The India I love does not make the headlines. But I find it wherever I go — in field or forest, town or village, mountain or desert — and in the hearts and minds of people who have given me love and affection for the better part of a lifetime.
Did you know?
Robert Clive was gifted an Aldabra giant tortoise in the mid-1700s which he named Adwaita. It passed away about 250 years later in 2006.
The first cases of HIV infection in India occurred among prostitutes in Madras (Chennai) in 1986.
The most sought after knife-handles and pistol-grips are made from the antlers of Sambar stags. The antlers are made of bone and shed annually.
Ranjeet Singh, the Indian character in Mind your Language was portrayed by Albert Moses, a Sri Lankan.
The word for key in many Indian languages is a variant of chavi (चाबी in Hindi, চাবি in Bengali, चावी in Marathi, சாவி in Tamil, etc.) which comes from the Portuguese word for key, chave.
The countryside of Sonargaon, located a few miles out of Dhaka, features the Taj Mahal Bangladesh, a replica of Shah Jahan's Agra original. It was commissioned by a Bangladesh film-maker.
The Mow in Kipling's Mowgli rhymes with cow rather than low.
Until around the 20th century, the cow was considered sacred (and beef taboo) in Japan, China, and other parts of South East Asia. It was also similarly considered in Ancient Egypt.