Monisha Rajesh is a British journalist at The Week UK. After graduating with a postgraduate diploma from City University's journalism school she has worked as an arts and travel writer. In 2006 she was nominated for the PTC New Consumer Monthly Journalist of the Year and has written for The Guardian, The Daily Telegraph, The Times, The New York Times and TIME magazine. This is her first book.
A wonderfully wry and witty debut. Crackles and sparks with life like an exploding box of Diwali fireworks. - William DalrympleOne can only envy Monisha Rajesh as she embarks on this epic journey through the vast tangle and bewildering extension of India's railways. The ticketing bureaucracy is mad, the travelling companions infinitely varied, the pleasure, discomforts and revelations such that she is guaranteed what even the wriest and most sceptical traveller yearns for: some deeper knowledge of oneself. - Tim Parks, travel writer and Booker Prize nomineeI love train trips and I love travelling around India. If you do too, then this book is a wonderful companion. - Irvine Welsh, author of TrainspottingA great big lovely shambling train ride of a book, offering wonderful views, hilarious interludes, all sorts of dodgy characters and some very peculiar smells, all for the one ticket. - Giles Coren, bestselling author and Times columnistA promising debut from a 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! - Conde Nast TravellerThis beautifully written book is a witty and insightful traveller's-eye view of the country from inside its rail network. It is also an account of a life-shaping journey. An assortment of mustachioed maharajas, wicked wedding-crashers, pinstriped Sikhs, indignant inspectors, spotty know-it-alls in Che Guevara T-shirts and crafty rickshaw drivers bursts from the pages... all of this is done with the lightest of touches and a dry wit. There are laugh-out-loud moments at which seasoned and fresh Indian travellers will cringe with recognition: male snoring on the trains; the drastic effects of the Imodium pill; 87 very good reasons why you should never eat Indian bacon. This excellent debut will stand the test of time. Just like India's railways. - Sunday TelegraphRemember Wes Anderson's film The Darjeeling Limited, about train journeys in India? Here's the book version. You'll be booking a flight by the final page. - CompanyAmusing and thoughtful by turns, Rajesh has sidestepped the navel-gazing pitfall common to many wannabe travel writers and piped up with an informative, yet fresh and engaging voice that we will surely be hearing more of. Rating: 9/10 - The Press Association