ISBN 9789380032900,Leaving India: My family`s Journey From Five Villages To Five

Leaving India: My family`s Journey From Five Villages To Five



Westland Publications

Publication Year 2009

ISBN 9789380032900

ISBN-10 9380032900


Number of Pages 488 Pages
Language (English)

Travel & holiday guides

As the daughter of immigrants and the granddaughter of weavers, Minal Hajratwala grew up accustomed to crossing lines. In this groundbreaking work, she weaves together history, memoir and reportage to explore questions facing not only her own family but that of every migrant: Where did we come from? Why did we leave? What did we lose ang gain? Travelling the world, she learns how her family, originally from India, came to be spread across five continents and nine countries over more than a century of migration - a movement that parallels the phenomenal grown of India's diaspora. According to their own origin myth, the Khatris of Gujarat were descended from gods, kings and warriors. But by the early twentieth century, the clan had been reduced to eking out a subsistence living as weavers, so Minal's great-grandfather left the ancestral village in British-occupied India for the promise of Fiji. There, the family's rise from backroom tailors to department store moguls transformed its fortune. From that original flight and others to South Africa, the United Kingdom, Canada, Hong Kong, Australia and New Zealand, through the story of Minal's own parents' accidental immigration to the United States and her childhood in suburban Michigan, Leaving India delves into the relationship between personal choice and the sweeping historical forces - British colonialism, apartheid, Gandhi's Salt March and American immigration policy - that led her family to migrate again and again. This page-turning lyrical saga takes us on an unforgettable journey alongside one fascinating immigrant family and leads us to reflect on the universally resonant story of what it means to leave one home and choose another - both for those who do the leaving and for their descendants.