Those who are living in Kochi/Ernakulam might have heard about this couple atleast once. They have been the subject of numerous newspaper articles and television shows. If I tell you that this book is about a Vijayan-Mohana couple who run the tea shop called ‘Balaji Tea Stall’, in Salim Rajan Road, Kathrukkadavu,Ernakulam, it might not ring a bell. But if I rephrase my statement a bit and emphasise again ‘this’ is ‘that couple’ who use the savings out of their earnings from their tea stall to fund for their world travel, I’m pretty sure that atleast some of you will recollect their story.’Vijayanteyum Mohanyudeyum Loka Yathrakal’, as the title suggests is an account of some of the travels done by this lovely couple.
The book starts off depicting the childhood of Vijayan and how he was fond of travels right from his school days. He also recollects his love for movies and his spendthriftness during his early years. The turning point in Vijayan’s life as he himself has recalled in this book happens after the entry of Mohana into his life.The next few chapters are short descriptions about the various travels they have made till date.
Coming to the positives, the book is highly readable and is totally unpretentious. There is no attempt to portray the couple as overtly virtuous or create an artificial halo around the couple.Vijayan and Omana have been honest enough to confess their limitations and the mistakes which they have made in life. So, when Vijayan says that he has been highly indisciplined till he met Omana or when she recalls about the bad experiences she had to face soon after her marriage, the reader can totally relate to it.The language is quite simple and conversational and the narrative smooth and crisp.
The production quality of the book(Vee cee Books Kochi and Anaswara Offset Printers,Ernakulam) is top notch and the beautiful pictures which have been included in the book also enhance the reading experience.
On the downside, though this book belongs to the ‘travelogue’ genre, descriptions of places and the historical aspects behind these places hardly gets place in this book.Avid travel readers will find this book a tad disappointing.Instead, if you approach this book as memoirs of Vijayan and Omana and their life experiences, you can finish reading this one with a smile on your face.I'm giving this book a 3 out of 5.