THE FAMILY KUMAR
The year was 1956 and I sat in my Grandfather’s lounge
In his comfy chair beside his rotating wooden Bookcase
With each revolution different books appeared
Telling the stories of future or past.
One in particular caught my eye
And I decided to pull it free as it circled by
The title ‘The Family Kumar’ seemed fascinating
I pushed the bookcase further
And grabbed this book as it passed.
Around its leather binding, my choice still had a paper sleeve
Slightly ragged around the edge, but clearly illustrating the Indian Sub-continent
Painted with vivid pictures of workers on their land,
And in the background stood a busy village;
Bullocks pulled two wheeled carts along dusty tracks loaded with wood for fires
And young women queued to pump up water,
Clearly it all depicted that a meal was about to be prepared.
And that is just where the story began, as I started the Introduction.
I opened the volume and began my read.
Set in India at the time of the British Raj.
At first it seemed a quite happy tale.
The family was comfortable with food, water and a bungalow.
And they all worked together at different jobs on their four acres of fertile land.
They really had a comfortable life, except for Adam.
He was the eldest son and politically aware, unlike his four younger brothers
He objected to the British presence, even though his father disagreed.
‘They have brought us food, water, medicines and banished fraud,
And, now we all have a fair chance to progress’.
‘We can join their Army, their Civil Service and they give us education’.
I had been very young , but I still recalled the stories from 1947
Indian independence from Britain,
and resulting murderous conflicts with neighbouring Pakistan.
As I read further it was clear that Adam had been involved in uprisings
He was on the run from the British officials, and yet his love was Kate.
Kate was a Consular Secretary, a member of the ‘other side’.
Life was very confusing for 24 year old Adam, but he loved the auburn hair of his young lady.
As he grew older the pull of the politics weakened, and yet his friends despised this.
How could he love an English maiden, yet hate her nation.
He almost agreed, but his love was stronger.
Over the following weeks I hardly put the book down.
As time passed I felt closer to the members of the Kumar family.
How would their lives evolve in this changing World?
The book finished adruptly, with many questions still unanswered
Did Adam and Kate get together?
I had to know.
The last page of the book advertised a sequel ‘,The life of the Kumars’
I had to get that book to find out what happened!
But it was not to be found In my Grandfather’s rotating bookcase.
If this story is of interest, perhaps you may wish to get hold of the (currently out of print) book:
‘The Asian Community, Medicines and Traditions’
By Dr M A HEALY and Dr M ASLAM Silver Link (1990)