From an award-winning author whose books have all become modern classics, "Indian Balm" is written beautifully - witty, poetic, informed, full of colour and insight. It is a fascinating journey through past and present India, explaining a region far off the beaten track. "Indian Balm" is the captivating account of a journey Paul Hyland made along the little-known course of the sacred Godavari river in Southern India: a pilgrimage through both his past and India's present. It is the story of the search for his ancestors, missionaries and traders, who settled in the region generations ago and of their Balm - a wonder cure for all sorts of ailments and afflictions. It is also a fascinating and enlightening journey through India today. Wading through the country's contradictions and irritations, its ugliness and its beauty, Hyland encounters both the exotic and the commonplace. He meets snake charmers and sadhus, bogi men and horn dancers, witnesses ancient rituals and observes the most simple aspects of daily life. Indian Balm is an extraordinary and, above all, unique journey - vivid, intimate and revealing - travel writing at its colourful best.
Paul Hyland was born in Dorset a month after India gained independence. An award-winning poet and travel writer, his books Purbeck and Wight are modern classics. His African journey, The Black Heart, follows Joseph Conrad, Roger Casement and Dan Crawford up the River Congo. Backwards Out of the Big World takes him deep into the Portuguese psyche and his highly-praised Ralegh's Last Journey explores the last, bizarre weeks of Sir Walter Ralegh's life. Paul Hyland now lives in Dorset, but used to live in North Devon where W. Bowden's original 'Indian Balm' was made and marketed for eighty years.