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A Journey to Jerusalem by Parumala Thirumeni  


            Oorselem Yathra Vivaranam has to its credit all the significant features of a perfect travelogue. It is rather impossible to give a full definition for a travelogue. However, every literary work must be assessed on the basis of its salient features. It was the intention of Parumala Thirumeni to feel and comprehend the mind and experience of the soil which bore the imprint of the feet of Lord Jesus. He also shares his experience with others. The author completely fulfils this function. The acclaim which this literary work won in those days talks loud about this significant feature.

            The writing skills of the author are as important as the content of the work. Even though Oorslem Thiru Yathra translated from Portuguese and published before Parumala Thirumeni’s work, was also a description of a pilgrimage to the Holy Land, Parumala Thirumeni’s writing skill evinces a high order of elegance and dexterity.

            More than the novelty of the theme, what is more important is the rare skill to present extraordinary experiences in unique manner. 

            We may meet with different instances in this book when Parumala Thirumeni gets transfigured from a traveller to a literary author. At the Holy Sepulchre on Easter Day multitudes wait with expectations and rejoicing for “Puthan Thee” (New Fire), singing, shouting and clapping hands. When Parumala Thirumeni, who was a witness to this extraordinary experience, explains it to ordinary people, it does not miss the air of the extraordinary.


            The travel writer needs to possess the mind of both Columbus as well as Vasco Da gama. But if he has this kind of mind alone, his work may not be ‘life-friendly’. The author of the travelogue must get transformed from a traveller into an author. He should possess the inquisitiveness and adventurous nature of Columbus and Gama, and also the spirit of  Marco Polo and Huen Tsang. Such reconciling moments are in plenty in Oorslem Yathra vivaranam. 

            The literary value of Oorslem Yathra Vivaranam rests in the elegance of its style. A travelogue is not a mere report. It has spirit, life, colour and odour. Oorslem Yathra Vivaranam is a unique case in point, in this respect. 



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