The Road East to India

Elizabeth Biographies and Memoirs, Book Reviews, The Twentieth Century Leave a Comment

Title: The Road East to India: Diary of a Journey of a Lifetime

Author: Devika A. Rosamund

Publisher: Matador

Copyright: January 11, 2017

ISBN: 978-1785898716


Format: E-Book, 202 Pages

Genres: Autobiography and Memoir, Women’s Memoir, 1970s


This is the memoir, written in 1975 and 1976, of a 22 year old girl travelling alone overland from England to India.

It is a spiritual search, a journey which starts in Amsterdam where she boards The Magic Bus, as it is called in that era. She travels on it as far as Iran and then leaves the bus, continuing alone on local transport through Afghanistan and Pakistan on her way to India.

Devika records her many adventures as she travels through famous places, meeting the local people and fellow travellers on her journey. She takes many risks and experiences some frightening situations which are recorded in this diary.

Finally, travelling up the west coast of India, she unexpectedly discovers an ashram and finds herself sitting at the feet of a spiritual master. She listens to his beautiful discourses on all world religions and philosophies, and learns new, joyful meditation techniques, full of dance and celebration of life. It is everything she has ever longed for.

The Monsoon and its floods bring more dangers. In spite of the fact that she nearly dies at the end, Devika writes in her diary that the whole wonderful journey and spiritual search has been absolutely worth it; she has found what she was searching for In India. She concludes at the end of her diary, ‘In India I have found my soul.’


I graciously received “The Road East to India: Diary of a Journey of a Lifetime” from Matador in exchange for an honest review.

Have you ever been fascinated by different cultures from all over the globe? Do you find the Counterculture of the 1960’s and 1970’s compelling? Are journal-type memoirs something that you enjoy?

If you have answered ‘yes’ to any of the above questions then I suggest that you read Devika A. Rosamund’s “The Road East to India”. In this memoir, Ms. Rosamund shares with us what it was like to be a young 20-something woman travelling across the European and Asian continents in the late 20th century. The memoir begins in August 1975 when she is in Kent, England and concludes once more in London, England in August 1976. In the book, the author travels to Amsterdam, Belgium, Germany, Austria, Yugoslavia, Greece, Turkey, Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, and Sri Lanka.

The author has such a pleasant and engaging style of writing which immediately drew me into the narrative of the story. The flow of the book is steady and, in some points, it is fast-paced (which certainly keeps the story interesting). The tone and atmosphere of this book was somewhat spiritual and hopeful. The author’s open-minded approach to other cultures was refreshing and it was fascinating to see how she interacted with individuals from a range of different cultures. Some of the interactions were downright disturbing, including men who sexually harassed her. It certainly was very telling about the nature and nuances of different cultures. For example, there was a certain location that she was in and the men continued to propose marriage to her. They could not fathom the idea of a woman travelling independently through their country. What interested me the most was seeing the co-mingling of two different cultures and how each individual acted. It was told completely through Ms. Rosamund’s eyes certainly but I was captivated.

From the first page to the last, I felt like I was there the entire time alongside Devika. She had such a compelling way of describing the locales and the scenes into which she adventured. For someone who just loves learning about all kinds of cultures, I found it impossible to put the book down. I am thankful to the author for sharing her experiences travelling a route that would likely be dangerous to travel in this current era. All in all, I found “The Road East to India” a very human story which has all kinds of aspects that any reader can relate to.


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