“A journey to India . . . is quite unlike a journey to any other land . . .” — this sentiment expresses the ‘uniqueness’ of a visitor’s experience of India. For, among other things, India is a perpetual mystery to him from the beginning; he wades through the mystique and out of it; and he is never free of it. For Mr. Tzannis Tzannetakis, a former Prime Minister of Greece, India is this and much more. His informal experiences presented here are diverse and steeped in the historic-cultural flavour special to India. He sees its centuries-old palaces, forts of ancient maharajas, of the glorious Mughals; the unparalleled cave monuments of Ajanta-Ellora with their exquisite carvings, the breathtaking sculptural decorations and the architectural ‘dream’ of Khajuraho; the grandeur of the Taj, a wonder in white marble; the exotic deserts of Jaisalmer; the heart of holy India, Banaras, with the ever-flowing Ganga; the marvel of Delhi which amalgamates the old and the new. His response is, likewise, rich with a range of tones; he not only admires the material landmarks of ancient India but breathes in the ‘spirit’ of the past — the old delight, the royal romance, the dignity, valour in that chivalry . . . His is not simply a ‘discovery’ of India but an analysis of India’s ‘time-tested’ values and its ‘modern’ message in order to understand India in the real sense — its unique past; the India of today, of the traditional and the modern; and the India of the future . . . its goals, aspirations. The author’s tone is wonder-struck but, at the same time, genuine and realistic. He captures the ‘essential’ India — and not just its forms and colours — to present a delightful, critical and sensitive picture.