Around the world in 65 years
Biku Ghosh, author
During my recent community volunteering, I have been spending time with an 83-year-old engineer with severe dementia who used to travel abroad a lot. He loved looking at the world maps. He could remember nothing but only had glimpses of memory hearing the names of places or seeing them on the map. He would say, ‘I think I have been there.’ 'Memory is like a fiction' wrote Haruki Murakami. Soon as I began writing this book, memories flooded back with astonishing detail. I want to hold on to them and share it with the future generation. It all started as eight-year-old learning to ride running trains to see the world. My quest then continued for the next six decades. This travel memoir documents early adventures - travelling the Golden triangle without a ticket; training as a mountaineer and climbing lofty peaks in the Himalayas; working with Red Cross during the Bangladesh war; hitchhiking across Europe and almost thrown off a Bulgarian train mistaken as an American, and volunteering after a super cyclone in Andhra, burying rotten animals. The journey then continues over seventy-five countries in all seven continents - taking a plunge in Antarctic waters and giving away a proxy daughter in a North Pole wedding; scuba diving in the Great Barrier Reef and skydiving in New Zealand; climbing Kilimanjaro, Stok Kangri and trekking to Everest Base camps in Nepal and in Tibet in my sixties. And of having close encounters with wild animals, including Galapagos seals, tigers in India, grizzlies in Alaska, gorillas in the mist and all of the big five in Africa. This book also narrates an account of the human spirit and its warmth, even in despair, witnessed and shared during volunteering in twelve countries on five continents including Ethiopia, Bolivia, Guatemala and Mongolia. After sleeping in an Igloo under the dancing Aurora in Greenland in March 2020, my world stopped temporarily.