“We wrote the ‘The Heat And Dust Project’ in the same vein as we speak and we live,” comment Devapriya Roy and Saurav Jha, authors about their book. This turns out to be completely true since they fitted the mentally image I had etched in my mind after reading their book when we meet lunch at the Metropolis Tourist Home at Paharganj. They are made for each other – complementing and supplementing in the true sense of the words apart from leg-pulling without any malice or intention to hurt.
On the eve of their eighth (ninth, S insists) anniversary, Saurav Jha and Devapriya Roy decided to heed the editor’s command and interview each other, around their book The Heat and Dust Project: The Broke Couple’s Guide to Bharat over sangria and dinner. The Heat and Dust Project is the first part of a trilogy, and chronicles eccentric adventures across India on a very very tight budget: Rs 500 a day.
Nestled between an ever-shrinking planet and an ever-expanding mind, the future of travel writing doesn’t seem to hold much promise, or so one would be compelled to imagine. After all, in the day and age of Google Earth, Google search, and a plethora of not only travel but also travel related content reviewing sites, what could possibly be written about travel that hasn’t been already #Like(d)? Moreover, what could possibly come off a travel book where a young urban couple throwing caution to the winds takes off on a transformational journey across India, oh, and yes, on a budget of Rs500 per day for bed and board? Well, for one an invigorating account of travel, but more importantly an insight into the hearts and minds of some young Indians who aren’t afraid of wanderlust or the eccentric choices that it forces upon them.
The book is subtitled “The Broke Couple’s Guide to Bharat” because it ostensibly recounts a Rs 500-a-day budget trip. This isn’t really one of those guides. Or rather it is a guide, but of an excursion into the territory of the Self.
Devapriya Roy and Saurav Jha were young professionals living in the heart of Delhi, holding down decent nine-to-five jobs, when the idea of a transformational journey through India suddenly struck them. The Heat and Dust Project is an account of that journey, undertaken on a shoestring budget.
A couple of writers and a writer couple, that’s how they describe themselves. Devapriya is a Literature and Natyashastra student, on the other hand Sourav talks energy and politics on IBNLive. Somehow they jelled together in matrimony and in adventure, shrugged off the idea of settled life like a soiled overcoat, and strapped on two backpacks instead to dig out the Indian-ness from the soils of India.
Devapriya Roy and Saurav Jha, young professionals living in the heart of Delhi, were “investment-makers, mall-goers, office-trippers and city-slickers” to use their own words, when they were suddenly struck by the idea of a transformational journey through India. Undertaken on a shoestring budget through much of 2010 and 2011, The Heat and Dust Project is an account of that journey, and its unforeseen joys and heartbreaks. Jha (SJ) and Roy (DR) talked to Swarajya about their book.
दो तरह के लोग. एक, जो है जैसा है, उसी में मगन. मगन भी नहीं. गले तक डूबे और उलझे. सुध-बुध बिसार काठी घसीटने में लगे. दूसरे वे जो जानना चाहते हैं कि क्या है ये सब. दुनिया, जिंदगी, लोग, रिश्ते. मगर इस दूसरे तरह के लोग भी दो कोष्ठकों में बंटे हैं. एक, जो पोथी पढ़-पढ़ जग बिचारते हैं. ये ज्ञानी कहलाते हैं. दूसरे वे जो पोथी किनारे रख और हौसले को पोटली में बांध जग में बिचरते हैं. इन्हें मनमौजी, फक्कड़, समझदार, जोगी, संत कहते हैं. ऐसे ही दो घुमंतू जोगियों का रोजनामचा है ‘द हीट एंड डस्ट प्रोजेक्ट’.
How many times have you sworn you’ll just quit the job and travel but never really got around to taking the plunge? Here’s a young Calcutta couple who did — and survived to tell the tale. The first part of their ambitious journey was recently published as The Heat and Dust Project: The Broke Couple’s Guide to Bharat (HarperCollins India, Rs 250). Over cold coffee, former Presidency College students Devapriya Roy, 31, and Saurav Jha, 32, tell t2 about quitting their Delhi jobs and staking their marriage on the road.