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Author: Monisha Rajesh
Publisher: Roli Books
ISBN/UPC (if available): 9788174369130
In 1991, Monisha’s family uprooted from Sheffield to Madras in the hope of making India their home. Two years later, fed up with soap-eating rats, stolen human hearts and the creepy colonel across the road, they returned to England with a bitter taste in their mouths.
Twenty years later, Monisha came back. Taking a page out of Jules Verne’s classic tale, Around the World in 80 Days, she embarked on a 40,000km adventure around India in 80 trains. Travelling a distance equivalent to the circumference of the Earth, she lifted the veil on a country that had become a stranger to her.
As one of the largest civilian employers in the world, featuring luxury trains, toy trains, Mumbai's infamous commuter trains and even a hospital on wheels, Indian Railways had more than a few stories to tell. On the way, Monisha met a colorful cast of characters with epic stories of their own. But with a self-confessed militant atheist as her photographer, Monisha's personal journey around a country built on religion was not quite what she bargained for… Around India in 80 Trains is a story of adventure and drama infused with sparkling wit and humor.
'A wonderfully wry and witty debut. Crackles and sparks with life like an exploding box of Diwali fireworks.'
== William Dalrymple
‘I love train trips and I love travelling around India. If you do too, then this book is a wonderful companion.’
== Irvine Welsh, author of Trainspotting
‘A promising debut from writer to watch. I am stung with jealousy, not just for the epic journey she makes rediscovering her Indian heritage on ordinary trains, luxury trains, Mumbai’s packed commuter trains, even a toy train, but just for the talismanic power of such a ticket: the idea that you could have one in your hand tomorrow and just go !’
== Giles Foden, author of The Last King of Scotland
‘A rollicking account of Modern India at an express pace… Rajesh’s quick-?re writing is un?inchingly frank, with details packed in as tightly as passengers on Mumbai’s commuter trains.’
== Lonely Planet Magazine
‘Besides being a travelogue, Around India in 80 Trains is also a book about a rite of passage - the physical expedition is as much an inward journey of self-discovery.’
== Business Standard
‘Travel is now a state of mind where an open attitude and a deeper understanding of the self is the true experience. And this is the space where Monisha Rajesh’s Around India in 80 Trains ?nds itself. It makes for an entertaining, informative read . . .’
1. All Aboard the Insomnia Express
2. Guantanamo Chic and the Perils of Wearing Shoes
3. A Royal Affair
4. ‘Excuse Me Darling, I Have a Message for You’
5. Hindus Only Allowed
6. Super-dense Crush Load
7. Sexual Healing
8. The Crazy White Man in the Cupboard
9. Sunburn and Spasms
10. Oh My Dog!
11. The Venus Flytrap of Insanity
12. Toy Trains and Afternoon Tea
13. City of Gins
14. Monty Python at the Wagah Border
15. Silk Sheets and a Wad of Human Hair
16. God Bless the NHS!
17. A Taste of Rocky Road Ice Cream
18. Bullets over Brahmaputra
19. The Temple of Doom
20. Losing My Religion
21. Answered Prayers
About the Author