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India, My India

Anglo-India Memoirs


Haunting India by Margaret Deefholts
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Women of Anglo-India - Read the Reviews
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For those who enjoyed "Voices on the Verandah" read the exciting sequel "More Voices on the Verandah"

For more articles and news in the world of Anglo-India go to: The Anglo-Indian Recreational Club in B.C. Canada


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It is different to most places I know. No bricks, no cement, no mortar. The only stairways are the ones that lead to the realms of imagination. I will show you a room which is cozy. A room where a cat can dream; where bookcases line the walls and the fireplace warms you on wintry nights. Where tales of lost love glow in the embers of your mind. But beware, it is also a room where ghosts sometimes ride the wind that sneaks under the sashes of the windowpane and ruffles the pages of the book you hold in your hand.

But...oh, don't go away. In the morning, sunlight will stream across the carpet. You'll open the window and breathe deeply the soft breeze that quivers the poplars, and will run barefoot again through the grasses of childhood. For those stories are there too.

Some rooms have no walls. They let in the world. The crash of calving icebergs in the inlets of the Alaskan coast echo against their ceilings, the smell of spices in a Malaysian market town waft across their spaces and, like holograms, the armies of William the Conqueror once again sweep down the battleground slopes of Hastings.

If you are adventurous come with me to India. A whole wing of the house winds through complex images of a country which is like no other in the world. Watch a mystical sunrise in Varanasi on the banks of the holy Ganges, or goggle at a 200 pound rock which levitates when a Sufi saint's name is evoked. Explore Rajasthan and listen to tales of ghosts that haunt the old forts, reminders of princes and warriors who were as chivalrous at the knights of Camelot.

There is yet another labyrinth of rooms within my domain; a part that few people know about. But if you are curious, c'mon in. It is about a culture which evolved out of the now vanished world of "Raj" - Britain's occupation of India for three centuries, and a people known as Anglo-Indians, of hybrid Indian and European descent, who after India's independence in 1947, left the country to emigrate to Britain, Australia, New Zealand, Canada and the U.S.

I am part of that culture which is now rapidly disappearing as the younger generation merges - as they should - into the mainstream of the country of their adoption.

This section of my home is the oldest part, and still holds memories of school friends, family traditions and the echoes of laughter and good times which are precious and unique. Family photos sit on the mantle-piece, well-thumbed scrapbooks lie stacked on shelves and the windows open on hinges which link them to other Anglo-Indian sites around the globe.

I hope you'll enjoy your visit.