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:

  1. Amazon India
  2. Amazon USA
  3. Amazon UK
  4. Amazon India Kindle Edition
  5. Amazon USA Kindle Edition
  6. Infibeam
  7. Crossword
  8. Sapna Online
  9. Landmark
  10. uRead
  11. Flipkart

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