19 October, 2020

Anyday The Better Half Of The World

Being "married to India" means one is already defined by the experience

illustration by Sandeep Adhwaryu
Anyday The Better Half Of The World
I do not normally suffer from writer’s block. But when Outlook asked me to write about a "defining India experience" I was stuck for several days. Should it be about my first—albeit very brief—visit to India twenty years ago, backpack slung over my shoulder, and a copy of one or other of Naipaul’s books in hand? Too much of a cliche and nothing very definitive.

Should it be about my second visit to India in 1990 when I came to stay with my then-girlfriend’s family in Teen Murti Lane and then caused a minor scandal when we took a train journey alone to Calcutta? It would have been amusing to relate. A nameless (non-nuclear) relative advised Priya—to whom I am now married—to spend time in a convent. But my normally highly indulgent mother-in-law, Aparna Basu, might not appreciate the reminder.

Or perhaps I should write about the delights and despondencies of being a foreign correspondent in India? Possibly. But it has been done too many times before, not least by me. The same applied to the random mix of epic train...



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