Every time I had visited hill stations such as Ooty and Kodaikanal, I have greatly admired the breathtaking beauty of nature, though my admiration has found equal attention to the men’s world, who come in their cars and bikes, with cigarettes and beer tins in their hands, chatter and laugh heartily with their friends.The Indian society has no qualms with men going on trips nearby, or even to far away places such as Bangkok, Thailand and Indonesia on sex tours. But when women go even as far as a nearby mall, they pose towards them hundreds of questions. In this backdrop, when a woman has gone on a trip to Europe and presented her experiences as a mini travelogue in Tamil titled, “Aruna in Vienna”, I would like to express my heartfelt gratitude and appreciation to Dr.Aruna before beginning to discuss her book. Hats off Dr.Aruna!

Comrades Prabhakaran and Johnson belonging to Nigarmozhi Publications, have continuously presented us with beautiful texts. They have decided to publish this book which was initially released in Amazon kindle with eye-catching pictures to accompany the text. Thanks a bunch!

Now with all the appreciation out of the way, let us look at the book itself. “It is not safe for women to be travelling alone to a foreign country! At this age, travel with your family, what is this habit of going alone?” Aruna has also faced such irritating advice before going to Europe. Her writing style makes us feel that we too were part of her journey and experiences in the flight, the airport, Budapest apartment, Budapest round-up, Vienna, Salzburg, Prague, Cesky and so on. It is a great travelogue which details the problems she had faced, giving us plenty of information, and also several instances of humour and wit.

Image: – Front cover of the book

Even though the book is titled “Aruna in Vienna” we could feel that she really liked Budapest. If we were to read this book and go on a trip to Europe we would definitely feel biased to going to Budapest first. The readers will also find Budapest close to their heart.

It is worth mentioning that even though Aruna has presented us with her travel experiences, there are plenty of places where she talks about contemporary politics. For example, she says that going up and down the Budapest apartment with her luggage felt like “the final stages of counting of Thirumavalavan’s victory in the Chidambaran constituency”. At several other places she has made hilarious notes about demonetization, Modi’s foreign trips etc…

I am part of a Whatsapp group for our college students. Most of my friends would be talking about children and cooking. I don’t participate much in these conversations. The few/many women who are like me would unknowingly connect to Aruna’s work. At one point, she bemoans her friends choosing to cook – which they do daily back home – even when on a trip. When reading this, we definitely would scratch our heads as to why are women so interested in cooking.

There are plenty of Aruna’s experiences and yearnings that we women would connect to, but I found a particular place really indelible. She describes an event near the Danube river alluringly, where a couple with closed eyes, were enjoying kissing each other deeply and passionately. While she goes on to compare this to the experiences with men here in India, if you are a woman like me who had to witness just the shy glance of my partner when I asked him for a public lip-lock, you will definitely burst out laughing after reading it. She even goes further to say that she would love to fall for a western man just so that she can kiss him in a public place. She tempts us too to do so with her mind blowing narration.

Finally, I had recommended this book to several of my friends. They have all become Aruna’s fans. So, there is no doubt that several young women including me would seriously consider the idea of going on a trip with their friends when they read this book.

Aruna, a writer-cum-doctor, says, “I don’t know if I would get a chance to go on such a trip again with my friends. If I do, we’ll meet again with my new experiences.” This the end note of the book. On behalf of your fans, I would like to request you that you must definitely write about your future trips too.

[Please Note:- This book is available in https://www.periyarbooks.in/aruna-in-vienna.html ]

Author Bio:-

This article is written by Er.Yazhmozhi, a final year M.Tech student in National Institute of Technology, Tiruchirapalli. She is one of the former editors in a Tamil magazine, “Kaattaaru” and a Periyarist.

Mail: – yazh.connect@gmail.com


GET COUNTERCURRENTS DAILY NEWSLETTER STRAIGHT TO YOUR INBOX