Happily our book choices seemed to be right on the money. The bf read Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts; a swashbuckling (and apparently fairly corny) true story of an Australian fugitive living in Mumbai, a book I am still trying to wheedle a review out of him for. William Dalrymple’s personal love affair with the ancient city of Delhi also added an extra layer of significance and romance to our stay and, although I was initially daunted by the size and subject matter of Rohinton Mistry’s A Fine Balance, this masterfully accurate and heartwarming portrayal of four individuals struggling to get by in Mumbai has ensured that I can maintain my spaced-out, captivated state of mind for just a little bit longer…
Wholesale book market, Old Delhi.
Shahjahanabad or ‘Old Delhi’ as it is more commonly known, was the fantastically unreal starting point for mine and the bf’s adventure in India that has almost brought us all the way up to the end of September. I can’t believe it’s almost October! (Although quite an unseasonably warm one in Manchester this week..)
As most people seem to the first time around, we decided to focus on the area of this vast country nicknamed ‘The Golden Triangle’; a bewitching region that encompasses Delhi, Jaipur, the Taj Mahal, and a whole bunch of other fascinating nooks and crannies along the way. Although I have travelled and lived abroad in the past, I had never been outside of Europe before now and to say we felt as if we’d landed on Mars (and I mean that in the best possible way) would be an understatement. Chaotic and romantic in equal measures, this country is absolutely beautiful, despite the incredible poverty that would shock even the most seasoned individual. The people are friendly, the food mouthwatering, the atmosphere invigorating and I loved every minute of it. Without sounding hackneyed, I genuinely feel enriched (and slightly shell-shocked) by the last few weeks we’ve spent there…….for now, let me just share a few book pictures with you ..