Note the spelling of Cawnpore.!
Whilst on the face of it, life probably did seem pretty good. The General Strike in England had taken its toll and the winds of war were looking in parts of Europe. Here in India it did indeed seem like a life time away. There was no returning to the UK on Leave and communication was scarce. They were there for almost 15 years and didn’t return ” home ” once. When the party mode had started to tarnish, and the endless sunshine taken its toll, life took on a routine and destiny all of its own. Homesickness was certainly one of the malaises….
However, on a sunny day and when my Grandad had time off, the family having been cooped up in Officers Quarters for too long, they took themselves off to the coast to enjoy the water. A short drive up the coast from Bombay ( No more Mumbai…I am British and trading on memories… LOL)
Day trips were always exciting and spent exploring the area. Family days to the Beach with spears to fish with, always concluded with cooking their catch on the open fire and watching the sun going down. The water was never so cold and they grew as brown as their neighbours. They found a local Pandit man to take them out and about and show them India as it should be
This was one of the last pictures they took before they headed up to the Hill Station to avoid the heat. It was in fact on their way. My grandmother insisted they dress up a little for the journey despire the searing temperatures. Once there, up in the Hill, they became isolated from Indian life and it became ( sadly) Little Britain. Full of wives; families and servicemen on leave
“I am not as unhappy as I appear in the photograph.”.. was written on the back.
I don’t know who it was sent to, and maybe it wasn’t sent, as it was still in the Souvenirs Box when I rifled through it… she had a similar expression on the previous Blog when they were out with friends. My granddad was away for a fair part of their time there and whilst initially she had thrown herself into both the Ex Pat Life as well as nursing, it had begun to lose its shine and loneliness had set in. Both boys were, by that time, away at Boarding School, but in India….not UK
( Next time.. Christmas in the sun. Fun. Laughter and plenty of Gin!)