Postcard from... Nainital
Ridiculous, really. We’d barely started our eagerly-awaited walk around Nainital’s celebrated lake the lake when disaster struck.
A taxi-driver, looking for a fare, was driving too closely. Rather than ignore him, I’d turned and shook my head. The taxi driver accidentally drove over my foot. When I yelled at him, he promptly sped off.
My foot was only mildly bruised but the boot was split. It appeared as if our day was ruined. But on this one, like so many in India, a solution was not too far from the problem. A few yards away, a shoe-shine and repair man had set up shop and I hopped towards him.
In the West we are accustomed to buying new gadgets simply because the battery on the one we have has worn out. In India things are fixed, repaired, reused, refashioned. Yes, said the shoe-man, looking sightly surprised. Of course he could fix my boot.
And so I stood, one foot in the good boot, the other resting on the shoe-man’s spare sandal, and watched while he got to work with a large needle, thread and glue. Minutes later, it was repaired. He asked for the equivalent of a pound.
On a bright, clear afternoon, we completed a terrific circuit around the lake, stopping off for tea and a visit to a temple after which the town is named. After the noise and pollution of Delhi, the clean air and quiet of the Kumaon hills was a relief. Best of all, several weeks later, the boot is still going strong.
- 2 California man brutally beat 82-year-old Sikh grandfather he mistook for 'one of those people'
- 4 Charles Kennedy 'had better judgement drunk than many sober politicians' says Ian Hislop
Amber Peat: Body found in search for missing 13-year-old who ran away after argument with her parents
California man brutally beat 82-year-old Sikh grandfather he mistook for 'one of those people'
Sepp Blatter resigns: FBI are investigating outgoing Fifa president, claims report
Alton Towers crash: Four guests seriously injured as Smiler ride carriages collide
Charles Kennedy dead: A guy once asked the Lib Dem leader who his favourite Muppet was and his letter response was wonderful
Thousands of teenage girls enduring debilitating illnesses after routine school cancer vaccination
Migrants in Kos: Photos show real tragedy after Brits abroad complain of 'awkward' holidays
British tourists complain that impoverished boat migrants are making holidays 'awkward' in Kos
Michael Gove determined to scrap the Human Rights Act – even if Scotland retains it
Threat to scrap Human Rights Act could see UK follow Nazi example, warns UN official
Church of England 'one generation away from extinction' after dramatic loss of followers
Competitive salary & benefits: MBDA UK Ltd: Whats the opportunity? A pro-act...
Competitive salary & benefits: MBDA UK Ltd: Whats the opportunity? The small...
£25000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Fabricator welder required for ...
£14564 - £15311 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Inbound Customer Service Adviso...