Amritsar – Diwali at the Golden Temple: “Are you happy?”

I was accosted by a whole crowd of Sikhs outside the temple who stood around giggling as a small boy, with arms much stronger than his skinny frame let on, tied my head scarf on so tight I worried I may have to surgically remove it after.

Amritsar – Jallianwala Bagh “An everlasting symbol of non-violent and peaceful struggle for the freedom of India”

In 1919 General Dyer, of the British Army, was called to restore order to the city as unrest had broken out over an emergency British law that allowed them to imprison Indians suspected of sedition without trial. The general ordered his 150 men to open fire on the 2000 peaceful protesters occupying an open space surrounded by high walls.

Chandigarh: “You remind me of the babe.”

The maze is 20 hectares of pure imagination, twisty passages, armies of wobbly-legged stickmen, spindly ponies, growling stone hounds, hobbling rocktagenarians clutching clay pots, wavering-necked graceful but gawky swans and peacocks with shards of mosaic feathers, and colourful boogie-ing bracelet maidens.

Rishikesh: Himalaya-side Knitting

It’s sort of chilly up here with the Himalayas peering down your neck, so it makes sense there should be knitted goodies all over the shop. I am most impressed by many-coloured two-toed socks which seem to have been fashioned for aliens.

Aurangabad – Ajanta and Ellora Caves: “Please, picture?”

It is quite frankly all kinds of magnificent to stand in the dark with the cool cave floor beneath the soles of your feet, peering up at a carefully and adoringly carved image of so many people’s faith.

Mumbai: “Excuse me, you want to be in a Bollywood film?”

Mumbai. Once Bombay (they just call Bombay Mix ‘Mix’ here), and now Mumbai, but still Bombay to half the people here leaving us all a bit confused really.