Helping Anglo-Indians in India

 

Donations to CTR help the
destitute Anglo-Indian in India
No amount is too small
Thank you!

 

Subscribe to our free
"CTR Friends" Newsletter
 

Recommend this site
to your friends!
 

 

Book Cover for The Way We Were

 

 

 

The Way We Were

Anglo-Indian Chronicles

Edited by Margaret Deefholts and Glenn Deefholts

 

 

quote on. . . and, departing, leave behind us
      Footprints on the sands of time.  quote off

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

 

 

 

 

Paragraph heading for The Way We Were

 

When a species becomes extinct, the world suffers an irreparable loss. The same holds true for a culture. Archeologists and anthropologists attempt to reconstruct the values, language, and lifestyle of a lost people through artifacts and documents, but nothing can capture the vitality of a society, as can those who have experienced it firsthand.

The presence of the British in India gave rise to a sub-culture that flourished for the better part of three centuries. The Anglo-Indians, a hybrid people of Indian and European descent, carved a unique niche for themselves in British India. While their language, religion, and educational background were European, they developed a style of life that borrowed from both their British and Indian progenitors but jelled into something that was essentially their own. After India gained Independence in 1947, the majority of the Anglo-Indian community emigrated to the UK, Australia, and Canada. Today their children and grandchildren no longer have any psychological or emotional ties with India. In addition, most of these early Anglo-Indian emigrants are now elderly, and there is little doubt that their cultural heritage will, within a generation or two, be extinguished forever.

 

In 2004 "The Way We Were" was launched, inviting articles from across the world that described Anglo-Indian culture. As we stated in the guidelines:

 

“The publication, depicting our Anglo-Indian way of life, will cover a broad contemporary canvas. We would like to capture not only who we were but how we were in all walks of life - the way we lived, worked, rejoiced, loved, laughed, and cried.”

Over 80 submissions from both Anglo-Indians and non Anglo-Indians were received from India, Australia, USA, UK, Canada, New Zealand, and Germany. A panel of five judges selected 42 articles through a blind judging process, and these now constitute the content of "The Way We Were". The anthology has been edited by Margaret and Glenn Deefholts.

R. Dean Wright, Professor of Sociology (Iowa), who earned a doctorate for his thesis on Anglo-Indians, says, "I have looked back over the history of the Community and note several 'bumps' of cultural surge, times when the group took its destiny into its own hands and demanded it become something else. The something else was ultimately a movement to become more permanent, more lasting, to preserve its heritage for future generations . . . a cultural heritage that uniquely identifies that group as having a life that will last far beyond the life of any member . . . a heritage found in the arts." To this purpose, so well expressed by Dr Wright, "The Way We Were" has been compiled and published. It joins "Anglo-Indians: Vanishing Remnants of a Bygone Era", "Haunting India" and "Voices On The Verandah", a series of books about Anglo-Indians.

 

The publication of this book has another vitally important and synergistic function. The gross proceeds of all sales - publishing costs are borne privately - will go directly to CTR Inc., the charity helping less fortunate Anglo-Indians in India. The series thus serves a dual purpose: to preserve the culture of the Community and to provide much needed resources for its poorer members in India.

Blair Williams
Publisher, CTR Inc Publishing

PO Box 6345, Monroe Twp, NJ 08831, USA

Blair Williams, the publisher of this effort, is a Chartered Engineer (London) who immigrated to the USA from India in 1976. He has spent the last 24 years as an executive in manufacturing companies and is now an Industry Professor at Brooklyn Polytechnic. He is the author of a technical publication, "Manufacturing for Survival (Pearson 1997)".

 

On a visit to India in 1998 he was appalled to see the condition of the seniors of his Community, evoking the all too distressing realization that, "there, but for the grace of God, go I." On his return he set up CTR Inc., a 501c(3), 'Not For Profit' charity, expressly to help indigent Anglo-Indians in India. Today the charity provides monthly pensions to over 230 seniors in three major cities in India and is helping to educate over 100 children.

 

back to the top of the page

 

"The Way We Were" is a wonderful record of the rich history, heritage and culture of Anglo-Indians. By raising funds to support the work of CTR Inc., the book not only remembers the past, but also makes a vital contribution to helping members of the Community in India today.

Alison Blunt

Professor, Queen Mary's University, London

Author: Domicile and Diaspora

 

 

back to the top of the page

Anyone interested in the past and present Anglo-Indian community and culture will enjoy this anthology. This new book is warmly recommended.

Rosie Llewellyn-Jones

Indian historian and editor

back to the top of the page

"The Way We Were" says it all and keeps us more fortunate 'ex-India wallahs' in touch, as well as raising funds and awareness, thanks to CTR.

Hazel Craig

Author: Under the Old School Topee

back to the top of the page

I received two copies of TWWW. It has a fetching look about it. Shall start reading it after the Semester gets under way.
Congratulations on producing what must prove to be a fine , much needed insiders' view of the community.

Jaysinh Birjepatil

Author: Chinnery's Hotel and Professor English

Vermont, USA

back to the top of the page

It is a beautiful book about a wonderful people. I am doing a piece for Desi Talk, with large quotes from your preface.

Jyotirmoy Datta

Senior Editor Arts

News India

New York, USA

back to the top of the page

Blair . . . You have been holding out! You must give us lessons in thigh dancing before it's too late. Great book. Wonderful essays. Will send you my enthusiastic comments in full after I finish reading it.

Stanley Brush

Author: Farewell the Winterline

New Jersey, USA

back to the top of the page

I've been dipping into the copy of "The Way We Were" you so kindly sent me, and I must say it's a lovely compilation, which I can already see will give me much pleasure. Well done all concerned.

Among the many things I've enjoyed is David McMahon's account of that fraught cross-country car journey with such a perilous substitute for a fuel tank.

Your own recollections of Jamalpur, Blair, where I spent much of my early years, accords closely with mine, when I was the sole Anglo-Indian in my form at St Francis College in Lucknow. Boy, did I have to struggle to compete!

Altogether a valuable historical record of a vanished lifestyle, preserved for posterity on the very brink of its disappearance from humanity's collective experience.

I'm already looking forward to the sequel!

Peter Moss

Author: The trilogy, 'Bye-Bye Blackbird', 'Distant Archipelagos' and 'No Babylon', a prodigious number of other works, and his most recent publication, 'The Age of Elephants'.

Hong Kong

back to the top of the page

 

 

This is a title of a well-known Barbara Streisand song that fills the bill admirably as the title of a book written by Anglo-Indians about their past lives in India before most of them had emigrated to the UK, Australia, New Zealand, Canada and the States when Indian Independence and Partition forced them to think seriously about their future status in the land of their birth.

 

Each chapter points up a particular aspect of being an Anglo-Indian and I was struck by the cheerfulness and kindness displayed by a people who had every reason to bemoan their fate and to hate some of the British people in India who gave them such a bad time. They were party animals on the whole and loved to entertain friends and strangers alike, and it must have been so hurtful when they were rebuffed by some of the less sensitive British (and Indians).

 

I had some lovely Anglo-Indian friends during my time at Mount Hermon School Darjeeling in the early 1940's. There was a warmth and humour about them that will remain forever in my memory, and I loved the way a few of them would say, "Come on, my girl" to me just as their mothers would say to them. It was so heart-warming and so comforting to a little boarding school wallah. Today, in my advancing years, I realise, too, how well-educated most Anglo-Indians were and how nasty it must have been for them when they were looked down upon by less literate as well as posh and prejudiced Brits.

 

The book's chapters deal with so many aspects of Anglo-Indian life and should be compulsory reading for anyone who has lived in pre-Independent India. Many bells will be rung and there will be many revelations, as there were certainly there for me, one in particular being the wonderful matriarchical stance of mothers and grandmothers, who played such a part in the upbringing of the children.

 

One learns too about the meals produced in Anglo-Indian kitchens, and the disciplines practised by the older generation in bringing up the young, all of which were closed books to me during my time in India. Why, oh why, couldn't we have all mixed and learned from each other?

 

Thanks to "The Way We Were" we are learning at last.

'Chowkidar'

BACSA

back to the top of the page

 

 

paraheading

 

Eulogy and elegy on beautiful Anglo-Indian community scattered all over the globe
 

The Anglo-Indians, a hybrid people of Indian and European descent, carved a unique niche for themselves in British India.
 

By Jyotirmoy Datta

 

"The Way We Were - Anglo-Indian Chronicles", edited by Margaret Deefholts and Glenn Deefholts, published by Blair Williams, CTR Inc Publishing, PO Box 6345, Monroe Twp, NJ.

 

This anthology is both an eulogy and an elegy on a wonderful community now scattered all over the English-speaking world, facing extinction because of its wide dispersal, and the stretching, tautening and snapping of its India roots.

 

The presence of the British in India gave rise to a sub-culture that flourished for the better part of three centuries. The Anglo-Indians, a hybrid people of Indian and European descent, carved a unique niche for themselves in British India. While their language, religion, and educational background were European, they developed a style of life that borrowed from both their British and Indian progenitors but jelled into something that was essentially their own. After India gained Independence in 1947, the majority of the Anglo-Indian community emigrated to the UK, Australia, and Canada. Today their children and grandchildren no longer have any psychological or emotional ties with India. In addition, most of these early Anglo-Indian emigrants are now elderly, and there is little doubt that their cultural heritage will, within a generation or two, be extinguished forever.

 

"In 2004, 'The Way We Were' was launched, inviting articles from across the world that described Anglo-Indian culture. As we stated in the guidelines," publisher Blair Williams says in the Preface. "The publication, depicting our Anglo-Indian way of life, will cover a broad contemporary canvas. We would like to capture not only who we were but what we were in all walks of life - the way we lived, worked, rejoiced, loved, laughed, and cried."

 

Over 80 submissions from both Anglo-Indians and non-Anglo-Indians were received from India, Australia, U.S.A., U.K., Canada, New Zealand, and Germany. A panel of five judges selected 42 articles through a blind judging process, and these now constitute the content of 'The Way We Were'.

 

R. Dean Wright, Professor of Sociology (Iowa), who earned a doctorate for his thesis on Anglo-Indians, says, "I have looked back over the history of the Community and note several 'bumps' of cultural surge, times when the group took its destiny into its own hands and demanded it become something else. The something else was ultimately a movement to become more permanent, more lasting, to preserve its heritage for future generations ... a cultural heritage that uniquely identifies that group as having a life that will last far beyond the life of any member ... a heritage found in the arts."

 

 

(Regrettably, the original article published on the Times of India Book Review page, has now been archived)

 

back to the top of the page

 

 

 

Book Cover for The Way We Were. 100% of proceeds go to CTR!
The Way We Were

US: $16.95 + (S&H- $3.00)
OTHER: $16.95 + (S&H - $12.50)
S&H for two $15.50

back to the top of the page