‘Inner Trek: A Reluctant Pilgrim in the Himalayas’ by Mohan Ranga Rao
After being threatened by a Bangalore mob boss, retired Indian businessman in Mohan Ranga Rao makes a vow: if he somehow gets out of the situation, he will thank the gods by going on Kailash Mansarova, a holy mountain pilgrimage in Tibet. What starts out as merely a challenging high-altitude trek soon becomes a life-changing adventure. With a blend of humour, honesty and keen insight, Mohan journeys toward a deeper understanding of the world around him.
A memoir of a road less traveled and a true story of self-discovery at 18,000 feet.
I am not, I must confess, an especially spiritual man. In fact, I am I think about as far removed from being spiritual as it is possible to be. For reasons now lost to the mists of time, I once ended up studying GCSE Buddhism. A fascinating topic as far as a sociological study of a totally different culture goes but the report from our teacher began, “despite Peter being unable to maintain even a moment’s peace and serenity…” so no, not a natural spiritualist.
Probably about as close as I get to feeling there is more to the life than this version our animated meat carcasses wander around in, is when travelling. Obviously this was as much a casualty of the pandemic as many other things but being in a different culture and meeting people of wildly different experiences and outlooks is good for the planet and good for (what passes for) the soul in my opinion.
I was, therefore, taking a risk by agreeing to review Mohan Ranga Rao’s memoir, ‘Inner Trek: A Reluctant Pilgrim in the Himalayas’. It lies outside usual reading fare, I’ve never been to the Himalayas and there was a chance that it was going to be chakras and inner peace: ‘Eat, Pray, Love at 3000 Feet’.
I needn’t have worried: Mr Rao is – if the initial impression he cultivates at the beginning of the text can be believed – even more secular than me. This lends a gently pleasing arc to his narrative as he explores the world beyond property speculations and land extorting gangasters.
A carefully crafted, enjoyable opportunity for the mind to explore, ‘Inner Trek: A Reluctant Pilgrim in the Himalayas’ is a potential treat for those of us for whom explorative travel is still a long way off at the moment and Mr Rao is that most engaging of guide’s – the one who does the heavy lifting.
Author Bio –
Mohan Ranga Rao is an accomplished businessman, an avid traveller and a generous philanthropist. He has visited over thirty different countries and is drawn to places of natural beauty and physically-challenging trails. Mohan lives in Mysore with his wife Mamatha. They have two adult children. He plays tennis daily, takes frequent hikes and reads anything from scotch labels to quantum physics to Vedanta.
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