Book Review: Nanda Devi by Sandeep Madadi

Nanda Devi by Sandeep Madadi is a book about the mountain, a book about nature, a travel book, and more giving voice to unusual characters, but very present in the mountains. The book creates a space of serenity in which it is easy to find a broader and more enlightening perspective.

The Nanda Devi, through the narrative is seen as that great boulder that so imposing looks down on everyone, so strong that no one can move it, so statuesque that it transforms landscapes into works of art and so majestic that it seems to challenge you to reach its highest peak. How could all this not be the heart of inspiration for artists and writers?

Nanda Devi have always been the background of many stories, both true and fictional, which have inspired numerous books over the years. The mountain, with its breathtaking landscapes, pristine territories and snow-capped peaks have made generations of nature lovers dream.

But all this beauty, full of charm, hides pitfalls and difficulties. Nanda Devi has often been the stage for great challenges. These challenges were not only physical, but also psychological, so this environment has become the symbol of overcoming one's limits, and a place to rediscover peace and the charm of discovery.

What is Nanda Devi really? Is it just a piece of the earth's crust wrinkled by powerful tectonic movements, or something more? And why does it hold so much fascination? I approached reading the book without too many questions, but this increased along the way and in the end the desire to know more grew.

When books are good, even with the answers they give, they make you even more hungry and often the desire to travel. Perhaps what emerges most of all is the strength of Nanda Devi. A mountain that in a few seconds can decide your life with landslides, avalanches, storms and other unforeseen events; and above all it is a sneaky mountain, a siren that with its call of conquest tests minds clouded by fatigue.

With the haunting notes of the leaves blending harmoniously with those of clouds and snow to create an extraordinary dialogue, Nanda Devi unites sumptuous elegance with a deep spiritual passion. As soon as you have the book in your hand you feel like reading it non-stop. It speaks to you of beauty, adventure, and glory.

More than a book about the mountain, it is a short novel set in the trails, among the forests and mountains as we visit and come into contact with a myriad of cultures, traditions, histories, gods, beliefs. Reading it you will become familiar with places, but also with animals, forests and lakes which are the backdrop to a universal story, that of the relationship between man and nature, the value of legends and taboos.

Combining the rigor of the curiosity of the explorer, the author gives us a travel story of great literary quality, the diary of a long adventure among dizzying peaks and distant valleys, archaic communities and the mountain that stands tall against all odds. The language is fluid and light and easily leads the reader to the visual materialization of landscape glimpses and faces of the regions and the inhabitants of the Himalayas.

It is the account of the journey that the author undertook through remote and difficult terrains, and the book is enriched by personal reflections that make us better acquainted with the author and grasp hidden elements of the region around Nanda Devi, such as the festivals, gods, myths and legends.

There are those who want to climb the peaks of the mountains at all costs, and there are those who prefer to explore the valleys instead. Sandeep Madadi is one of the latter.

A region still outside the tourist routes, which can only be explored with long treks. Along the way there are few roads, mostly paths, a few villages, few human beings. Many overnight stays in tents, few comforts, walking alone even when in company - this happens in the mountains - and the sensation of crossing a lost world, where time and distances are still dictated by nature.

The book is totally worth reading. It is the story of the adventure experienced firsthand by the author himself, who left for a mountaineering expedition in the Himalayas and found himself captivated. The book recounts the difficulties encountered in regions that are beautiful to see but very difficult to experience.

The style is often descriptive, there is no dialogue, yet the book works and flows well. Following the path of Sandeep Madadi you discover, the Himalayan mountains, villages, towns and people, sometimes friendly, sometimes dangerous. And above all he travels in a lost world, still mysterious.

He manages to successfully enter a fascinating world that is not only that of a hidden culture, but that raises all the nuances of the encounter between people who are apparently so different but with so much in common. It is a book that delves into the stories of ordinary people, with the colours and magic of the Himalayas in the background.

Nanda Devi is a book of historical, philosophical investigation, devoid of the epic that one might expect from a book about the mountain. Yet there is space to tell the story of the explorers of the past. The author also talks about the tales of locals, the value that each one gives to nature, the image they have of culture, and the mountains that touch the sky, where today comes the noise from which the gods hide.

I love engaging and sensitive writing, the introspective stories from which the author's personality and experiences leak out, which, while remaining hidden behind his characters, reveals himself in some traits.

Nanda Devi Sandeep Madadi

It's a novel that reads all in a row, the kind you can't put down until you get to the last page. A writing that goes by subtraction, a dry and essential style. A mountain told without indulgence, without bucolic elements, but taken in its real power, sometimes ferocious, an element that inspires respect and sometimes fear.

In this book, the author serves us experiences that moves between forests, lakes, flowers and the treacherous terrains. His ironic, alluring style accompanies us through the pages, in a crescendo of events that multiply curiosity and propositions to explain the events that occur in the impervious valley where the expedition takes place.

The book envelops your senses with the most intense cold of Himalayas while radiating the warmth of the people and the emotions of the trip. Who knows if the book will be the journey that changes our lives or if, perhaps because of it, we dare to go to a part of the world to find the peace we lack.

This review is powered by Blogchatter Book Review Program.
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