02 November 2009

One Life to Ride by Ajit Harisinghani

A friend for life
Here is a man who once said “sorry” to his Royal Enfield.
And the Enfield forgave him.

When I first saw his book One Life to Ride, it was amidst a pile of other books sent to me by Sunday Mid-day and I had to pick the ones I would write reviews of. This one seemed, quite unusually, to be by an unknown author and a non-mainstream publisher. Wondering why Sunday Mid-day’s very smart editor would bother to send something like this, I picked it up and started reading – and soon discovered why.
It was the story of a middle-aged professional who took a month off work, hopped on his bike and zoomed off from Pune to Leh and on to Jammu. It wasn’t just a travel book but a simple ode to the joy of living. It was easy to read and, though full of editing lapses, also full of fun. You can read my review here.

Since Ajit and I live in the same city, it was inevitable that we would one day bump into each other, and we did, at the Amit Varma reading last week.
He has now presented me a copy of the brand-new second edition, assuring me that he’d fixed the problem with the tenses that I’d complained about in the last one.
I was delighted to see it had photos of some of the characters he met on the road – and whom I remember fondly though I last encountered them one year and about a hundred books ago.
He’d also included my comment (along with excerpts from other reviews) that, "
By the time you finish, you feel you’ve made a friend. Harisinghani’s writing comes from the heart and reading his book you get a clear sense of an uncomplicated, sincere guy with easy priorities and no hang ups."

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