Doing Time With Nehru
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Voices of Deoli
|Posted on November 8, 2012 at 10:55 AM||comments ()|
Noel, Pu-Chin and I are leaving tomorrow for a school reunion in Burma and Thailand. After that, PC and I continue on to India. I will keep you posted of my continued journey. It's been fascinating and moving as I meet new people and listen to their stories as they listen to mine. Have I "opened pandora's box?"
|Posted on November 8, 2012 at 10:45 AM||comments ()|
I was the guest speaker in a private home on November 3. Many of the hostess' friends were from India. A few attended Loreto Convent in Darjeeling or in Calcutta. None knew of the Chinese internment in India in 1962 and all were fascinated and interested in the history. During the Q&A, one lady who had attended LCD a few before me told me she remembered my mother as a tall, elegant and gracious lady. It is heartfelt to hear this from a total stranger.
|Posted on November 8, 2012 at 10:24 AM||comments ()|
I had a book order from someone in Italy on October 30. She told me that she was a student of the university of Rome "La Sapenza", and was going to get her degree in "Oriental language and culture". She chose Dhapa chinatown as the subject of her thesis. She is interested in finding out about the repercussions of the 1962 Border War on Dhapa Chinatown. This is fascinating. We hope to reconnect after she reads my book.
|Posted on November 5, 2012 at 10:57 AM||comments ()|
Kwai Li introduced me to Joy Ma who lives in San Mateo. I had invited Joy to the book launch but it was real short notice and she couldn't make it. We did, however, arrange to meet in Berkeley. She told me she was actually born in the camp, long after Bobby and I had already left. We had an intense, emotional meeting. She bought two books, one for herself and mum, and the other for her brother.
Later that evening, she emailed me with an amazing story. She told me that her mum immediately went through the book and recognized my father. She said she remembered his kindness and generosity. When Joy was born he came to see her mum at the hospital and brought her a basket of fruit he had ordered from Calcutta. This has come full circle!! It was very moving.
|Posted on November 5, 2012 at 10:32 AM||comments ()|
I had a meeting with Kwai Li, a Canadian author of "The Last Dragon Dance" a story about being Chinese and growing up in Calcutta in the 1950's. Nikki and I met her in San Francisco and it was the first time talked to another Chinese about the 1962 Internment. She did her Masters thesis on an oral history of the Deoli Internment Camp. She had interviewed four internees. It was a wonderful meeting. We promised to stay in touch.
|Posted on November 5, 2012 at 10:12 AM||comments ()|
Had my official book launch on October 12, 2012. We had between 80-100 people attend. Nikki made a wonderful introduction, everyone was impressed. I got good feedback on my talk. I'm always happy to enlighten people on this small unheard chapter in Indian history. All 500 samosas, plus other tasty treats disappeared!! At least we know that made people happy. Jannie did a great job meeting and greeting people and keeping things organized. Everyone who volunteered (or asked to volunteer) did a wonderful job — couldn't have managed without them! Thanks again everyone!
There were at least two other ex-Loretorites,an ex-North Pointer, and two other ex-Darjeeling wallahs in the audience. Amazing!
|Posted on November 5, 2012 at 9:57 AM||comments ()|
It's been quite a while since I posted my last blog. It's all very new to me and I hope to be more consistent from now on. I've had several book talks since the book got published late September. Here are the various event's:
My very first book talk was at the Lion's Club in Berkeley. No one had heard of Chinese being interned in India in 1962. A few people had heard of the Sino-Indian Border War. There were good questions.
The second talk was on September 26 at a friend's in Santa Monica. Emile had several friends and family members around for a social gathering and a gook talk. Again, there were good questions.
The third was on September 29 at the Julian Library. Julian is a charming historical gold mining town an hour and a half east of San Diego. This was my first public talk and reading. It was well received. I got emotional and got several of the people tearing as well. Again, no one knew of this history and thanked me for sharing.
The fourth reading was on the same evening at Taurus Moon, a lovely little boutique on Washington Street just as you come into town. Taurus Moon has a unique combination of gift and clothing items. Many of them local made. My reading was held in the garden and was a lovely setting. It felt like I was doing a reading on the island of Maui. Same reaction—never heard of this—always had good questions.