Interesting story of one man's travels through remote regions of India seldom seen by foreigners.
Of all the hardships a traveler might face--war, plague, earthquakes, bad potato salad--few are as daunting as dealing with the Indian civil service. So we learn from Rory Nugent, a journalist and sailor who got it in his head some years ago that he had to catch a glimpse of Rhodonessa caryophyllacea, the Himalayan pink-headed duck last seen in 1935. Having finally made his way through the Calcutta bureaucracy to obtain a visa to northwestern India, Nugent was obliged to survive encounters with pirates, Gurkha separatists, Tantrist necrophiliacs, a curse on his head, suspect food, a raft trip down the malarial Brahmaputra River, and an endless-loop cassette of Jethro Tull's greatest hits. Nugent may or may not have spotted his duck by journey's end (his sighting is unconfirmed), but in this amusing and eventful account, the search for the creature is a worthy end in itself.