Unsuitable Girl

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Fifty-one years on...meeting consequences.

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On January 1st 2018, in Kenton, Harrow, the Unsuitable Girl, myself, (real life version), 51 years on, met some of the consequences of her choice to walk through that invisible but oh so solid screen, dividing races, back in mid-century UK. 

 Usha (Pratap’s  sister here on a visit from India)) told us that because of the whole ‘unsuitable girl’ thing happening with us,  (1966) she was not allowed to go to England to study medicine which was her dream then.  Cue… even more guilt!

But I reassure myself that Bapuji and Ba did not want a highly educated daughter, because... 'we woudn't be able to find her a husband...' unbelievable but true, back in the day. 

So, she had to study in India, when the family moved there from Uganda, and she wasn’t allowed to study medicine.  

I said, ‘I feel guilty about stopping your studies in England,'

She said, ‘Why? I’m happy! No need to feel guilty!’ 

And Bijal  (her daughter) added,’Yes, and the reason Jeannie-mammi married Pratap-mamma was so that I could come to England!’

We had helped to check out a suitable boy, Sachin,  for Bijal, who then lived with her in  her joint family home in Jamnagar, Gujarat. 

Thinking back to that time, in the sixties, when we were focussed only on being together, all else faded. The consequences on other’s lives were marked. What compelled us? Was it selfish? Probably. Was it naive? Probably. But here we are, and the sky did not fall, the world kept turning. 

 

 

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