Terror & the Traveller’s Map


Terror & the Traveller’s Map

Illustration: Saachi Mehta/ Arré


heard the news on a rainy Saturday morning. I’d just crawled out of bed, still disappointed by Belgium’s loss to Wales in the Euro Cup. My wife had a grim look as she checked the news – terrorists had attacked a café in Dhaka. As I lit my usual morning cigarette, I wondered, “How safe is the world for the ardent traveller? Is the traveller’s world map shrinking every day?”

I barely travelled when I was in college and university, primarily due to a lack of adequate finances. I did the usual city hopping within India for my education. But visiting foreign shores would have to come later, when I had a job, and hence, better balance sheet. Being an avid reader of history and geopolitics, I was eager to see everything – Jerusalem’s Western Wall, the churches of Europe, the Byzantine wonders of Istanbul, the ancient treasures of Greece and Rome, the pyramids of Egypt, the plains of Mongolia, and the lost cities of Cambodia and Myanmar.