A travelogue from Indian's perspective,
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This review is from: From Heaven Lake : Travels Through Sinkiang and Tibet (Paperback)
What is the best way to experience another culture? Learn their language and then promptly hitch hike your way across. This is precisely what Vikram Seth has chances upon. It is a gem of a travelogue, and what has won my admiration is that he is a Hindu pilgrim. Vikram captures the emotions of his friendship with the Chinese people, especially the tension between the majority Han and minority Uighars, mogols and the Tibetans. The travel abroad a truck as it crisscrosses across Sinkiang and Tibet brings about a constant stream of challenges, from police checks, bartering to frequent unwarranted stops when the truck gets stuck in mud. These occurrences produce the best phrases out of the author like....
'A mind clouded with rage is fearsome even to itself.' I agree with Vikram's analysis in the end though when he compares India with China and the way both have progressed under different system of governance. According to his observation if you are dirt poor than you are better off born in China as compared to India. On the other hand if you are on the upper end of the poverty scale, than India offers a better prospect for future.