It was supposed to be one book, then it became two.
But, naturally, so gigantic is this country – and so tiny was the initial budget – somewhere down the line the two books became a trilogy.
The first part is called The Heat and Dust Project: The Broke Couple’s Guide to Bharat, and is a rollicking saga based on the true stories of a couple, two backpacks, a genuine cash crunch and eccentric encounters over thousands of kilometres.
Narrated in two voices – 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, and 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.
Among many other things, the book and its protagonists will teach you a thing or two about:
* What you should do if a stranger invites you for dinner atop a gigantic sand dune in Barmer;
* How to eavesdrop effectively while you travel;
* Identifying ghosts from humans if perchance you find yourself on a boat cruise down the Yamuna at night;
* German Bakeries in India;
* Young Israelis in India;
* The connection between jackfruit and travel;
* Meerabai’s birthplace.
and finally, most crucially,
* Whether extreme budget travel is or is not The Ultimate Relationship Test.
The book is available online at:
- Amazon India
- Amazon USA
- Amazon UK
- Amazon India Kindle Edition
- Amazon USA Kindle Edition
- Sapna Online
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