It’s remarkable that India manages to be one country. With so many different peoples, traditions, religions and languages it’s a wonder it all hangs together. But hang together it does with more than 20 recognised official languages. Hindi, the most widely spoken is the native language on not more than 25% of the population. Where I work, Bengali and a host of other languages are standard fare. In some villages our conversations go from English, to Hindi then to Bengali and finally the local tribal language. By the time the answer comes back to us there have been six translations! Chinese whispers are alive and well. This diversity provides a rich cultural patina, with every region, district and village having its own unique cultural and culinary specialties to uncover and to savour. Indian food is so awesome and a great drawcard, although I must confess to starting to hanker after a steak after a couple of weeks away. But how could you possibly harm such lovely sacred cows as these!