Book on An­glo-in­di­ans earns global praise

Hindustan Times (Patna) - - METRO - HT Cor­re­spon­dent ht­plet­ters@hin­dus­tan­times.com

PATNA: A ma­jor­ity of 1.25 lakh An­glo-In­di­ans in the coun­try are en­gaged in the armed forces and the rail­ways. These are jobs that take them to dis­tant cor­ners of the coun­try, mak­ing them miss out on fam­ily life and watch­ing their chil­dren grow.

But they also live through unique in­ci­dents in the process, gath­er­ing sev­eral sto­ries and anec­dotes to nar­rate later. Nor­man Ivan Mar­shall, 68, for­mer big game hunter and In­dian Army sol­dier, de­cided to share his ex­pe­ri­ences and thoughts.

The re­sult was a vi­brant book, ‘ The An­glo- I ndian Ab­scon­der Sol­dier Daddy’ - an ac­count of a per­son try­ing to fit into the hard reg­i­men of a mil­i­tary man.

Throw­ing light on the in­cep­tion of the book, Mar­shall said, “Ac­tu­ally, my two daugh­ters are re­spon­si­ble for it. I used to tell them bed­time sto­ries about my ad­ven­tures, which they en­joyed a lot. They asked me to write a book narat­ing all those tales, af­ter they grew up.”

Mar­shall did not take it se­ri­ously then, but the sto­ry­line re­mained in his sub­con­scious. With a lit­tle prompt­ing from his closed ones and rel­a­tives, he not only wrote the book later, but also de­signed its cover and pub­lished it.

Apart from de­pict­ing so much of Army life along with the bat­tle scenes, the book also in­cludes a col­lec­tion of English songs and rhymes, that were pop­u­lar among the community, as well as the sol­diers, some decades ago.

Over­all, it is an in­ter­est­ing peep into the life of an An­gloIn­dian. It could be use­ful for those who want to un­der­stand this community.

Cur­rently, the book is earn­ing praise not only in In­dia, but also UK, Canada and Aus­tralia.

Guests en­joy a lighter mo­ment at the AIAIA meet in Patna on Sun­day.

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