Happy Independence Day

Before 1947, if one had a distinctly Indian name, which 99% Indians did, one could literally die of a name.

In 1943, a British Naval Officer, who was from Indian roots but had been born and brought up as a pure Brit in Sussex, was assigned to a mission at the Bombay port. He had never sympathised with the Indian cause and had taken every step he could to make it known to people that despite his roots, he was very thoroughly a Brit.

But Bombay was a new place and new places come with their new prejudices. When the Master-of-Port at Bombay saw that someone by the name of Rustomji Jahajwalah was asking permission to dock his rowing boat, he assumed almost immediately that the line saying “Boatswain in His Highness’s Royal British Navy” must have been clearly a mistake. Continue reading

Shadowed Prayers

“Shoo, shoo, go away. Away, I said.”

The young dogs were the first to push their noses where they did not belong, but, unlike the people who came later, they were decent enough to heed the words of the lady, who was demanding her space. They heeded, because she had been good to them these past few days, feeding them when no one else had. They took care not to come too close, but they also knew that going away would mean no dinner. So, they paced.

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