Delhi, Nov. 20 -- I was floating in the pool, trying to trace Orion with my little fingernail, but something wasn't right. The stars were twinkling a little too much and there were simply too many of them moving around. The pitter-patter of Marshall's paws on the wet ground soon drew my attention away from the dancing sky to the wagging tail, when suddenly, the lights went out. And there they were, hundreds or thousands of them, on every bush and every tree. Fireflies.

The sugarcane and paddy fields stretched as far as the eye could see, broken only by herbs and vegetable patches. There was marigold to attract bugs, garlicto repel them, and the urea for fertilisers came from the resident cows. "That's where the wild elephant stepped," ou...