Image and Narrative contributed by Nate Rabe, Melbourne. Australia
This photograph was taken outside the Kwality’s Restaurant in Dehradun in 1975. My friends (from left) Jeff Rumph, myself, Martyn Nicholls had all graduated from Woodstock School, Mussoorie just a couple of days earlier and we were about to embark upon a Himalayan trek before we left India.
My father, Rudolph Rabe, (pictured on the far right) and Martyn’s father accompanied us on the trek to Kedarnath (revered Hindu holy town).
My parents came to India in 1952 as educational missionaries. My sister and I were both born in Karnataka (southern India) but we had been living in Allahabad, Uttar Pradesh (northern India) since 1964.
Like most western children in India, I attended a boarding school in the hills; in my case, Woodstock in Mussoorie. We had grown up in India and I certainly felt as much an Indian as the little Indian boy looking at the camera. While I was excited about the trek I was acutely sad that I would soon have to bid India, the land of my birth and so many happy memories, farewell and even though I had an American passport I did not feel any affinity with USA whatsoever.
At the time, Jeff Rumph’s parents were stationed in Bangladesh as engineers working on a major infrastructure project. He now is now a Osteopath and lives in Colorado. Martyn, with the gumcha (casual head gear) on his head, has been a very successful banker, wine grower and entrepreneur. He now lives between New Zealand and the UK.
My father retired after 36 years in India. He’s now living in Tucson, Arizona and remembers India very fondly. I currently live in Melbourne Australia, am married with two young children. We visit India frequently and it will always be my true home.
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This Post Has 3 Comments
Jill Jacqueline Horner28 Jun 2021
I went to Woodstock in 1952. I’m afraid I was the American girl (along with my fried, Ellen) who ran away from school and headed for the train station .Ellen’s father was with the Embassy in Karachi and my father was with the Embassy in Kabul. Of course we were found and brought back to school, only humiliated by the headmaster in church that Sunday. It’s amazing that two ignorant , adventurous, and homesick kid’s will do!
VENITA BANERJEE12 Feb 2021
I live & belong to Allahabad , .. do you have any memories of Allahabad ? Where did you lived ? ..I also have a connect with Woodstock school … where my cousin worked as Libranian & lived with her family during the period you mention …Her name was Mrs Nima Eusibeus .
Joe20 Jun 2013
Having spend 36 years in India and then going back to Arizona must have been a little tough for your dad.