In March 2004 I was 25 years old. With not a care in the world, no particular place to be and zero commitments to speak of, I packed up a rucksack and headed off to India. The future lay sparkling and I thought it would last forever.
The warm glow of the early morning sun washed over Allan and I as we strolled through one of Delhi’s expansive public gardens. In stark contrast to the pig trough of Paharganj this was beautiful, a vast blanket of lush green dotted with colourful clusters of well-tended plants and flowers. It was spotless too, not so much as a stray chocolate bar wrapper to be seen. Better still, it wasn’t even crowded, with pockets of whispering families picnicking on the grass. Silent doe-eyed couples passed by hand in hand, while on a nearby bench a group of mustachioed males held a passionate post-mortem on a recent cricket match.