As various philosophers and cultural theorists of the past have decried the influx and inundation of technology on the psyche of contemporary society, a few people actually manage to make good on the hegemony of technological progress. Take, for example, 26 year-old Devapriya Roy and 28 year-old Saurav Jha, a married couple of young professionals who decided to leave behind their respective professions and try something different: backpacking across India.
The decision, illuminated by the good people over at indianexpress.com, was inspired by Walter Salles’ 2004 film The Motorcycle Diaries, details the trip of a young Che Guevara across the South American countryside, documenting the inspiration of the countryside and the freedom of travel. Roy and Jha, accomplished as they were prior to the trip (Jha recently published a book on nuclear power through Harper Collins), nonetheless felt the drive towards a different sort of life.
Unlike Guevara, however, the decision was less inspired by politics than it was by pure interest. And, unlike Guevara, Roy and Jha merely look to tell a story: they’re using the human network of Facebook to guide their trip. Blending the wanderlust of the past and the networking of the present, as Roy and Jha wander through India on a ‘very, very tight budget,’ they are at the same time authoring a book to be published by Harper Collins India. The book is entitled “The Heat and Dust Project: A Book in Motion” as Heat and Dust is often what people think of when they think of India, and they are writing on the road, letting the countryside inspire them and Facebook tell them where to go. As it says on the Project’s Facebook profile, “The journey is to eventually become India’s first dynamic book, created in collaboration with Harper Collins India, the first people who saw something in a crazy seed of an idea.”
Often romanticized, India can be a difficult country through which to travel. Being led by tips, ideas, and paths to take through the country via Facebook suggestions, Roy and Jha hope to see the country in a unique and modern way. Their Facebook page already has a host of pictures and stories that are as inspiring as the project is intriguing – if I can be so transparent, they make me wish I’d thought of it first.