“Thirty-five years after leaving India the Land of my birth and where I grew up the aircraft touched down in Delhi. I was back. It was an emotional arrival and very soon filled with all the charms and challenges of India at midnight at an international airport in gentle chaos that astonished and overawed my husband Graham. The friend who had promised to meet us was not there – as it later transpired poor old darling she came and gave up on us as it took so long to emerge from immigration and luggage collection.
Relaxed, skinny dipping in the favourite courtyard pool I looked up at the clear blue sky, listened to the rippling sound of the kingfishers in nearby trees, spied a drongo darting onto a branch, and counted the bee eaters swinging on a palm frond. I was back exactly seven weeks ago at beloved Kumarakom Lake Resort. The water temperature was like cool bath water and I was recovering from two long flights that were without incident: a two-hour drive to Kumarakom with the affable Johnson at the wheel, and now absolute bliss at the very end of January.
Aline has returned from 6.5 weeks in India where she and her family travelled through Delhi, Rajasthan, Maharashtra and Kerala. Then on to Karnataka and finally to Hyderabad in Telangana. A most wonderful trip celebrating with family for three weeks and then the rest of the time as just a couple and so many people kind enough to wish us for our Golden Wedding Anniversary with beautiful dinners and delicious cakes. A memorable journey which was also thoroughly enjoyed by her son Stewart, his wife Corinne and their three children Honor, Calon and Oliver. It was so wonderful to have family with us and let them experience what is after all part of their heritage through Aline - India.
Last week Aline Dobbie received The Art and Culture Award from The Indian Awards 2019 which are compiled by The India Business Group. The Award Ceremony was at a glittering dinner in the Houses of Parliament on 29th May 2019. The recipients of the awards are all men and women who have contributed substantially to the goodwill and interaction between Indian and the UK. For me personally I have over many years promoted Indian Tourism and understanding of India and I am grateful to be recognised.