavia, Russia, Germany, and Czechoslovakia.

At each new venue, Prabhakaran, an international journalist who has written a previous travel odyssey, deftly describes notable monuments, historic structures, and remarkable vistas that comprised his edifying, educational, and enjoyable sojourn. His personality shines through every episode as he recounts some discomfiting experiences common to any world wanderer, such as missed flights, confiscated documents, unusual foods, and unexpected expenses. But he shares a mainly positive saga: memories of the nighttime summer sun in Finland, a short but picturesque fjord crossing in Oslo, views of such notable sites as the Kremlin, and a statue in Warsaw extolling that country’s uprising against the Nazis in World War II. Prabhakaran’s numerous planned jaunts and unpredicted encounters are skillfully woven together with a selection of photographs, historical and social information, and a genuine sense of local ambiance acquired through personal contacts and his travel-enhanced world wisdom. These form a spellbinding panorama that will engage readers familiar with, or curious about, the places he so vividly describes.

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