Book Review: Transit Lounge by Sunil Mishra




Genre: Non-fiction/ Travelogue

Publishers: Leadstart Publishing Pvt Ltd

Price: Rs. 225/-  ( I got the book for review from Author's Channel)
Behind the Book

“Transit Lounge” is a contemporary book consisting of short incidents, observations and reflections while travelling to 30 countries across six different continents during the last 15 years.

The book is a personal account of travels to places in Africa (Nigeria, Ghana, Egypt and Mauritius), South America (Venezuela and Argentina), Asia (China, Iran, Kuwait, UAE, Singapore, Indonesia, Sri Lanka,Malaysia and Thailand), Europe (UK, France, Italy,Netherlands, Germany, Denmark, Belgium, Georgia,Turkey, Croatia and Romania), USA, Australia and New Zealand.

It was interesting to observe all these different cultures and people from an Indian perspective. The book is a compilation of small incidents and events during such travels; it includes losing an air ticket, dealing with difficult custom officials or getting mugged in a prime location in a foreign country.

About the Author

Sunil is a software professional with over two decades of experience in the field of banking technology. Currently he is working with Infosys in India. He has earlier worked with McKinsey, Accenture and I-flex solutions. His work required extensive travelling to different parts of the world and this constituted the basis of his current book. He travelled to more than 30 countries across six continents and engaged with senior managements in different client organizations. He believes that there has been a remarkable change in perception about india over last 15 years.

Sunil is an MBA from IIM-Lucknow and holds a B.Tech from IIT(ISM), Dhanbad. He completed his schooling in Bokaro Steel City, a relatively small town in Jharkhand, India. Sunil has avid interest in writing and has actively blogged on various platforms in the area of banking technology, consulting, leadership and changing role of media in the digital world.

If you have been following my blog for a while now, you might relate to my new found love for travelogues in the last 2 years. Not to mention the dozens of books I have been gathering as nothing seems to whet my appetite for travel stories. Needless to add, I said yes to this book just after listening to its name! However a few pages into the book and I was confused. Did the author want it to be a travelogue or a memoir?

Let's start by talking about what works for me as a reader. The book begins on a promising note with an amazing title that has an attention-seeking cover to go along with, perfect combination to grab a reader's attention. The author's note tells us how his job took the author to various countries and it led to this book. His experiences drawn from each country, replete with anecdotes and incidents make this book an engaging read.Written in a simple and engaging tone. the book takes us through different continents, across languages and cultures giving a glimpse into the myriad hues of the world around us. 

Now coming to what doesn't work for me.The first and the most striking thing is the poor editing, which is not only about spelling/ grammatical mistakes, there are typos galore in the book making it a hindrance in the reading experience. Second is the question I raised in the beginning of the review, I got confused in trying to understand if the author meant it to be a pure travelogue or a memoir or a combination of both. Because reading the book, it felt for more like a collection of essays where the author is narrating his experiences of living in different countries. I felt it gave a glimpse of the lifestyle there but not entirely. Like for e.g. his experience in Ghana talks about how he never missed India because he had a cook who made Indian food and had a circle of Indians which is fair. But as an avid traveler I am more keen on knowing the local delicacies of Ghana, any festival they celebrate and other such unique things of Ghana. Except for a few famous landmarks there is barely anything that could stay back in the mind of a traveler. Thirdly,there were many places where the narrative became boring making a reader lose interest. 

However, having said all of the above, the book is a decent read as there are portions which are thoroughly entertaining. And it is a good attempt at capturing so many varied countries in one book.

Recommended for one time read for people who really enjoy reading travelogues and/or memoirs!

Foodie Verdict

This book is like Bhungada Bateta - Crispy, crunchy, spicy, tangy and mouth-watering!

Source: YouTube