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Basant Nair, who is now 86, recounts the story of her family life against the background of events leading up to India's Independence. She recalls the trauma of the Jallianwala Bagh, the campaigns of Mahatma Gandhi, the advent of the Simon Commission, and the contribution of the Congress after the First World War. The impact of Partition on her family and on India at large is graphically portrayed. She remembers epic journeys to Burma, Singapore, China, and Japan in 1936, and to Kashmir and the famous Hindu shrine of Amarnath, high in the Himalayas, in 1940. Basant is able to share some of her most difficult moments of great personal tragedy. She recounts the social life of the clubs and the air force stations before and after the Raj. As time progresses, new family members arrive, while others pass on. She reflects on her husband's resignation from the Air Force and the sale of their Delhi house. Now only Basant and her younger sister of the seven siblings survive, but she is consoled by her new role as grandmother, and great-grandmother.
Basant's history of her family from the beginnings of the 20th century to the present constitutes a unique portrayal of life in India viewed from the perspective of a daughter, wife, mother, and grandmother. Her commentary on the Nehru dynasty is profound in its analysis and gives a good insight into a mature citizen's appreciation of Indian politics. This is a book for those interested in India's remarkable progression during the last century.