India seemed calmer than normal. This was my fifth visit so maybe the anaesthetic is beginning to kick-in. Or maybe in the cooler days of February it is less frenetic. Or maybe it was because people were celebrating Holi rather than working.
The snowy shark fins of the Himalayas peek through the fluffy white clouds as we fly towards Kathmandu. As high as our plane, these mountains stand head and shoulders above any other place on earth, dominating the peculiar but enthralling state of Nepal.
This is my third trip to India, and the place no longer makes the same impact on me as before. I vividly remember the impression Delhi made on my first visit – the shock of the noise, car chaos and endless number of people. Even on my second trip, the traffic experience as we drove…
We were to enter the Taj by the VIP gate. More western privileges? Nope – there are 4 gates, so we were just like 25% of the tourists, most of whom were Indian. As ever in India there was security.
We husbands really shouldn’t have favourite wives. However, Shah Jahan – occupation Emperor (Mughal) – clearly favoured number three. Mumtaz was a modern woman – keeping her maiden name, Mahal – but unfortunately not quite liberated enough to exercise any sensible birth-control.
It’s not possible to encapsulate Delhi into words or organise the place into neat observations. On one level she is a fascinating jumble of colour, history, religion, language, food and geography.