In the spring of 2010, Vanessa Able started a 10,000 kilometer drive across India in a Tata Nano, the world’s cheapest car. She documented her journey on a blog called the Nano Diaries, which she turned into her first book, The Nanologues, published in May 2013.
Just 50km into her journey, along the dark road from Mumbai to the seaside town of Nagaon, Vanessa Able and her new Nano almost became a filling for a truck sandwich. For as they struggled up a sharp incline amidst blinding headlights, thunderous horns and daredevil double overtakes, the English writer was convinced that her adventure was heading for a squishy and ignominious ending.
British writer Vanessa Able was editing Time OutIstanbul before she headed to India and bought a Tata Nano, the car that promised to fulfil middle-class India’s dream of owning a car. The Nanologues, Able’s first book, published in May, is a witty account of riding the Nano over 10,000km across India, braving dust and grime, risking accidents and flouting driving rules.
What does it take to drive across a nation full of rash drivers and maddening traffic?