A St George's Day homecoming
Wednesday, April 23, 2014 by Richard Biggs
Due to the wonders of modern travel I find myself writing this, gazing out onto a greenish, dampish school, only hours after I had been dining outside under a banyan tree in the sweltering heat of a Delhi night. I had been warned that India would worm its way under my skin, and so it proved. What did you do for Easter, Daddy? Well, I visited the Taj Mahal and fell hopelessly under its spell. A statement of love like no other, and deeply, deeply moving. And what did you do on Easter Monday, Daddy? Well, I interviewed some brilliant, delightful Indian students, then visited a Hindu temple for the evening service of the offering of light. Two Heads and one ex-Head, having intended to watch quietly from the sides were soon dancing, with various degrees of barefooted elegance and copious quantities of perspiration, to the glory of Krishna. But that is a measure of the wamheartedness (and irresistible persuasiveness) of the people of India.
In the last two weeks I have seen two of the great buildings of the world: the Taj, obviously, and the Sydney Opera House. I met the Dalai Lama (well, I say met…we passed each other on my floor in the hotel. He was surrounded by half the Indian Defence Force, I wasn’t). I have attended three King’s receptions – Melbourne, Sydney and Hong Kong. Along with my colleagues I have been royally entertained and thoroughly well looked after by OAs, parents, future parents and friends. One constant has been the regard and affection in which King’s is held all over the world. The Australian receptions were the first for a long time in that country, yet there was an obvious connection and shared sense of spirit and fond nostalgia for the school. The eagerness of all the OAs we met to support the school and to keep in touch with each other and with King’s was heartening.
To any of the people who looked after us on our travels over the past few weeks who are reading this blog: thank you. What a blast.
And what a pleasure to be back in green old England, on St George’s Day to boot. There is a unique colour to the English countryside in April and May, a soft lime green, which is very welcoming indeed. I suspect there is a cricket match to watch somewhere. I might fall asleep under a spreading oak tree…