I’ve been a fan of Pico Iyer’s writings for a while. Ten years ago, my brother gave me a copy of his book “Global Soul”. It was about global buisness travellers, who wereat home in airports, and travel lounges. I knew a few of those, who racked up over 200,000 miles every year. Travel is fun, but 200,000?
The book I read after was about his travel in interesting places, Paraguay, North Korea, Iran, Bhutan and Cuba. I travel a lot, and its unusual for me to hear of another South Indian, who loves exotic places. Paraguay? I came to Paraguay border two years ago, but the locals dissuaded me from entering. Another time. I think Pico has that covered well. Maybe I’ll try Iran.
I read Bruce Chatwin. I read his book on Patagonia before I went there. He saw, he ate, walked and wrote about it. Most travel writers do the same. Pico is different. He actually lives and breathes the air, and describes the vibe of the place. Then throws in a mix of personal and Eastern Philosophy.
As I was listening to his talk, I was also fiddling with his latest book, Art of Stillness. This was classic Pico and a reinvented Pico. I’m a huge reader of Yoga, Zen and other eastern philosophies. In his first page, he talks of how Leonard Cohen, after years of crooning, found peace in a Zen monastery. Cool stuff.
Seriously, I have to agree. Turning off the cell phones, devices and modern gadgets helps one to bring back to our human roots. I was reading how Ray Jardine hiked the Pacific Crest Trail without flashlights and by navigating by starlight. Ok, I cant do that, but I end up chatting with more people than I did before. As you can tell, I’m a Pico Iyer fan. I’m looking forward to reading his next book.