“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.