India will blow your mind

Nothing can prepare you for the madness, misrule and anarchy that is life in India - which is exactly why you're going and not doing a fortnight down in Benalmedina, isn't it? India is an exotic holiday enigma you'll never figure out; once you've been once, you'll keep going back....

See the Taj Mahal and, for one afternoon at least, don't be a cynic about love. Spend the night at Varanasi watching the burning ghats, or take a swim in the holy Ganges. Get lost in the Himalayas or just lose your mind in the plains around Rajasthan.

Either way, check out the The India Forum at www. www.indiamike.com, for reliable info. Also well worth a google is www. www.indiantravelportal.com for an exhaustive city by city guide.

Once you've got your train timetables (ha! that's an oxymoron in India, and will only get you laughed at,) get stuck into the likes of Salman Rushdie, Arundhati Roy and Vikram Seth, then kick back and let the rest take care of itself - because trying to plan in India only causes headaches.

Oh, and remember the word 'Shanti', it'll come in handy....

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