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.
As I speak with Indians and spend more time in their country, I start to get under the skin of their way of life and increasingly appreciate the positives.
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.
After my early morning walk on the beach in Trivandrum (including a small dabble in the Arabian Sea much to the consternation of the locals) I nibbled through a very pleasant breakfast in the hotel alongside the blue pool. Not unlike breakfast on Tracey Island but without the strings or the risk of TB1 disturbing…
Landing in Mumbai, the airport (this time) seems like any other. What hits you as you emerge is the oppressive warm blanket of of heat, the crazy chaos of cars and the unrelenting politeness. Suitcases are whisked into cars, doors are opened, and deference is dispensed, with no fuss, no sulkiness and no attitude; other…
I am writing this as I relax in the executive club area in Heathrow’s swanky new terminal 5 building. I have helped myself to a third portion of free vegetable curry and rice and my second glass of complementary wine.
It was only a very small part of the total trip, the journey by car from Mumbai domestic airport to its international big bother. But it had a very profound impact on me.
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.