Author Archives: theheatanddustproject

8 books that explore India beautifully, The Times of India, July 10, 2017

India, the land of rich cultural heritage has had many patrons falling for its vivid lifestyles and landscapes. Here are 8 engaging and compelling books that beautifully capture the true essence of India.

#Twogether, The Telegraph, February 14, 2018

A decade and some ago, in the middle of pouring rains and gathering relatives, we marry. We have known each other for five years, surviving Presidency College and Jawaharlal Nehru University together, and are, as might well be apparent, young and foolish.

In our defence, we don’t know that.

You Are Rich, When The Story is Your Currency, The Indian Express, December 25, 2016 by Devapriya Roy and Saurav Jha

It is the sort of summer when birds fall out of the sky, dead, and neem trees shed half their newly blossomed flowers by mid-morning. At Parvat Ram Kevat’s little restaurant, where we walk down for brunch every day, arguing about the disbursement of our meagre budget, we hear hectic rumours that it is going to be the hottest summer in India ever. Such is the metallic white intensity — of rumours and mornings alike — that the views of the mighty Jahangir Mahal looming in the distance seem to dissolve into a crackly haze.,-2016#page/6/1

View from the window seat: How a couple left everything to explore India, The Indian Express, February 28, 2016 by Devapriya Roy

Travelling through India shows that the country is animated by a singular force of life.

Six years ago, my husband and I traded in our dull but decent jobs for the drama and poverty of becoming full-time writers. With the unassailable optimism — and arrogance — of our mid-twenties, we gave up our regular pay cheques for a slender book contract and a minuscule advance. It was to be an account of our (hopefully) transformational journey across India, to be undertaken on a tight budget: Rs 500 a day for bed and board, for both of us.

I fancied myself a liberal; he was an energy and security geek. I grasped at the poetic in matters of revolution; he liked to ask annoying questions about what would replace the present system the morning after the revolution. Though over the years we had allowed the other’s perspective to smoothen the serrated teeth of our own positions, we were the sort of travel partners who could kill each other in shady hotel rooms. We managed to travel over 16,000 km in local buses, dreaming of the routes not taken and food we could not afford, and yet, desist from murder.

Chat In The Cafe With Saurav And Devapriya, Polka Cafe, February 15th, 2016 by Anu Gupta

Living in a sunny Barsati in South Delhi, Saurav Jha and Devapriya Roy are your average DINK (Dual Income No Kids) couple, about to acquire a few EMIs and come of age in the modern consumerist world. Only, they don’t. They junk the swivel chairs, gain a couple of backpacks and set out on a transformational journey across India. On a very, very tight budget: Rs 500 a day for bed and board.

And ‘The Heat and Dust Project’ begins. Narrated in two voices (Devapriya Roy and Saurav Jha) – he is trained in economics, she in literature, he is most methodical, she deliciously vague – the couple tell a unique story that soon morphs from being a portrait of their own travels in their own times into the story of a generation in shifting times. The book evokes the scent of an India that is located strongly in the specificity of its immediate co-ordinates, and yet, looms outside it all and casts upon every mood and moment that distinctive shadow: a dusky silken confusing many-layered light that, for the lack of a better word, can only be called Indian-ness.

Their first book, part of a trilogy, was rated No.1 on the Hindustan Times-Nielsen Non-Fiction Bestseller List. A chat in the café with Devapriya Roy and Saurav Jha on their journey from being a ‘regular working couple’ to now leading ‘not so regular’ lives.

Frugal travellers, Deccan Herald, January 17, 2016 by Maya Jayapal

It seems strange that the book that I reviewed before this was written by a man who decided to go on a long walk, with his recently remarried wife, across France, after chucking up his bank job.

It is a theme that has gained currency today. Bored of having it all, the very concept of ambition and job expectations have undergone a sea change among those who seem to have achieved their conventional dreams. Moving away from their comfort zone, this young couple embark on a journey which takes them from Delhi to Jaipur, Pushkar, Sabarmati, and innocuous sounding towns such as Merta, Barmer, Palanpur and Barsana before finding themselves in Paharganj with its recommended “Paharganj posture”.

ജീവിതം എട്ടുമണിക്കൂര്‍ ജോലിയില്‍ തളച്ചിടാനുള്ളതല്ല; 500 രൂപയ്ക്ക് ഇന്ത്യ കാണാന്‍ ജോലി രാജിവെച്ചിറങ്ങിയ ദമ്പതികളുടെ കഥ, bignewslive, December 14, 2015

പണം ജീവിതത്തിന്റെ മുന്നില്‍ ഒന്നുമല്ലെന്ന് തെളിയിച്ച് ഇന്ത്യയെ കണ്ടും അറിഞ്ഞും കീഴടക്കിയ ദമ്പതികള്‍ അതാണ് ദേവപ്രിയ റോയിയും സൗരവ് ഛായും. നല്ല രീതിയില്‍ ശമ്പളം ലഭിച്ചിരുന്ന ജോലി ഉപേക്ഷിച്ചാണ് ഇരുവരും ഇന്ത്യ കാണാനായി ഇറങ്ങിത്തിരിച്ചത്. വെറുതെ സ്ഥലങ്ങള്‍ കാണുക മാത്രമല്ല മറിച്ച് അവയെല്ലാം പുസ്തകമാക്കുകയും ചെയ്തു.

അഞ്ചക്കശമ്പളമുള്ള ജോലി രാജിവച്ച് 500 രൂപക്ക് ഇന്ത്യ കണ്ട് ദമ്പതികൾ, manorama news, December 13, 2015

കാശ് അല്ല ജീവിതമാണ് പ്രധാനം എന്ന് പറയാമെങ്കിലും എത്രപേരെക്കൊണ്ട് സാധ്യമാകുമിത്. ഹൃദയം പറയുന്നതുകേട്ട് ജോലി രാജിവച്ച് ഇന്ത്യകാണാൻ പുറപ്പെട്ട ദേവപ്രിയ റോയ്‌യുടെയും സൗരവ് ഛായുടെയും കഥകേട്ടാൽ കാശ് ഒന്നും ജീവിതത്തിന്റെ മുന്നിൽ ഒന്നുമല്ലെന്ന് മനസ്സിലാകും.

യാത്രചെയ്യാൻ ഇഷ്ടമുള്ള ഒരു ദിവസം തീരുമാനിച്ചു ജീവിതം എട്ടു മണിക്കൂർ ജോലിയിൽ തളച്ചിടാനുള്ളതല്ല, ഇന്ത്യയെ അറിയാൻ ഭാരതത്തെ അറിയാനുള്ളതാണെന്ന്. കൂടുതൽ ഒന്നും ആലോചിക്കാതെ ജോലി രാജിവച്ച് കൽക്കട്ടയിൽ നിന്നും സ്വന്തം സ്ഥലമായ ഡൽഹിയിലെത്തി. ഇത്രകാലത്തെ സാമ്പദ്യം കൃത്യമായി കണക്കുകൂട്ടി. കൽക്കട്ടയിൽ ഒരു ദിവസം 500 രൂപയാണ് ചെലവെങ്കിൽ അതിൽക്കൂടുതൽ ഒട്ടും യാത്രയ്ക്കും ചെലവാക്കരുതെന്ന് തീരുമാനിച്ച് ബാഗുമെടുത്ത് യാത്ര തുടങ്ങി. കാളവണ്ടിയിലും ജനറൽകംപാർട്ട്മെന്റിലും ലോക്കൽ ബസിലുമായി യാത്രചെയ്ത് കാശ്മീർ മുതൽ കന്യാകുമാരിവരെ ഇവർ കണ്ടു തീർത്തു. വെറുതെ യാത്രചെയ്യുകമാത്രമല്ല ചെയ്തത്. കണ്ടകാഴ്ച്ചകളെ ബുക്ക് ആക്കി.

This Couple Traveled All Over India Spending Only ₹500 A Day, Being Indian, December 13, 2015 by Karima Khan

A Delhi couple just gave all broke-but-travel-loving Indians intense BAEcation (amirite) goals.Devapriya Roy, 28, and her husband Saurav Jha, 36, quit their lucrative jobs, decided to take a break for a year to see the ‘real’ India. They traveled through the sub-continent in a 100 days on a budget of ₹500/- per day.