I was born in India in 1945, in a military hospital in Rawalpindi. In I947, it became capital of Pakistan after the partition of India into Muslim (Pakistan) and Hindu (India). My mother arrived in India at the age of twenty months and left in 1947 at the age of twenty-two, married with two children, of which I was the younger.
One morning I woke and wanted more than anything to write a letter to my mother.
Below is an extract of a letter I wrote to my deceased mother before I left for India.
‘I want you to know that I’m visiting India soon; returning for the first time since our hurried retreat in the summer of 1947 ending the first twenty-three years of your fabulous life. At this stage my trip is all about going home. Yes, I’m able to anticipate the bombardment of the senses, the scale of the nation and diverse multitude of its people. Yes, I know from experience it’s wrong to have expectations, yet how can I not expect to experience a resonance that will reach back into my past? Though more than three score years have elapsed since I first breathed the air, smelled the earth, heard the cacophony of many voices, looked up to the sky at the soaring vultures, was amazed by the profusion of colours and sound, I expect to feel all this again when I return; I sense threads passing back through time to when you brought me into this world.
Mother and India for me are synonymous.’
An account of my re-visit to India can be read in my book, Hero on a Honda – Reflections of India
by Anthony Farmer ISBN 9781622126422 available through Amazon.