“When I was in India…”

I remember as a child being enraptured by my father’s stories about when he was in India during World War II. Instead of the usual bedtime story intro, ‘Once upon a time’, his stories often began with, “When I was in India”. 
Most of the stories were, of course, about personal wartime experiences. Fighting side-by-side with fellow troops and allies. Of bravery. The Sikhs. The Gurkhas. 
Instilling in me a love for this far away exotic land. 

“When I was in India…”
My father always said,
When he told me tales as a child
Before I went to bed.

He told me things I can’t now recall
About World War history
The unknown mystery,
magic and tragic of it all.
He painted vivid colours of the land
At first hand,
Calcutta, Kashmir, Nepal
Tales from the war—
Side by side with Sikh and Gurkha
At Kohima and Imphal

I feel sad but glad
When I think of dad
And tales he told
From times of old
That all began with,
“When I was in India!”

India hoists its flag today 
Free from British rule
I wish it prosperity and health
(and that it stays in the Commonwealth)
Flying its flag with pride
And I dream one day to see
The land dad shared with me
As a child

Lesley Scoble – August 2021

15th August 1947


India’s Day of Independence is observed and celebrated in India with a national holiday on the 15th August. India became free from British rule on the 15th August 1947.

Happy Independence Day!

There’s great cricket England v India at Lords today! 🏏

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