Monday, April 29, 2013

The Motorcycle Diaries

-Che Guevara

Rating -5/5

The ubiquitous face printed on black tees of every young 'Che' fan wasn’t just another revolutionary who fought for the rights of deprived people and died as a martyr. He had fire and passion that burnt from within; with a style & poignancy that could make any girl fall in love with this dynamic and charismatic young Guevara any day.
Presenting 23 year old, medical student in his final year, Ernesto 'Che' Guevara- the young adult decked up for a heroic journey with his 29 year old friend Alberto Granado on Granado's The Mighty One (La Poderosa- A Norton 500 cc motorbike in its shackles) to ride across the extent of South America (then a sadder , negative image of North America) in 1951 and complete a marathon of more than 10240 km all the way from Cordoba, Argentina to Caracas,Venezuela. Their journey filled with rich experiences, harsh confrontations with reality, friendships, thirsts, and bouts of anger, love and above all the transition phase of Ernesto from an idealist yet crazy youngster to a staunch revolutionary who shook the world with his course of actions.
The letters written by Che to his mother throughout the journey lend a voice to the turmoil of emotions he faces in the journey. His empathy towards the communist couple they meet on the cold night at the mines of Chiquicamata, the exploited indigenous farmers of Cuzco in Peru, the pang of pain he feels for the ruins of the Incas civilization when they visit Machu Picchu and the humane affection they (Alberto & Che) display towards the leprosy patients of the San Pablo leper colony by treating them as more than patients by playing football and refusing to wear gloves are all extracts of the making of the budding Cuban revolutionary.
Che lives my dream and the dream of a million other travellers around the world that set out with a thirst of adventure to travel, meet new people, experience and learn about cultures. I read his book with such curiosity and amazement like a child staring the moon on a night sky without blinking.