"Inspite of Mummy
The story of my family began six generations ago when my maternal great, great, great grandmother left India in rather confused circumstances to end up as an indented labourer in the West Indian Island of Trinidad.
Despite the challenges of being a single mother in a strange land, she inspired her daughter Gainder through example and Gainder married an ambitious handsome young man.
New laws were made as slavery was abolished, indented labourers could now buy land and so Gainder and her husband prospered. They bought large land holdings and had ten children to go with it. Life in the late 1800s was happy and contented for the family as they melted into a multi religious and multi cultural society. GainderÕs five daughters married well to pliable husbands and her five boys were happy to live off their fatherÕs wealth.
Three generations later GainderÕs granddaughter, Little Sparrow married and began what was supposed to be a long and happy life with Victor, a young man of means with two obsessions in his life - his wife and cricket. Three daughters later Little Sparrow died giving birth to a stillborn baby boy, an event that had been predicted by a faqir thirty-five years before.
Her daughter Carla, my mother, classy, beautiful yet haughty and disdainful, had a disastrous marriage to a wildly passionate man of humble means who loved her but could not leave his possessive mother. They separated two weeks before my birth.
Mummy could not come to terms with her broken marriage and what people would say. I became her punching bag and the reason for her lonely and miserable life. I also had the terrible misfortune of being the spitting image of my father and no doubt Òdestined to be a chip of the old blockÓ.
This book is a reflection on the first eighteen years of my life. It was initially inspired by a deep need to reflect and put issues to rest as I entered middle age. Apart from being emotionally therapeutic, writing this book was a wonderful experience in self-discovery. I indulged in the memories that were sometimes happy, sometimes thoughtful and reflective, and at times so very sad.
Children are judgmental yet the most forgiving of human beings and while they may naturally love their parents unconditionally, children may not always like what they see."
About Veena Masud
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Published May 23, 2012
Biographies & Memoirs.