Not that the book is about to win the next Booker or Man or whatever, for the author. It's no literary heavyweight. And has no such pretensions. Matter of fact, this travelogue detours, every now and then, into metaphysical bylanes that you can easily skim (or skip) without missing out on too much of the flavour.
No, the reason I can't quite get this book out of my head, is simply that I'm suffering from a good, old fashioned envy.
After all, here I am at 33, my liver at its prime, spending more time writing copy and riding my fucking desk, than in the saddle. And, in stark contrast, is this 50-something gent - Ajit - a practising speech pathologist, who manges to take his Bullet on month long ride from Pune to Ladakh.
In this era of salad freaks and pg. 3 gymnasiums, I admire his acknowledgement of the restorative properties of rum. In these poIitically correct times, I admire his honesty about stopping for a coffin nail every now and the. And naturally, I admire the man's grit - it's not an easy ride for anyone, of any age.
But what I'm envious of, is the fact that he has the wisdom to sort out work/life so he can make the ride in the first place.
I mean he's a medical professional. Someone who actually contributes something worthwhile, to the human race. In comparison, given that all I'm doing with my life is something as pointless and inconsequential as advertising, I should have ridden up to Ladakh and back, 9 times, by now.
Instead, all I ever manage to come up with, are excuses. Feeble ones at that. Shit like: There's a lot of work. I don't have enough money. I don't have enough leave. My colleagues are counting on me. I'm involved with a start-up. There's a recession. We've just got a new client. Blah-di-fucking-blah.
One would think, given all the creative liberties with the truth that I take on behalf of assorted clients on a daily basis, I would at least be more imaginative with my excuses. But until such time as I begin successfully deluding myself, or muster up the cojones to take month off (come hell or high water) and make the ride to Ladakh, I suppose I'll have to console myself by at least emulating the man as far as the rum is concerned.