What I Brought Back from My Travels: Janice Pariat

What I Brought Back from My Travels: Janice Pariat
The world's oldest bookstore is where author Janice Pariat likes to buy her book-souvenirs from, Photo Credit: melica1441/Shutterstock.com

The Sahitya Akademi-winner and globetrotter tells us all about her souvenir collection

Prannay Pathak
November 20 , 2020
07 Min Read

An odd thing souvenir-hunting: now becomes then even while it is still now.

—Margaret Atwood

Even for a liberal arts-hardened mind, all fronts and cynicism for the materialism of souvenir-collecting go out the window the moment the eyes wander off to a pretty embroidered bag or a delicate sandalwood comb. What of the day when you solemnly swore about taking memories home and not ugly wood hangings and painted elephants?

Jorhat. Shillong. Delhi. London. Wonju. Galle. Rome. The places that writer and academic Janice Pariat has lived in and travelled to make a long list, but when I ask what she brought back from Brighton, where she was, seven summers ago in her own words, she says it’s a walk by the sea every evening.

“There is nothing quite like it. No matter the kind of day you may have had, all perspective is realigned at the sight of its endlessness,” she muses. Back in May, Janice wrote fondly about the city on the southern coast of England: “I read a lot, took long walks, and attended free outdoor movie screenings at the pebbly beach.”

The author's writing table

Janice is one of those writers and makers of modern art that remind you of the veni, vidi, vici trinity. Her creations materialise before you in the form of her published work (Boats on Land, The Nine-Chambered Heart) and also on Instagram. It is through this medium that one often spots quaint natural objects at her writing table; the nautilus shell stays with one and the vintage ink pots send the envy glands in a frenzy.

“The fossil was a gift from a close someone, and I keep it near because it reminds me of deep time, and deep affection, and deep, complicated histories. The vintage ink pots have been collected, and gifted, from here and there, though they've mostly been picked up from Il Papiro, a tiny stationery shop close to the Pantheon in Rome,” she shares.

The question about books as souvenirs is a foregone conclusion when you’re talking to a writer. I remind Janice how she once said in an Instagram post that books transported you to the different places she had been at. “I often mark a journey with a book—either one I travel with from home, pick up along the way, or find at my destination. Most recently in Rome, a book on Fausto Delle Chiaie's street art. Every day, for over 30 years, Fausto has set up an open-air museum along Rome's Via della Scrofa—I was lucky to have had a chat with him last time I was there, and bought this wonderful book on his life and art,” she says. 

Libreria Berisio in Napoli

“Of the many irresistible bookshops that I've come across is Libreria Berisio in Napoli, where I picked up prints—and a copy of the Odyssey in Italian (which I cannot read, sadly, but it's a beautiful little edition). Also, Livraria Bertrand in Lisbon, the oldest bookshop in the world, but I was a student backpacker then and couldn't afford to pick up anything. I also love Everyman's bookshop in Fort Kochi, and spend hours there when we visit during the biennale.”

Apart from money—which Janice is kind enough to mention—limited boot space is a constraint that often passes unconsidered. You pick up hackneyed doodahs and tasteless presents before really coming up on that treasured find, only to realise that the innards of your bags have already been claimed. The next time, you wait until the last hour of the journey only to return with a Toblerone (there, I’ve had my revenge against everybody who ever got candies and milk chocolate bars that could easily be got at CP’s paan stalls).

Janice, however, has a simple mantra. “[The souvenir] ought not be too heavy, or breakable, to begin with! Though in all honesty, I prefer natural souvenirs—leaves, flowers, pine cones, an unusual pebble, especially if I'm visiting the mountains, or a river town, or the sea. If I'm in a city, then something from a museum, or art gallery, and definitely something from an independent bookshop,” she shares with a flowing ease that seems to have become a sort of second nature to her.

 
 
 
View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Janice Pariat (@janicepariat)

By now, my closet lust for anti-consumerism returns and I wonder: must souvenirs be always bought? I surely don't mean pilfering a chipped nose off a rock sculpture but what about deciding to pick that special flower up from the park bench or just pocketing a curious-looking little pebble from the banks of a stream?

“A souvenir could easily, like I said, be a leaf pressed within the pages of a book. If a souvenir must be bought, then preferably from someone local, with a set up selling locally made items. What matters is that the souvenir speaks to you in some way, brings you back to that moment, that feeling, that mood, that view. It could be a paper napkin even. But it serves as a mark of memory.”

Memory—Gah. Based on how you’re placed at a certain point in time, it could be the source of the highest wonder or the highest woe. The dried tea leaves I naively took away from a tea estate in Palampur and pasted onto the pages of an old handmade diary have me convinced for life that when in the proverbial flush, there is hardly a better sight than a tea plantation.

The author's flower press

On the other hand, the kangri I got from an army canteen in Kashmir still reminds me of the road accident I hadas I returned with a couple of those winter wicker pots—that left me with a whiplash for the rest of my trip. For Janice, it was a sari she bought from Aurangabad that she later regretted buying. “I thought [it] beautiful then, but didn't feel the same once I returned home. So, I gave it away to someone who loved it. Now it's become their memory.”

Lovely. By now, the oversentimental antiquarian in me is back to coveting the Korean tea-pot and gorgeous flower press our writer has showed off on her social media. They might as well be the whole point of this interview. Where does she keep all those pretty-looking souvenirs closest to her heart—in case we wanted to break in?

“A handmade fan from a craft centre in South Korea. A pressed fern from my walks in the countryside there. A small celadon bowl from a street shop in Seoul. They're with me here on my writing table, kept close,” she answers, evidently quite unruffled.


18

Get your ex back with the help of an online spell caster who saved my relationship Dr Sam, do you still love and miss your ex lover the opportunity is here to get your ex back, don't give up yet, happiness is worth fighting for email Dr Sam for help at Supremespellcast or WhatsApp: +1 (631)320?5873 Page::: facebookcom/supremespellcast12 ?His Blog::  supremespellcastblogspotcom/
Lisa Amy September 08 , 2021

Get your ex back with the help of an online spell caster who saved my relationship Dr Sam, do you still love and miss your ex lover the opportunity is here to get your ex back, don't give up yet, happiness is worth fighting for email Dr Sam for help at Supremespellcast or WhatsApp: +1 (631)320?5873 Page::: facebookcom/supremespellcast12 ?His Blog::  supremespellcastblogspotcom/
Lisa Amy September 08 , 2021

Have you lost hope in your relationship, do you think your partner is cheating? My husband left me for a younger woman and I was devastated It was as if she had him under an evil spell, Paul turned against me overnight without any warning It happened last year, I was desperate so I used every single spell casting website that I could find with no results A friend sent me the link to Dr Unity site and I contacted him He started working with me on June As a result from all of his wonderful work, my man and I are back together I'm so happy and privileged to have such a great person like you on my side Thank you dr unity' And if your husband or boyfriend moved to another woman, do not cry anymore, contact DrUnity for help nowHere his contactWhatsApp him: +2348055361568 , Email him at: Unityspelltemple ,Watch this YouTube channel to know how grateful I am youtubecom/shorts/rBPtBktMmtA?feature=share
Vera Segi spells September 01 , 2021

Hi everyone, my name is Karen! Top Secret Way To Win Lottery With The Help Of A Magic spell caster called Dr Okosisi I requested a lottery spell, and he cast the spell and sent me the winning lottery number Now I am a proud lottery winner with the help of Dr Okosisi I won $1,000,00000 ( One Million Dollars) Thank you so much sir for dedicating your time to cast the Lottery spell for me I am extremely grateful for the Lottery spell you did for me You can contact him now for your own winning numbers Website: spellservicetemplecom/contact-us/ Email: spellservicetemple WhatsApp him: +55 11 98317-3881 Karen
Karen Kramer August 31 , 2021

BEST URGENT EFFECTIVE LOVE SPELL TO GET YOUR EX/HUSBAND/WIFE BACK FAST AND TO SAVE YOUR MARRIAGE NOW CONTACT LORD ZULU ON WHATSAPP DIRECTLY +1 (424) 361?7554 Hi everyone I’m here to testify of a great and powerful spell caster called Lord Zulu I was so confused and devastated when my husband left me without a word, I needed him back desperately because I loved him so much So a friend of mine introduced me to this powerful spell caster who had helped her in getting her lover back, so I contacted him and he promised that in less than 72 hours he will come back to me After I did all he asked, to my greatest surprise my husband who had refused to speak with me came to my house and asked for forgiveness for all he had made me go through and now we are living happily together, if you have any relationship problem I will advise you contact him for your testimonies Below are his contact details Contact him on WhatsApp +1(424)361?7554 EMAIL: Allsupremepowersolutionhome WEBSITE; allsupremepowe
Kathrine Melnick August 26 , 2021

BEST URGENT EFFECTIVE LOVE SPELL TO GET YOUR EX/HUSBAND/WIFE BACK FAST AND TO SAVE YOUR MARRIAGE NOW CONTACT LORD ZULU ON WHATSAPP DIRECTLY +1 (424) 361?7554 Hi everyone I’m here to testify of a great and powerful spell caster called Lord Zulu I was so confused and devastated when my husband left me without a word, I needed him back desperately because I loved him so much So a friend of mine introduced me to this powerful spell caster who had helped her in getting her lover back, so I contacted him and he promised that in less than 72 hours he will come back to me After I did all he asked, to my greatest surprise my husband who had refused to speak with me came to my house and asked for forgiveness for all he had made me go through and now we are living happily together, if you have any relationship problem I will advise you contact him for your testimonies Below are his contact details Contact him on WhatsApp +1(424)361?7554 EMAIL: Allsupremepowersolutionhome WEBSITE; allsupremepowe
Kathrine Melnick August 26 , 2021

BEST URGENT EFFECTIVE LOVE SPELL TO GET YOUR EX/HUSBAND/WIFE BACK FAST AND TO SAVE YOUR MARRIAGE NOW CONTACT LORD ZULU ON WHATSAPP DIRECTLY +1 (424) 361?7554 Hi everyone I’m here to testify of a great and powerful spell caster called Lord Zulu I was so confused and devastated when my husband left me without a word, I needed him back desperately because I loved him so much So a friend of mine introduced me to this powerful spell caster who had helped her in getting her lover back, so I contacted him and he promised that in less than 72 hours he will come back to me After I did all he asked, to my greatest surprise my husband who had refused to speak with me came to my house and asked for forgiveness for all he had made me go through and now we are living happily together, if you have any relationship problem I will advise you contact him for your testimonies Below are his contact details Contact him on WhatsApp +1(424)361?7554 EMAIL: Allsupremepowersolutionhome WEBSITE; allsupremepowe
Kathrine Melnick August 26 , 2021

BEST URGENT EFFECTIVE LOVE SPELL TO GET YOUR EX/HUSBAND/WIFE BACK FAST AND TO SAVE YOUR MARRIAGE NOW CONTACT LORD ZULU ON WHATSAPP DIRECTLY +1 (424) 361?7554 Hi everyone I’m here to testify of a great and powerful spell caster called Lord Zulu I was so confused and devastated when my husband left me without a word, I needed him back desperately because I loved him so much So a friend of mine introduced me to this powerful spell caster who had helped her in getting her lover back, so I contacted him and he promised that in less than 72 hours he will come back to me After I did all he asked, to my greatest surprise my husband who had refused to speak with me came to my house and asked for forgiveness for all he had made me go through and now we are living happily together, if you have any relationship problem I will advise you contact him for your testimonies Below are his contact details Contact him on WhatsApp +1(424)361?7554 EMAIL: Allsupremepowersolutionhome WEBSITE; allsupremepowe
Kathrine Melnick August 26 , 2021

BEST URGENT EFFECTIVE LOVE SPELL TO GET YOUR EX/HUSBAND/WIFE BACK FAST AND TO SAVE YOUR MARRIAGE NOW CONTACT LORD ZULU ON WHATSAPP DIRECTLY +1 (424) 361?7554 Hi everyone I’m here to testify of a great and powerful spell caster called Lord Zulu I was so confused and devastated when my husband left me without a word, I needed him back desperately because I loved him so much So a friend of mine introduced me to this powerful spell caster who had helped her in getting her lover back, so I contacted him and he promised that in less than 72 hours he will come back to me After I did all he asked, to my greatest surprise my husband who had refused to speak with me came to my house and asked for forgiveness for all he had made me go through and now we are living happily together, if you have any relationship problem I will advise you contact him for your testimonies Below are his contact details Contact him on WhatsApp +1(424)361?7554 EMAIL: Allsupremepowersolutionhome WEBSITE; allsupremepowe
Kathrine Melnick August 26 , 2021

BEST URGENT EFFECTIVE LOVE SPELL TO GET YOUR EX/HUSBAND/WIFE BACK FAST AND TO SAVE YOUR MARRIAGE NOW CONTACT LORD ZULU ON WHATSAPP DIRECTLY +1 (424) 361?7554 Hi everyone I’m here to testify of a great and powerful spell caster called Lord Zulu I was so confused and devastated when my husband left me without a word, I needed him back desperately because I loved him so much So a friend of mine introduced me to this powerful spell caster who had helped her in getting her lover back, so I contacted him and he promised that in less than 72 hours he will come back to me After I did all he asked, to my greatest surprise my husband who had refused to speak with me came to my house and asked for forgiveness for all he had made me go through and now we are living happily together, if you have any relationship problem I will advise you contact him for your testimonies Below are his contact details Contact him on WhatsApp +1(424)361?7554 EMAIL: Allsupremepowersolutionhome WEBSITE; allsupremepowe
Kathrine Melnick August 26 , 2021

BEST URGENT EFFECTIVE LOVE SPELL TO GET YOUR EX/HUSBAND/WIFE BACK FAST AND TO SAVE YOUR MARRIAGE NOW CONTACT LORD ZULU ON WHATSAPP DIRECTLY +1 (424) 361?7554 Hi everyone I’m here to testify of a great and powerful spell caster called Lord Zulu I was so confused and devastated when my husband left me without a word, I needed him back desperately because I loved him so much So a friend of mine introduced me to this powerful spell caster who had helped her in getting her lover back, so I contacted him and he promised that in less than 72 hours he will come back to me After I did all he asked, to my greatest surprise my husband who had refused to speak with me came to my house and asked for forgiveness for all he had made me go through and now we are living happily together, if you have any relationship problem I will advise you contact him for your testimonies Below are his contact details Contact him on WhatsApp +1(424)361?7554 EMAIL: Allsupremepowersolutionhome WEBSITE; allsupremepowe
Kathrine Melnick August 26 , 2021

BEST URGENT EFFECTIVE LOVE SPELL TO GET YOUR EX/HUSBAND/WIFE BACK FAST AND TO SAVE YOUR MARRIAGE NOW CONTACT LORD ZULU ON WHATSAPP DIRECTLY +1 (424) 361?7554 Hi everyone I’m here to testify of a great and powerful spell caster called Lord Zulu I was so confused and devastated when my husband left me without a word, I needed him back desperately because I loved him so much So a friend of mine introduced me to this powerful spell caster who had helped her in getting her lover back, so I contacted him and he promised that in less than 72 hours he will come back to me After I did all he asked, to my greatest surprise my husband who had refused to speak with me came to my house and asked for forgiveness for all he had made me go through and now we are living happily together, if you have any relationship problem I will advise you contact him for your testimonies Below are his contact details Contact him on WhatsApp +1(424)361?7554 EMAIL: Allsupremepowersolutionhome WEBSITE; allsupremepowe
Kathrine Melnick August 26 , 2021

BEST URGENT EFFECTIVE LOVE SPELL TO GET YOUR EX/HUSBAND/WIFE BACK FAST AND TO SAVE YOUR MARRIAGE NOW CONTACT LORD ZULU ON WHATSAPP DIRECTLY +1 (424) 361?7554 Hi everyone I’m here to testify of a great and powerful spell caster called Lord Zulu I was so confused and devastated when my husband left me without a word, I needed him back desperately because I loved him so much So a friend of mine introduced me to this powerful spell caster who had helped her in getting her lover back, so I contacted him and he promised that in less than 72 hours he will come back to me After I did all he asked, to my greatest surprise my husband who had refused to speak with me came to my house and asked for forgiveness for all he had made me go through and now we are living happily together, if you have any relationship problem I will advise you contact him for your testimonies Below are his contact details Contact him on WhatsApp +1(424)361?7554 EMAIL: Allsupremepowersolutionhome WEBSITE; allsupremepowe
Kathrine Melnick August 26 , 2021

BEST URGENT EFFECTIVE LOVE SPELL TO GET YOUR EX/HUSBAND/WIFE BACK FAST AND TO SAVE YOUR MARRIAGE NOW CONTACT LORD ZULU ON WHATSAPP DIRECTLY +1 (424) 361?7554 Hi everyone I’m here to testify of a great and powerful spell caster called Lord Zulu I was so confused and devastated when my husband left me without a word, I needed him back desperately because I loved him so much So a friend of mine introduced me to this powerful spell caster who had helped her in getting her lover back, so I contacted him and he promised that in less than 72 hours he will come back to me After I did all he asked, to my greatest surprise my husband who had refused to speak with me came to my house and asked for forgiveness for all he had made me go through and now we are living happily together, if you have any relationship problem I will advise you contact him for your testimonies Below are his contact details Contact him on WhatsApp +1(424)361?7554 EMAIL: Allsupremepowersolutionhome WEBSITE; allsupremepowe
Kathrine Melnick August 26 , 2021

How To get your ex lover back fast and reliable, contact Dr Sam help, he is the best spell caster in the world His spell has no problem His spell brought back my husband who had been divorced with me for many years so if you need his help regarding your relationship contact him email Dr Sam for help at Supremespellcast WhatApp Him + 1 (631) 320-5873? Page::: facebookcom/supremespellcast12 His Blog:: supremespellcastblogspotcom/
Lisa Amy August 26 , 2021

Get your ex back with the help of an online spell caster who saved my relationship Dr Raypower, do you still love and miss your ex the opportunity is here to get your ex back, don't give up yet, happiness is worth fighting for email Dr Raypower for help at urgentspellcast or WhatsApp: +1 (424) 330-8109
Ashley Vivian August 22 , 2021

I want to thank Dr Wale for getting my lover back to me within 48 hours When my lover left me I was so tired and frustrated till I searched the internet for help and I saw so many good talks about Dr Wale I decided to give him a try and I contacted him and explained my problems to him and he cast a love spell for me which I used to get my husband back If you want to get your lover back contact Dr Wale via email: everlastingspellcast Dr Wale the great man that is able to bring back lost love facebookcom/DR-WALE-102459314880941/
Ollis Bator August 04 , 2021

I really enjoyed this site This is such a Great resource that you are providing and you give it away for free [URL=run3sonlinecom/]run 3[/URL]
goalken highlight July 23 , 2021

Related Articles

Of Food and Travel

Nitin Chaudhary May 15 , 2021

Here to there

Explore Directions(Routes) and more...
to Go

Our Other Editions

Outlook’ is India’s most vibrant weekly news magazine with critically and globally acclaimed print and digital editions. Now in its 23rd year...

Explore All
  • Check out our Magazine of the month
  • Offbeat destinations
  • In-depth storytelling
  • Stunning pictures
  • Subscribe