Main : archaeology, lesbian, non-fiction, travel
196 x 125 mm
At the end of the clearing, an old banyan tree grew out of the remains of an earlier round stepwell. A little further on was another lake. This must have been an oasis of multiple delights. Over a thousand years later, it was as if I could still be intoxicated by the tranquillity and protectiveness of this enclosed yet open valley. The sun starts descending, and its light changes the gorge’s colours to a golden red, blending them into the sandstone remains.
Giti Thadani has been driving her jeep around India for fifteen years. Blessed with a rare historical sensibility, including an eye for architectural detail, she ventures off-road in search of lost temples, sculptures and cosmological sites from Madhya Pradesh to Kanyakumari to Gujarat. One thought, one reflection leads to another as she contemplates the cultures and mythologies that produced these marvels, and the more recent cultures and mythologies that have left them to neglect and desecration. Her inner and outer journeys unfold each other. Along the way, she meets the people who make India what it is: an incense-wallah who dropped out of engineering college because he fell in love with scents, a young woman from an archaeological museum who helps Giti find a yogini temple, a passing driver who leaps out of his truck to change Giti’s tyre when her hands get too cold to function.
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Giti’s passion for architecture, sculpture, mythology, iconography and artistic heritage are infectious. A travelogue unlike any other, Moebius Trip is at once a road journal, a collection of musings and a cry for respect and preservation of one of the world’s oldest civilisations. One hopes that this elegant book might herald a new awareness, even restoration, of a forgotten or suppressed aspect of India’s historical richness.’Inez Baranay, Journal of Australian Studies
The title of the book is an inspiration, the subtitle apt. Moebius band or strip is a mathematical curiosity in which the inner and outer surfaces run seamlessly. Moebius strip becomes Moebius Trip of the title and the subtitle Digressions from India's Highways reflects her penchant for the exploration of byways - not only in a physical sense but also in the choices she makes to bypass places linked to the cultural mainstream. It is both an exterior as well as an interior journey, encompassing as much of herself as her travels.Samra Rahman
For those to whom the title of the book sounds unfamiliar, Moebiustrip or rather, Moeibus strip, is a strip of paper with neither a beginning nor an end. And it is in a way apt for this book, because this book is not just an account of traveling on India's roads. This book is more about metaphysical aspects of such a journey undertaken by Giti Thadani. I loved the tagline Digressions from India's highways wow what a lovely phrase, because that is essentially what the book is.Hari, www.books365.blogspot.com/2007/05
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