Two weeks and 20 years ago I arrived in India on my first posting. I had never travelled to South Asia before and fell in love with India on Day 1. Her strengths and vulnerabilities, her democracy in its imperfection, her multitudes - bringing the concept of diversity to a whole new level for me.
On the morning of 12 September 2001 I sat on my veranda, parakeets flying over me. It was a beautiful September morning in New Delhi. These were the days of physical newspapers and no internet at home. I opened the morning's papers and saw the towers had fallen. Somehow I felt both the horror of the situation and the tilt of the world. From being at the margins, suddenly India was of political importance. What India's leadership chose would determine her future.
She chose (mostly) to look West. To ally herself with the US, for good and for bad.
For me, looking back on that morning, I see how those dramatic years of living and working in India have shaped my professional and personal life. And feel eternally grateful.
But maybe first postings are always like that?