On A Truck Alone, To McMahon
Nominated | Book Awards 2019 | Translated into English
On A Truck Alone, To McMahon ()
I wasn’t trying to discover new places. I wasn’t going to break or create a record. I was going only on an impulse, entirely my own, just out of the natural curiosity that life brings, the delight of living. Was this not a valid enough reason?
With curiosity in her heart and a prayer on her lips, Nabaneeta hauled herself on to a truck and set off on a journey to fill her unfilled bag of stories. Sacks, paper cartons, steel cupboards, wicker furniture, baskets of angry, clucking chickens, and a sharp smell surrounded her. How many days in this stench? How many hours? How many endless moments?
This is a travelogue of Nabaneeta’s journey from Jorhat in Assam all the way to the McMahon line at the Indo-Tibetan border, a trip undertaken on an impulse, detailing her encounters with countless ordinary individuals, their reactions to a middle-aged woman’s solo road trip in India in 1977, and the extraordinary events that unfold along the way. Reflective and humorous, the narrative presents travel as an avenue of liberation.
Nabaneeta Dev Sen is one of the most versatile Indian writers in Bengali today, with a unique style of expression, varied experience of life, and a rare sense of humour.
Arunava Sinha translates classic, modern, and contemporary Bengali fiction and non-fiction into English.