A Memoir of A Childhood in British IndiaBook - 2002
Jackals' Wedding, my story within a family story set in India, the land of my birth, tells of a past of puzzling opposites. 'Tigers, and oil, and tea are all I remember,' I once blithely answered an Indian professor who'd taken me for a whirl. When he stopped dead, held me at arm's length and searched my eyes, I had to think twice about the superficial untruth I'd blurted.There were many parts of my early life I'd locked away in the dark, just like my mother, and my grandmother before her. The good things that surfaced were idealized, airbrushed into scenes worthy of Kipling, or The Little Princess. I knew the romantic version, but what was the truth? What had really happened during those years in India? How had my mother and father became ensnared in a storm and sun relationship, a 'jackals' wedding,' with my sister and me dragged along unwittingly? How had the exigencies of wartime prevented them from dealing with their own blow-ups? What was the big taboo within our family? Why so many secrets locked away, as my mother's heart had seemed locked to me?I was hungry to know the truth, so I began to dig down to the beginning through my first memories that are entwined with the unrest of the times. With a stroke of serendipity, my husband convinced me I must return to India, the land of my birth, and my childhood home in Dehra Dun. During this trip together, time spans were erased. People stepped forward to help. Images and voices and feelings came flooding back, and I was ready to examine them as I'd examined the belongings that had traveled half the world in battered leather cases. Brought to light, the joys of my childhood flashed vivid and fragile as glass bangles. Fears that had lurked large as nightmare lions and scary as snakes dissolved like thunderheads shrinking and fading into a quiet sky. In Jackals' Wedding, the stories of the child I was and the woman I've become are braided with my mother's story and the stories she told.
Publisher: [Bloomington, Ind.] : 1st Books Library, c2002
Description: xvi, 558 p. : ill., map ; 23 cm
Branch Call Number: 954.035 Kaw