Ajay Jain’s Postcards From Ladakh is a collection of pictures from the beautiful Ladakh, accompanied by a description of each picture. All the pictures and descriptions in the book date back to 2009 – the matter of the book was compiled during the author’s extensive explorations in Ladakh in the year 2009, a travel of about 10,000 km in the region. The author has put together each picture (and its associated description) in the book as if he were writing picture postcards from a particular place or about a particular person in Ladakh.
There is definitely a personal touch in each picture, and each description in the book. That the author has been touched by the land and the people of Ladakh in more ways than one is evident from the book. I quite enjoyed the experience of reading this book, and it was a good way to kick off my reading for 2013!
Ladakh has always held a certain charm for me; I have wanted to visit it ever since a friend showed me some beautiful pictures of the place from her holiday there. The empty plains, the marmots, the monks, the Buddhist temple – I want to see it all in person some day. Reading this book was like taking a vicarious journey to Ladakh, and whetted my appetite to visit the place all the more.
The author states that the book is not a guidebook, but is rather an as-is account of Ladakh circa 2009, as he saw and experienced it. That it is, but it has the potential to serve as a wonderful guidebook as well. I would love to follow the author’s trail into the remote villages of Ladakh, visit the places he did, and talk to the people he did.
I loved the way the author has accumulated different aspects of Ladakh in the book – it has everything from monasteries and monks and animals to *wait for it* toilets in Ladakh! There are even chapters about essentials you should carry on your trip to Ladakh, and how to conduct yourself in a monastery!
I felt that the proof-reading and editing of the book could have been a bit more tight, and the language a bit more polished. That said, these things did not take away from my reading experience in any way.
All in all, I found Postcards From Ladakh a beautiful, personal, colourful representation of the bits and pieces that make up Ladakh. I certainly liked this book, and would recommend it to all and sundry.