at home on a charpoy in his homestead among the buffaloes and mustard fields of his village Mandwa in Haryana than the farmhouse parties he now frequents. But 13 years after Jill Lowe, still reeling from a busted marriage and fortune, met Lal Singh Yadav at Delhi airport, they love each other "too much". So much that Jill has just published their 13-year romance, Yadav: a roadside love story (Penguin India). So much that if only they could make a go of their Delhi day tours, she'd stop even her summer trips to London, where she works as a tour guide.
Jill was attracted to Yadav's "sun-tanned Mediterranean" good looks from the instant he greeted her with a "You is my tourist. Please come". Initially, they were both on their guard: he, because his employer had threatened to sack him if he incurred the displeasure of this customer, she because she knew from her experience as a tour guide how "difficult" cabbies could be. But somewhere along their trip the inevitable happened (in a guesthouse in Orchha, MP): "What usually happens when a man and woman are travelling by themselves." The sex was "wonderful, the very best", laughs Jill. Yadav is more reticent: "Back home we don't discuss these things aloud." The shy Haryanvi widower with four children turned it into something more than the "afternoon delight" women tourists usually add to their Indian itinerary: he proposed marriage. Jill wasn't sure—if the stares of the uppity receptionists at countless hotels on their trip didn't scare her off, visiting Yadav's family certainly did.