India

Last time she had returned from India on a high but this time the drug didn’t seem to be working. There had been some moments of heart-stopping beauty. She remembered a dawn outside Allahabad, piles of refuse, smoking fires and the beggars rising from the ashes… an ineffable grace in the midst of squalor. Such epiphanies could be found everywhere, for those with eyes to see them. But somehow the connection she sought so keenly hadn’t been made. This time, somehow, she hadn’t managed to rise above the delays and frustrations, the general hopelesness of everything. On several occasions she had lost her temper, a humiliating experience in a country whose people, however cruelly they were treated, seemed to possess no rancour. One didn’t take things personally here; there was simply no point.

The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel – Deborah Moggach

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