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“The Cornish call it the singing of the shores. When fishermen needed to find their way home and land was obscured by a blanket of fog or intense darkness, they listened intently to the sound of the waves breaking upon shore. The shores sang to them, much like the setting sun beckons the wild geese to fly home before it disappears for the day.”
Somewhere in Cornwall, the bolthole at the western extremity of Britain, a couple of Indian ex-pats take to the coastal paths to explore a land as old as the hills. When author Arundhati Basu crosses the River Tamar with her husband in the summer of 2012, little does she know that they are stepping into a different world order. Vanity and pretensions are useless commodities in the old country where everything comes to a screeching halt for a cream tea or a well-earned box of fish & chips. The couple, newly married and relocated to the Midlands, find the contours of their relationship changing with every tramping holiday in Cornwall, as they get immersed in the relaxed rhythm of the countryside. Overarching their experience is the salt-laden air from the sea, washing over the senses and reminding us that we are at the mercy of nature.
In a world wholly caught up in the bog of social isolation, a narrative of slow travels through the West Country is a reminder that somewhere on the horizon, a place like Cornwall awaits. Told in a ‘loiterly’ fashion, along with illustrations by the author in charcoal, the book is an anti-travel guide, a cure for the anaesthetic impact of a city existence, far from the lightning-fast pace of modernity.