“Our entire big Gujarati Family migrated out of India”

“Our entire big Gujarati Family migrated out of India”
The Patel Family, Surat, Gujarat. 1978

The Patel Family, Surat, Gujarat. 1978 Image and Narrative contributed by Mitul Patel, Texas, USA This picture was taken at a fair in Surat, Gujrat.  It was supposed to be only a close family photograph, however, some of our family friends' and their families joined in and this picture was clicked. I remember it used to be one of the only places where families, who couldn't afford a camera could get a picture taken. Most of these people you see in the Photograph, all of whom are of the last name 'Patel', migrated to USA and New Zealand, including my family. I was around three or four years old in the picture (top left, as a baby). Almost all of the Patels in the picture  now own and run businesses like Pizza Parlours, Liquor Stores, Motels, Hotels or work in the IT industry. My parents and I too live in Rockdale, Texas, USA and run a hotel called Rockdale Inn.

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The first known girl rock band of India

The first known girl rock band of India
My mother Anupa Nathaniel (right) with her closest friend Shalini Gupta, Delhi, Circa 1962

My mother Anupa Nathaniel (right) with her closest friend Shalini Gupta, Delhi, Circa 1962 Image and Narrative contributed by Late. Anisha Jacob Sachdev, New Delhi. This picture with my mother Anupa Jacob (nee Nathaniel) and her closest friend Shalini was taken when they were in school at Convent of Jesus & Mary in Delhi. They would have been around 15 years old. My mother was a Rajasthani, from the small town of Nasirabad near Ajmer. Her father was orphaned when a plague hit the village, he and many others were then adopted by the British. Everyone adopted was converted to Christianity and given the last name 'Nathaniel'. From Nathu Singh, my grandfather became Fazal Masih Nathaniel. He went on to become the Head of the English Language Department at Mayo College, Ajmer. My mother married my father Philip Jacob, in 1968. He is a Syrian Christian  - whom she met while she was studying at school around the age of 15, he was studying at St. Columba's School. One of the most interesting parts of my mother's life was that Shalini, some other friends and she, formed the first ever Delhi University's Girl Rock Band called "Mad Hatter" in their 1st year of college at Miranda House. My mother was the lead guitarist and singer. My mom also got to meet some members of the Beatles through some family. They played Holi with them, and then later she attended a private singing session with the Beatles hosted by her family at their home in Delhi, in 1968. My mother had four kids. She was also a piano teacher, and her youngest child and my youngest sister Arunima is autistic…

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The baby girl lived to be 100 years old

The baby girl lived to be 100 years old
Shanta Bhandarkar as a baby with her English Mother Louisa Bishop, and father Dr Vasudev Sukhtankar (with turban) and her uncle. Bombay, Maharashtra. 1910

Shanta Bhandarkar as a baby, with her English Mother Louisa Bishop, and father Dr Vasudev Sukhtankar (with turban) and her uncle. Bombay, Bombay Presidency (now Maharashtra) 1910 Image and Narrative contributed by Usha Bhandarkar Shanta Bhandarkar, my Mother in Law, turned 100 on February 25, 2010. On the occasion of her birthday our family gifted her an album with a collection of these old photographs, one of which is this as a baby. Shanta Bhandarkar doesn't have very good short term memory, but her long term memory is sharp. She remembers details like her mother's Christmas Pudding and the cakes that they used to bake. She studied at Sommerville, Oxford , UK and has travelled the world extensively.

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The friends who couldn’t speak each other’s language

The friends who couldn’t speak each other’s language
The Rao and Hagwane family, neighbours and friends, Pune, Maharashtra. 1962

The Rao and Hagwane families, Pune, Maharashtra. 1962 Image and Narrative Contributed by Pavitra and Usha Rao This picture was taken with my father's friend Mr.Hagwane and his family. They were also neighbours. The most unusual thing was that Mr. Hagwane did not speak a word of English and my father did not know a word of Marathi. They perhaps communicated in broken hindi. Mr Hagwane ran a Jeenus (grocery) shop. And that is how dad got to know him. I was around four years old. Our family is on the right side of the picture, and Mr. Hagwane's on the left with his one daughter and two sons.

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The Professor who founded the Surat University

The Professor who founded the Surat University
My maternal Grandparents, Surat, Gujarat, 1925

My maternal Grandparents, Surat, Gujarat, 1925 "My Grandfather was a very progressive man. Though he married my grandmother very young, 17 or 18 I think, he decided not to have children until she was in her 20s. He understood that she was too young to have kids so early. He was a Chemistry professor in Surat. After being trained in Manchester,  he and 2 other professors joined hands and found the Surat University. The watch that my grandmother proudly wears in this photograph, was a gift bought for her in Manchester."

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