India presents many views. Some see a nation of diverse people born out of the crucible of colonialism. To others, India is the largest democracy in the world and the greatest friend America has, a natural barrier to the dominance of Islam in South Asia. Scholars and poets see a civilization rich in history, culture and architecture. A true melding of East and West with an educated and skilled populace. Waves of invaders have clashed across its northern borders. The most recent one was China seeking to expand southward in the 1960s. I was in New Delhi when the Indian Army fought the invasion to a border stalemate in the mountain passes.
I had just finished my master’s degree in South Asian Studies at Duke University and was fortunate to win a grant to study in India. Although I attended The Indian School of International Studies at Sapru House on Barakumba Road in New Delhi. I did not enroll in any program of studies. My program was to see India, the people and the land. My master’s thesis was entitled, The Congress Party, Linguistic Policies, and Indian Unity. (Through the decades it has gathered the dust of neglect.)
We, my wife and two-year-old son, spent a few weeks in the Jan Path Hotel before renting a small bungalow in Defence Colony in New Delhi. The next two years were happily spent traveling around Northern India from Jaipur to Lucknow, to the Taj Mahal, Dharmsala, and Srinagar. With the exception of Srinagar, the trips were all made in our Hindustani, the car that wouldn’t give up. Though I didn’t know it at the time I was picking up the knowledge and experience to write novels. Fifty years later, my first novel, Justice Beyond Law, was published. Much of this book features action in New Delhi and Kathmandu. I think some of the best scenes were describing a boat trip up the Narayani River to the Trisuli River and the overland trek up the Trisuli to Kathmandu. During a long drive down the Grand Trunk Road on the trip from Raxaul Bazaar to New Delhi, the musing of my female heroine about her feelings as the night and aura of previous travelers of the Grand Trunk wafted around the car … (Oops almost too much. I don’t want to spoil the story.) There is an allure and beauty to India that you will never find in China.
by the author of the Jack Brandon novels http://www.factsandfictions.com