Why do I love Indian books, clothes, food, art, where did the love come from?
I grew up respecting Indian values and traditions, my parents love for India was easily passed down to me and my siblings. But the true love came later. It was 1997, I was in between jobs and decided to go to India in the summer. India was celebrating its 50th year of Independence from Britain. Delhi was glowing with pride, everyone was celebrating. I stood with thousands of people on Rajpath listening to A. R. Rahmans performance of Vande Mataram. The atmosphere was electric. I managed to grab one of the flags draped from a lamp post which then hung in my shared flat in North London..
During this sweItering summer I was being eaten alive by mosquitoes at the usual family home so then took refuge in my cousin house in East Delhi. With time to spare I read many of her books, one which had me totally hooked from the first page was Rediscovering Delhi, A History of Shahjanabad, it was a look inside life of the old city, Old Delhi.
My mother was born in Old Delhi, it sounded romantic, feudal, artistic, cultured, I needed to know more. Thus was born a 30 year obsession with Old Delhi, the Mughals, Indian art, clothes, food. Of course the rest of the country has so much to offer...I'm not even close to discovering India in all its glory.