Away from my home in Delhi and after six months in isola-tion at my brother Raj’s in London—“rent-free”, as he often likes to remind me—I decided to take a trip to Berlin for a socially distanced cultural break. I set out hoping to shake off my lockdown torpor. Upon arrival at Tegel Airport, I was greeted by a stern immigration officer who suggested that I move to Germany after Brexit in order to lead a happier life. After a mandatory change of protective mask and gloves, I jumped into a taxi to Hotel Amano on Augustrasse—one of my favourites in the city for its warmth and simplicity, and all the art galleries, bookshops and eateries located around the corner. That first day, I walked all over the city, and eagerly looked forward to dinner—my first night out in a very long time—with a local art collector at Borchardt’s famous terrace courtyard.
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