The pink coloured cover of this book with a picture of a woman in spaghetti top,stilettos and yoga pants sitting in a yoga pose clutching a handbag somehow almost screams "Don't take me seriously!."But Lucy Edge's travel memoir is not as flippant as you would think it would be.Lucy,a disenchanted Londoner,who works for a huge ad agency is tired of coming up with ideas to sell margarine.She decides to travel to India in search of enlightenment and a perfect headstand.I know what you are thinking..Sounds like a copy-cat version of Eat Pray Love ,right ?.In a lot of ways the premise seems to be the same but there is a huge difference in the journey.. And the book was published in 2004,a year before Elizabeth got hers published.
Lucy starts her journey from Mumbai and goes on a whirlwind tour of yoga ashrams in India.Along the way she falls for drop-dead gorgeous swami,has a blast with fellow-yoga students,stays in bug infested places,has trouble with her yoga postures,meets interesting people and has drunken binges.Her voice is self-deprecating and funny at the same time. She very candidly describes the state of affairs in ashrams across the country and how she struggles with finding a balance between wanting a cute top and finding the formula for inner peace.
The concept of covering almost 5-6 ashrams and trying to figure out one form of yoga that would finally take her closer to her goal of enlightenment in a period of 4-5 months is almost laughable.But whatever else Lucy lacks,it definitely isn't earnestness.As she flits from Amrita Ma's hugging marathons to Osho's ashram's five-star spa quality ashram where she experiments with attaining peace through sexual ways to Sri Aurobindo's utopian Auroville's,Lucy tells all. She doesn't hide behind lush words or nebulous concepts.Certain parts of the narrative might seem dense as Lucy describes certain yogic practices and asanas in detail. I have visited most of the cities Lucy goes to ,but was amused at the observations she makes.Something only a very involved traveler could make..Her descriptions of Rishikesh and Chennai stand out and would make you want to nod your head in agreement.
Overall,its an endearing read.Will definitely not give you earth shattering revelations about spirituality.But its a total joy-ride. 3.5/5 for this almost cutesy book.Perfect travel read.