Matti Rämö: Polkupyörällä Intiassa. Lehmiä, jumalia ja maantiepölyä [Cycling in India. Cows, gods, and road dust]

30 July 2010 | Mini reviews, Reviews

Polkupyörällä Intiassa. Lehmiä, jumalia ja maantiepölyä
[Cycling in India. Cows, gods, and road dust]
Helsinki: Minerva Kustannus Oy, 2010. 301 p., ill.
ISBN 978-952-492-335-4
€ 27.90, hardback

The author decides to take a pinch of the ashes of his dead mother to India’s Varanasi, the city of pilgrims on the banks of the Ganges, and at the same time visit his daughter at an international high school on the country’s west coast. Rämö takes his bicycle on the plane to Delhi and in the course of a month cycles more than 2,600 kilometres, from Delhi to Mumbai. The cyclist is challenged by the heat and humidity, the chaotic traffic, the awkward sections of road and the endless thirst for knowledge on the part of curious bystanders – but his observations are deeper than those of the average travel author, as he worked in India in third world research during the 1980s and 1990s. In the summer of 2007 he completed a four months’ cycle tour of the Sahara, travelling some 9,600 kilometres, and published a book about his experiences (Rengasrikkoja Saharassa, ‘Punctures in the Sahara’, Minerva, 2008). In spite of the shorter length of the Indian journey, the author thinks it possessed a higher difficulty factor.

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