One warm Rajasthani afternoon in the year 2008—while taking a break from festivities hosted at splendid Diggi Palace Hotel where I happened to be residing courtesy the sponsors of the Jaipur Literary Festival—I found myself wandering aimlessly through the sprawling semi-forested area behind the Hotel. Turning a corner, I spotted a woman ensconced on the porch of a charming old-world cottage—glasses perched dizzily at end of pert nose and sketching madly away. She looked up at my approach. “I know that face,” she said, peering up at me. “Aren’t you an emcee at the Lit Fest?” “C’est moi,” I said, and that’s how Mishi Bellamy and I became friends.
Over tea and crumpets (okay, they were ordinary bikkis, but Mishi is so quintessentially English/Bohemian we should have gorged on crumpets with dollops of raspberry jam and clotted cream, accompanied by Earl Grey or Lapsang Souchong) we became friends. It came to me then, though I did not say so at the time, that we were simply old comrades reconnecting. Continue reading