On 5 October 1997, the British weekend newspaper the Observer carried a full-page spread devoted to the fiftieth anniversary of India’s independence. The display, tastefully arranged-and no doubt handsomely paid for-by the India Tourist Office in London, features a series of marketing blurbs by British-based tour operators. The centrepiece blurb, to which the others refer, announces reasons to celebrate, not least of these being that ‘the attractions of India are as diverse as the tour operators who organise holidays there’ (10). The familiar Orientalist icons are then dramatically unfurled, with a ‘profusion of romantic palaces, impressive forts and extraordinary temples’ counting among the many ‘wonders of India’s fabled shores’ (10). The operator blurbs are similarly gushing, with an emphasis on the exclusive, offering ‘classical tours’ escorted by well-heeled ‘guest lecturers’ (Lady Wade-Gery MA [Oxon]), or holding out to ‘the discerning traveller’ the chance to ‘relive the opulence of the Maharajahs’ (10). Here again then, skilfully marshalled, is the Orient as exhibition1; and here a further example of the twisted logic of the tourist industry, more than capable of turning the occasion of a halfcentury of independence into a fanfare for colonial nostalgia and the invented memories of imperial rule.