‘Crackles and sparks with life like an exploding box of Diwali fireworks’ -William Dalrymple
‘One can only envy Monisha Rajesh as she embarks on this epic journey’ -Tim Parks
When she was a child, Monisha Rajesh’s family uprooted to Madras in the hope of making India their home, but soon returned to England with a bitter taste in their mouths. Two decades on, Monisha 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 40,000km – the circumference of the Earth. Her journey takes her on toy trains, luxury trains, Mumbai’s infamous commuter trains and even a hospital on wheels.
Along the way she meets a kaleidoscope of characters and discovers why the railways are considered the lifeline that keeps the country’s heart beating. Most of all, she hopes that these 80 train journeys will lift the veil on a country that has become a stranger to her.