I have a date with Elizabeth Gilbert. Perhaps the stars aligned. Perhaps it is because we share a publisher. The fact is that we are chatting under a garden umbrella in the sprawling lawns of her hotel in Jaipur and enjoying the warmth of the winter sun over idlis and cups of steaming masala chai. A few days ago, I’d met her briefly at the Jaipur Literature Festival. So struck was I by Gilbert’s openness and exceptional warmth that I felt I had to meet her again. So here we are today, chatting about life, love, writing and womanhood
She is draped in an exquisite grey pashmina with blue peacocks embroidered all over it. We are women, after all, we must get the conversation about shopping out of the way first. “Isn’t it just stunning? Alexandra (Bloomsbury) bargained for me, I am really bad at haggling,” Gilbert tells me conspiratorially. She’s managed a good bargain, and presently I hear myself asking for the details of the shawl seller.