AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 TRAINS : A 45,000-MILE ADVENTURE

Monisha Rajesh

Price: $14.95
"Crackles and sparks with life like an exploding box of Diwali fireworks." -- William Dalrymple

In 1991, Monisha Rajesh's family uprooted from Sheffield to Madras in the hope of making India their home. Two years later, fed up with soap-eating rats, severed human heads and the creepy colonel across the road, they returned to England with a bitter taste in their mouths.

Two decades on, she turns to a map of the Indian Railways and takes a page out of Jules Verne's classic tale, embarking on an adventure around India in 80 trains, covering 40,000 km - the circumference of the Earth. She hopes that 80 train journeys up, down and across India will lift the veil on a country that has become a stranger to her.

Along the way, Monisha discovers that the Indian Railways - featuring luxury trains, toy trains, Mumbai's infamous commuter trains, and even a hospital on wheels - have more than a few stories to tell, not to mention a colourful cast of characters. And with a self-confessed "militant devout atheist" in tow, her personal journey around a country built on religion isn't quite what she bargained for...

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