Rising From The Dust: new, updated edition
Perfect preparation for gap year students, volunteers or anybody else planning a trip to India. A provocative and inspiring read for anyone wanting to discover ‘behind the scenes’ stories about development work and education from the comfort of their own armchair.
A Quest For Adventure
Quitting his job and selling his house, Mark travels to India. He lands in Delhi, belted, braced and prepared for all eventualities. Or so he thinks. Though he craves the ultimate travel adventure, a load of western baggage weighs him down: a rucksack rattling with medication, reams of ‘to do’ lists and a mobile phone loaded with MP3s of his favourite band, The Divine Comedy.
Travelling south to Andhra Pradesh, Mark spends Christmas with Lakshmi Roja, an orphan girl he has sponsored for several years. She’s the inspiration behind his trip.
By the New Year, he's volunteering with street kids in Vijayawada. One day he's attacked by a gang of seven-year-old boys. His world spins. But the encounter is just the trigger he needs to catapult him into the unknown. Lured towards Mamallapuram, a coastal town ravaged by the tsunami, he becomes caught up in an orphanage intrigue and his journey starts to go in another direction…
Discovering a dynamic side to its vast land and people, Mark's quest for adventure becomes a labour of love as he gains intimate access into the heart of a society rarely experienced by the western world. Travelling north, he discovers he’s the first Angrez, English person, to visit some of the remote villages of the Garhwal region in the Himalayan foothills.
Sharing the hopes and fears of the young, the trials of Himalayan hill women and the anxieties of the older generation, he encounters a society in transition, continually torn between tradition and development, culture and belief.
As India emerges as a major world player, many people and communities are being left trampled in the dust. Their stories, bursting with life, paint a timely and revealing portrait of the spirit and determination of India’s hidden voices.
This 2012 updated edition includes links to relevant news, publications and online material released since the book was first published in 2008.
Praise For Rising From The Dust
“Without any shadow of doubt the finest and most enjoyable piece of non-fiction that I have ever read.” Jack Kelsey, a founder trustee of SKCV, an internationally-renown project for street kids in South India.
“Beautifully written, utterly compelling, this is a book about economic and educational challenges in India. Funny and shocking in turns, it's deeply honest and unpretentious. The author does not shy away from describing his mistakes or the effects of his own Western outlook. Backed up by well-researched notes, it should be compulsory reading for anyone who needs to learn gratitude for our free, accessible education system and welfare state.” Heather Tracy, London
“A really great read. Very well written, readable & enjoyable. A review of travels through India from a very personal point of view. I particularly enjoyed the mix of travel writing, history and direct contact with all levels of current Indian culture.” R Trigger, Bristol
Other Readers’ Comments
“Insightful, inspirational, honest and entertaining”
“A fascinating insight into a world I shall never see, but your book has enabled me to do it from the luxury of my armchair”
“Finished the book and enjoyed every word... Never enjoyed another person’s journey so much”
“Soul-searching and well-researched... useful preparation for anyone planning on volunteering in a developing country, especially India”