You are aware of India’s contradictions from the moment you land in Mumbai. Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport is a thing of sleek steel and glass, complete with its own waterfalls, clusters of rainforest, faux life-size temples and state-of-the-art art. But just outside, families live in large corrugated tin cans, piled on top of each other like human filing cabinets, and everyone acts like this is perfectly normal.
Let me tell you why I’d come to India. About a year ago I met Pattie Boyd, the ex-wife of George Harrison and later the ex of Eric Clapton. She travelled with the Beatles to India back in 1967, when they hung out with the Maharishi in Rishikesh. I’m sure a seed was planted in my brain back then, which influenced the rest of my life, right up to my recent interest in mindfulness. So when I met Pattie, I brazenly asked her if she ever planned to return to India, and if so, could I come too?