Tales Of A Voyager (Joley Dangay) – Syed Mujtaba Ali


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Some time between the two World Wars, Syed Mujtaba Ali set out on ship from India to travel to Europe. Leaving Sri Lanka behind, sailing in the Arabian Sea and then along the coast of Africa, he crossed the Horn of Africa, until the ship reached Suez Port. Along the way, Ali collected a bunch of stories—about his new young friends Paul and Percy, who became his loyal acolytes; and the eccentric Abul Asfia Noor Uddin Muhammad Abdul Karim Siddiqi, who carried toffees, a gold cigarette case, and other sundry items in his capacious overcoat pocket and who had the answer to all problems though he barely spoke a word ever.

As the ship makes its way, Mujtaba Ali tells stories of the island of Socrota with its pirates in search of treasure. He dives into history and recounts how the giraffe went to China via India from Africa. And when the friends get off at Suez, in order to see the pyramids of Giza, he provides a deeply entertaining and perceptive description of Egypt—from its taxi drivers and caf? owners, to pharaohs and tomb hunters.

Erudite but light-hearted, brimming with laughter and with many moments of tenderness, Tales of a Voyager is a gem of a travelogue from the author who wrote the immensely popular travel account of Afghanistan, In a Land Far from Home (Deshe Bideshe).


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