Book Title: Candid Tales: India on a Motorcycle
Publisher: Harper Collins Children’s Books
Author: Adithi Rao
No. of Pages: 155
Genre: Non-Fiction; Travelogue
Do I recommend it? Yes, especially to those who love to travel.
Thanks to HarperCollins for sending me this review copy in exchange for an honest review!
Candid Tales: India on a Motorcycle is a book that includes about ten travel stories based on the travels of Candida Louis who went on biking trips around India for five months. The book starts with a baby Candida drowning her parents in cries of pain as she was teething one night. Her father had an incredible idea of taking her on a night-time bike ride that very night to make her stop crying. And guess what, it worked like magic. Gradually, the book carries us through various parts of Candida’s childhood and teenage life that are integral to her life as a biker and a traveler.
The travel tales start from the city of Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh. Latching on to somewhere on her motorcycle, I traveled through a few more places in India such as Chandra Tal, Kashmir, Varkala, and Pondicherry. All the places I’m longing to visit already. These tales were mostly about her experience as a woman biker traveling around India and people (of India and outside) getting stunned by the idea of it. The idea of a woman riding on a motorcycle all across India seemed as strange as aliens landing on Earth.
Psst, to me aliens landing on Earth is very normal, by the way!
Since the book is aimed at children and written by a children’s author, the writing was quite easy to navigate through. The book was of short length, light-hearted, and breezy. At times, I felt that a few parts were unnatural and were written in that particular way in order to make it appealing for children.
I also expected that five months of travel through Indian states by a woman biker would carry more misadventure tales rather than only easy adventures. The author wrapped us up with a few legends and funny tales from Candida’s travels but it wasn’t until she took us to Pondicherry, I felt the thrill of going on a biking trip to somewhere. Moreover, the interview portion at the end of the book was even more interesting and I thought the tales presented in the interview could have done a better job if included in the main portion of the book.
To be honest, I didn’t know this book was aimed at children before picking it up. And even if it is aimed at children, I didn’t feel like these tales would appeal to them if they just consist of funny stories and a couple of instances where Candida escapes trouble pretty easily. Adding misadventures and the stories of overcoming them would have been much more impactful and inspiring than plain and simple tales of travel. I loved reading about Candida Louis’ experiences but I just felt like there’s much more to it and it’s missing from the book.
I’d recommend this book to people who love to travel and want to read about a twenty-four-year-old someone’s account of traveling through India on her beloved Royal Enfield. If you’re someone who’s dreaming of such a journey, you can surely pick this book up. The book won’t tell you how to venture into this journey but it will inspire you to just do it.
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