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10 December 2010 ·


My favourite of the ancient sites in Delhi was Humayan’s Tomb, which was beautiful and peaceful, with quite a different atmosphere to the Red Fort. However parts of it are still wonderfully creepy, and I could feel it seeping into my subconscious for a story that’s been germinating for a while…

from the inside, peering out through the grill…

As everywhere in Delhi, there were dogs wandering around. When I’ve heard of stray dogs in India, I’ve pictured skinny, slinking curs. Wrong again. I only saw two dogs who were thin and possibly diseased; the rest were happy, healthy (occasionally fat, if they were near a food stall) and totally independent, just wandering around the town, sleeping where they liked, making their way through the traffic… just living their own dog lives in their own dog society, which just happens to share the same space as the human society. The little dog we met here, and the puppy who came to my Nim’s Island session under the Kahalni tree, were the only ones I saw who wanted any human interaction.

Though I’m guessing that all the coat-wearing dogs wandering around or sleeping in the streets of the Khan Market, did have owners…

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Wendy Orr is a Canadian-born Australian writer. Her books for children and adults have been published in 27 countries and won awards around the world. Nim’s Island and Nim at Sea have also become feature films, starring Jodie Foster and Abigail Breslin (Nim’s Island) and Bindi Irwin (Return to Nim’s Island.) Her latest book is Cuckoo’s Flight, a companion to the highly acclaimed Bronze Age novels Dragonfly Song and Swallow’s Dance. Read full bio