Manual A South Indian Journey: The Smile of Murugan

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A South Indian Journey is a magical mixture of history and travelogue, and an unforgettable portrait of India - past, present and future. He has made a number of internationally successful tv series, including In the Footsteps of Alexander the Great, and four of his books have been UK non-. Be the first to write your review! Delivery in Business Days. COD Available. Price can change due to reprinting, price change by publisher or sourcing cost change for imported books. Average rating 4. Rating details. More filters.

Sort order. It is always reassuring to see positive reviews overwhelmingly positive, actually from the people that and author is writing about - in this case the people of Tamil Nadu, in southern India. It is obvious from the outset that the author has genuine affection for his lose friends, and in general the people and the culture of Tamil Nadu.

The book draws on the positive, and is written from the perspective of a non-Hindu. Michael Wood is a historian and has written many books, but this one seems to It is always reassuring to see positive reviews overwhelmingly positive, actually from the people that and author is writing about - in this case the people of Tamil Nadu, in southern India.

Michael Wood is a historian and has written many books, but this one seems to come from a more personal level. While in Tamil Nadu, with his girlfriend of the time, Wood meets Mala and her family.

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This begins a long friendship. At the same time he visits a Hindu astrologer, who tells him he will have two daughters, and that he will complete a pilgrimage. He is then given an extensive list of pilgrimage sites he will visit, all around Souther India. The bulk of this book covers that journey, undertaken with or under the guidance of Mala. Loosely it is taken on a bus, in an organised fashion the Video Bus, so named for the Tamil movies on continuous play. At some point some 30 or so locations into the pilgrimage I zoned out a little. They inevitably became a bit repetitive, and while they were all described in detail in order to demonstrate that they differed, it wasn't by enough.

More interesting were the minor interactions with various people during his travels. A noted above, Wood isn't Hindu, and was exposed in depth to the lifestyle and process of a genuine pilgrimage, so writes from a position of experience, as describes in great detail. If this level of detail about this topic is interesting to you as a reader, no doubt it is an excellent book. For me, it was good, and it was interesting, but I needed less repetition and more side-stories to keep me enthralled.

Published in , it would be interesting to understand the difference now, twenty years later. A solid 3 stars. View 2 comments. A beautiful, heartfelt travelogue of the Tamil south that I'm very glad I read. Found it as usual in the ground floor travel section of Blossom's in Bangalore, and bought it immediately, even if only to figure out how an outsider would look at my culture.

Enjoyed it so very much that I'm sure to read it again, and might even follow his trajectory around my homeland. Very many books have been described as labours of love, but seldom is that phrase actually deserved. This book, though, is exactly A beautiful, heartfelt travelogue of the Tamil south that I'm very glad I read. This book, though, is exactly that. Wood is in love with Tamil culture and everything that accompanies it, and he unlocks a treasure-chest of legends and myths, narrating them in a voice that's empathetic, scholarly, and yet accessible. He calls Tamil Nadu 'the last classical civilisation', and though the book was published 20 years ago and a lot has changed since, a lot remains the same.

It is this sameness that is the central subject of Wood's book - continuity, antiquity, and a culture's celebration of itself.

Murugan Idli Shop in Eastham - South Indian restaurant

This book deserves to be read more, and can even act as an introduction to modern, cut-off-from-their-roots Tamils to their own culture. I'll certainly do my share of evangelising it. May 21, Heather rated it really liked it.

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A South Indian Journey: The Smile of Murugan

This book has a lovely story line with lots of interaction between Michael Wood and the family he stays in contact with in Tamil Nadu which I loved. I read this whilst on holiday in neighbouring Kerala so I could easily picture the landscape and lifestyle. Altogether I enjoyed the lighter moments and I love reading books set in India.

Sep 07, Arvind rated it it was amazing.

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This book is a lost treasure. It's not detailed but the content is genuine and a rare insight by an outsider into precious Tamil culture which is one of the oldest indigenous civilization of modern times. A true must read for anyone interested in anthropology culture mythology and spirituality.

A great read, an enlightening perspective into the temple of southern India. I am an Indian. And an Indian from Tamil Nadu. Irony of Ironies that I should come to learn about and to love my heritage from a foreigner.

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It is one of the most brilliant books in the world. The story of Micheal's Journey through the southern heartland combined with his masterful writing, transported me into a magical world; a fantasy world.


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That the world was real and was a part of me, gave the book an epiphanic tone. A must read for all Indians, not to mention Tamils.

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Picked this up in Southwark a few weeks ago while on a work trip. It made splendid reading on the plane, but once I got home a slight disappointment set in. I'm sure the temples were lovely and I really can't fault Wood's description, but still it was all a bit "wish you were here. All that aside, you can't fault his enthusiasm and passion. It's infectious. Not sure when it will happen, but I can't wait to get to India. Not many books make me want to praise God, but this comes close.

And who can fault anything with the line, "an equation has no meaning unless it expresses a thought of God". BrianFannin May 31, This is a perfect book, although it took a while for me to get into its groove. The author immerses himself, with the assistance of just about everyone he meets, into the culture of South India.

But not in the sense of taking up Hinduism, or searching for answers in its mysteries. Wood seems to have an unaffected style, an easiness that allows him to move through India without finding reason to criticise anything around him. He shrugs off delays and prevarications, seemingly conscious that he is living inside another culture with its own rules and norms. But he never pretends he is anything but an outsider, although one with a great affection for India. He even manages to inject some political and social commentary.

The Smile of Murugan: A South Indian Journey: Michael Wood: bernrafttarepri.ml

The narrative is never heavy, a gentle mixing in of all that I have just mentioned, along with the sights and the people he meets with along the way. His cultural sensitivity is so natural that it is almost undetectable, but apparent in the little asides about asking permission before entering temples, leaving his shoes behind and even sitting on the correct side of the bus with the men.

I can see why so many of the Indians he met seemed to take a shine to him.