Four decades ago, when Lloyd I. Rudolph and Susanne Hoeber Rudolph first came to India, 'decolonisation' was in the air - Nehru at the ramparts, Gandhi still in every heart, India raw and brave from colonialism. Lloyd and Susanne, in their 20s, caught the spirit. Kennedy had set up the Peace Corps, the American young were craving for a life of challenge to establish that peace was the moral equivalent of war. Lloyd and Susanne finished their doctorates from Harvard University, jumped into their Landrover and drove all the way from London to Delhi.
There were no paved roads after Belgrade and they expected a swathe of stunted civilisations. But as they rattled over the Khyber Pass, they found "an organised landscape"! "The old dak bungalows," smiles Susanne, 70, "the complicated deliberations of the panchayats. India dispelled all cynicism."