“Are you going on to India?” I found myself asking two Swiss tourists whom I met over New Year in India’s north-eastern state of Assam. I could try to justify the question by explaining that they had been talking about going next to the nearby countries of Bhutan and Nepal, but that wasn’t what was in my mind. I clearly felt, subconsciously, that I was outside India, relaxing at the Kaziranga National Park alongside the massive Brahmaputra River and watching famous one-horned rhinos, wild buffaloes and elephants.

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