India, as we all know, is like an onion, peel away each layer and you cry a little more at the beauty, horror, splendour and deprivation.
We ask them where we should go for the best view of Kanchenjunga. Jiwan tells us to avoid Tiger Hill, where the noisy domestic tourists from Darjeeling come by Jeep every morning. Deven insists we try the view from 10,170ft Tonglu: it’s closer (just) and clearer.
Kerala’s hill station has more to offer than tea. Eravikulam was declared a sanctuary in 1975 and upgraded in 1978 to a national park, in part due to its unique flora and fauna.
Munnar, Kerala’s best known hill station, is set in a land of undulating hills blanketed by tea estates. But beware, in this dreamy landscape death lurks at every turn.
Mumbai blows its hot breath in your ears and laughs in your face as it tweaks your nose. Love it or hate it, you can’t ignore it.
“I’m up!” I shout through the hatch. It is 03:00 hours. “Nothing much happening,” says the skipper as he climbs down the companionway. “Keep a 360-degree lookout, stay in the cockpit and come and get me if you are worried about anything.” The usual mantra.