Tuesday, January 30, 2007

The Open World by Ryszard Kapuscinski

The New Yorker has this wonderful, endearing travel essay by the Polish writer Ryszard Kapuscinski.
"Abroad?" she said, surprised and slightly frightened. "Where? What for?"

"I was thinking about Czechoslovakia," I answered. I wouldn't have dared to say Paris or London, and, frankly, those cities didn't interest me; I couldn't even imagine them. This was only about crossing the border—it made no difference which one, because what was important was not the destination but the mystical and transcendent act.

A year passed. Then one afternoon the telephone rang in the newsroom. The editor-in-chief was summoning me to her office. "We are sending you abroad," she said, as I stood before her desk. "You'll go to India."

My first reaction was astonishment. And, right after that, panic: I knew nothing about India. I feverishly searched my thoughts for some associations, images, names. Nothing. Zero. The idea for the India trip came from the fact that, several months earlier, Jawaharlal Nehru, the Prime Minister of India, had visited Poland—one of the first premiers of a non-Soviet-bloc country to do so. The first connections were being established. My stories were supposed to bring that distant land closer.

Make yourself a hot drink - coffee, tea, Horlicks, Boost, whatever, kick back and enjoy.



sathish said...

thanks for this link.. I like travel writings a lot..

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.