As regular readers of this blog might be aware, my self-published book ‘The Goodness of Strangers : Stories of Kindness on the Road Across India’ had been in the works for the last 2 years. After the longest delay in procuring the ISBN number due to multiple covid waves in 2020 & 2021, the book has finally been published in August-September 2022 and I’m heartened by the initial response for the pre-orders from readers and followers from across India. Pre-orders were received from some remote corners of India and barring a few regions, I am elated to share that the book has been shipped to almost every state in India! An e-book version for Kindle is in the works as well and should be available on Amazon soon.
So, what is the book ‘The Goodness of Strangers’ all about? As the title suggests, the book is all about the kindness I have encountered on my journeys; from absolute strangers. It is a collection of 20 short stories of kindness from my travels in remote / offbeat regions of India in the pre-covid world; mostly hitching a ride and trusting fate to get lucky every time!
A chapter-wise brief of ‘The Goodness of Strangers’ :
- 1. Think trying to hitchhike on the Nubra Valley to Changthang DSDBO (Durbuk-Shyok-Daulat Beg Oldie) road in the dead of winter.
- 2. A kind Government officer is the saviour in a winter snowstorm while crossing Khardung La in mid-January.
- 3. When I was almost abducted in a remote region in Garhwal, Uttarakhand and a kind family in Uttarkashi helped me get back to normalcy.
- 4. The most epic adventure of my life : When Zanskar was unconnected by road and was perhaps the last hidden kingdom on earth.
- 5. Permit troubles in the land of Konyaks in Mon District, Nagaland and wondering if we were in India or elsewhere!
- 6. Call it daring or stupid to venture solo to Kashmir during the Burhan Wani curfew and coming back with grand tales of kindness.
- 7. The ATM machines conspire to make us seek for kindness in obscure GadaGushaini, in our terribly penniless state.
- 8. One especially troublesome Police officer in Chushul and getting saved in the nick of time.
- 9. A whim of wanting to stay as budget backpackers in upmarket Landour, not Mussoorie!
- 10. A time when a winter visit to Lahaul involved the crossing of Rohtang Pass; unlike speeding across the Atal Tunnel today.
- 11. Trying to get to Imphal from Kohima after the culmination of the Hornbill Festival in the absence of public transport.
- 12. The exotic world of Pangi Valley; long before the outside world knew about it.
- 13. Think pink cherry blossoms on an unknown trail in Pfutsero, Nagaland!
- 14. The small world of Obaid, Hussain and me in Turtuk, Baltistan : Over two winter trips.
- 15. Demonetisation troubles in Jaisalmer and sleeping under the stars in the desert.
- 16. Frigid cold in Losar village, Spiti in February 2016 : A quick escape.
- 17. On the holy trail of Amarnath Yatra – without a plan and with no permit.
- 18. Solo and feverish in Parvati Valley : Away from the usual villages.
- 19. The never-ending road to Mechuka – Hitchhiking from Daporijo in Arunachal Pradesh.
- 20. Kartik Swami Temple : A night-stay at a teacher’s home.
The pre-order status is closed and the book is now available on Amazon. You can also directly order from me by getting in touch on one of the social media platforms below.