To understand India you have to see it, hear it, breathe it and feel it. Living through the good, the bad and the ugly is the only way to know where you fit in and where India fits into you. In 1991 Monisha and her family uprooted from Sheffield to Madras in the hope of making India their home again. But fed up with soap-eating rats, severed human heads, paying bribes, and the creepy colonel across the road, they soon returned to England, determined never to go back again. But twenty years later, Monisha takes a page out of Jules Verne's classic tale, turns to a map of the Indian railways and embarks on an adventure around India in 80 trains connecting 80 cities, covering 40,000km - the circumference of the Earth.
The Indian railways carry over twenty million passengers every day, ploughing through cities, crawling past villages, climbing up mountains and skimming along coasts. India Version 2.0 is now up and running and Monisha hopes that 80 train journeys up, down and across India (including the world's second longest train journey) will lift the veil on a country that has become a stranger.
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, Monisha discovers that the railways have more than a few stories to tell, not to mention an amazing 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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