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A Journey to Jerusalem by Parumala Thirumeni  

THE RELEVANCE OF PERSONAL ASPECTS
           
Just as an autobiography abounds in personal matters, a travelogue too has got a place for things personal. A travel description without its personal element does not become a travelogue. A travelogue is not perfect with descriptions and delineation alone. They should be supplemented with the travellerís experiences and feelings. When we read a good travelogue, it is as though we travel along with the author. This is the reason why in Oorslem Yathra Vivaranam we can accompany the traveller to the Holy Land. Here is a specimen of how the author takes us to Jerusalem:

            As the Gospel says, mountains circle Jerusalem.  The buildings outside the fort are newly built, and so they are bigger and more beautiful than those inside it. The roads outside are wide and have vehicular traffic on them. On the other hand inside the fort the roads are narrow and uneven with ascending and descending stone steps here and there. Therefore they are not useful for vehicular traffic. These roads are paved with white sandstone.

            Travelogues have certain features which autobiographies do not claim,. An autobiography is never perfect. It presents the picture of an imperfect individual searching after perfection on.  Travelogue is perfect and complete with personal elements. It is like a story. In Oorslem Yathra Vivaranam the description is complete and perfect and personal element becomes the soul of this work. 

            However, there is no excess of the personal in this book. In this travelogue, self-glorification has no place at all. Even when describing the authorís own experiences there is no tinge of self-glorification involved. Every word is sanctifies as the life of the saint itself. 

            The author of the travelogue must be able to communicate to others what has been impressed in his mind, and also to internalise what is seen and heard, and sometimes to see and comprehend what has not been seen. It was the Metropolitan who had come to the Holy Land as a traveller. He tries to communicate to his people all that he saw and heard like a good shepherd. Each description in this account directly discourses with the readerís heart. He talks in the language of the heart. As we travel through Oorslem Yathra Vivaranam we free the heart beat of Parumala Thirumeni.  

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