There are lots of good reasons to go on a meditation retreat in India, but stalking your ex, I discover, isn’t one of them.

It all begins on Clapham Common, on a bench scratched bare by graffiti. “I’m going traveling,” Becca tells me. “To India. On my own.” Manfully, maturely, I take it on the chin and book a flight to Delhi.   

I catch up with her at the Taj Mahal. Dusk descends, minarets purple, egrets blaze against the sky. Reconciliation beckons.

in_out-fall-05-5“What the hell are you doing here?” gasps Becca.   

“I thought … I thought…” I murmur, suddenly unable to think. “Look,” she says, ”I’m leaving for Jaipur tomorrow—just leave me alone.” Short, unequivocal. I pack my bags and catch the next train to Jaipur.

Two days, fourteen hotel lobbies and City Guest House later, I track Becca down to Dhamma Thali, a spiritual retreat in the hills above Jaipur. “Have you come for Vipassana?” asks the man at the gate. “Absolutely,” I affirm.

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