Travels in a Dervish Cloak by Isambard Wilkinson
” That innocent age, if it ever existed, was now dead.”
- Author : Isambard Wilkinson
- Publisher : Bloomsbury India
- Price : Rs 499
Rating : 3.8/5
This book is about the author’s quest for the real Pakistan. His grandmother who had to leave India, her native land after India won its independence was the true catalyst behind author’s quest. His grandmother’s friend who now lived in Pakistan kept ties with her and they visited each other every year. His grandmother’s sort of Indian way of living made the author fascinated about the subcontinent. And finally there came an opportunity for him to visit Pakistan and as he states in the book ” I’d no idea what a large role Pakistan would play in my life……” signifies how influential that trip had been. His quest intensified and then as a journalist he decided to go to Islamabad at the time when Pakistan was a ‘ War Of Terror‘ in 2006. This travel book takes you on a journey to a Pakistan we didn’t know, a Pakistan not based on the rumors. This journey isn’t this simple, the fact that author has had a kidney transplant before he left for his voyage. How he paved path for his dreams despite the illnesses will make you love the story even more.
I personally find the book a good read. The best part about it is the author’s truthfulness while describing the Pakistani society and it’s flaws, Pakistan’s mountainous beauty, the historical sites built by Akbar, Jehangir, the
fests held in different parts of the country. It also takes you on a political journey of Pakistan and what the common people acutally think about it, their perspective. The fact that the people of Pakistan know how corrupt and brutal their government is but then also stood by it really had me perturbed. It talks about Bhutto, Mushaaraf, Sharif.
And the best part of the journey is the author’s visit to innumerable shrines and his eagerness to find the real mystic sufí culture is so exemprarily described. The authenticity of the descriptions will win your heart. Some particular instances where author showed the defects of Pakistan by using India’s reference wasn’t liked by me at all and I felt were unnecessary. I know there is a lot of similarity between the two but why highlight India while showing faults. My view might be wrong and I might have got a bit personal over here but I write what I feel.
A journey to uncover that innocence which is now hidden underneath the facade of corruption, discrimination, trafficking, hatred, jealousy…..
I found the language a bit intricate. But that’s where the book stands out for its exemplarily description. It actually enhances your vocabulary.
A good read if you have interest in Pakistan and its politics, it’s Sufism and obviously its divergent terrains. Sometimes I did find myself drifting away from the book!
Have a good day! 🧡 Keep spreading love! Keep dreaming! Keep achieving!
P.S. – This book was for #prompt2 of bnbreadathon.