Our stay in India has been a wonderful experience. The locals that we met were extremely warm and incredibly hospitable. We were touched by how strangers would offer us a place to stay in their homes.
Kerala is beautiful. The backwaters will have to be done again next time in a houseboat (not in monsoon season!). Our stay with Kavita's aunt and uncle was wonderful. We loved the morning toddy and the jackfruit. It was great to experience the countryside.
Travel by train around India is great too. More often than not, they were punctual. It was a comfortable way to travel long distances --much better than being crammed onto a bus.
The hillstations, Ooty and Darjeeling, gave us a break from the heat. Just the trip up to these places by the miniature trains was worth the visit.
Everywhere we went, the locals told us that it was not the best time to come, now that it was the monsoon season. However, the rain really cooled down and cleared up the air quality in large cities like Delhi (from high 40s to low 30s). Wandering around Delhi wasn't nearly as bad as it could have been.
We'll be back in India again some time. We covered a great deal of distance in India, though mostly in the South. Next time, we can pick our seasons and spend more time in the North. ;)