At age 28, when most people are expected to settle down or risk disaster, Jubanashwa Mishra decided on an extraordinary adventure. He had recently realized that he was in the wrong job and had given it up; he had tried to get over his first—and unrequited—love, but failed. Something had to change. Following the example of Sean Aiken, who spent 52 weeks working 52 jobs across Canada and USA, he began a journey that he hoped would help him discover his true passion. Over the next 28 weeks, he travelled to 28 states of India—by train, bus, shared taxi, airplane, bike, boat, and on foot—spending a week at a different job in each state.
This compelling book draws upon that 25,000-kilometre journey. We travel with Jubanashwa and discover what it takes to manage a small hotel in Udaipur; clean hillsides in Dharamshala; cremate dead bodies on the ghats of Varanasi; sell condoms in Bihar’s villages, and peanuts on Chennai’s Marina beach; help a caregiver looking after HIV positive patients in Shillong; go river-rafting in Jammu and Kashmir; and assist a tattoo artist in Goa and a motorbike mechanic in Aizawl. In between, there are memorable encounters with Buddhist monks, Aghori sadhus, Naxalites, Bollywood publicists, drug dealers and aged hippies—and a brief reunion with Sameen, the woman Jubanashwa had lost his heart to.
Funny, moving and always entertaining, this memoir-cum-travelogue is a record of a young man’s unusual journey of self-discovery, and an inspiration for all of us who want to take a chance in life and follow our dreams.