Ancestral Affairs by Keki N Daruwalla: First Read

Published on Parsi Khabar.

There has been no news from Zarine for over ten days. I am worried. Resentments have been building up from her side. Resentments, in any case, are not hard to work on. I had put Rohinton, our son, in a boarding school at Lawrence College, Murree. Zarine had argued and fought. We need to make a man of him, I had insisted.

“Why so far?” Zarine shouted, “Why not at Panchmari?” Murree brought visions of gun-slinging Pathans to her mind. Worse, she thought there was no Parsee around for miles to act as local guardian. I had disabused her of the notion. The breweries there were owned by Parsees.

When Rohinton had returned after his first year there, I was appalled.

The boy said the school was full of the children of Tommies and he had to engage in over fifty fist fights. I couldn’t believe it, Zarine could. The fellow had been writing to her and she kept some of his letters from me – may have thought I would get too worked up. Next year, he was a bit happier. Less fights. But he was still there.

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