Troubador Letters from New Delhi

Released: 01/02/2013

ISBN: 9781780884349

Format: Paperback

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Letters from New Delhi

A sentimental journey

by

‘You see this ring,’ said grandma, stretching out her right hand to display a gold band set with rubies and sapphires, ‘it was given to me by the Rani of Pudukottai …'

So began one of the many stories my grandmother told my young sister and me about India – a magical-sounding country that was as far removed from Dorset in the Second World War as Dorset apple cake from Bombay duck. Little wonder that I longed to go there. But it was a dream that seemed destined to remain unfulfilled until decades later, when my doctor husband, Jim, was posted from the British Embassy in Warsaw to the British High Commission in New Delhi.

My book opens on the Scottish island of Bute where Jim was a local GP. From here to the fascinating world of diplomatic receptions in a communist country during the cold war was a huge jump. And when, two years later, we learned about our next posting, to New Delhi, I seriously began to think about destiny.

The idea took greater hold on discovering that I was going to India in exactly the same month and at exactly the same age as my grandmother had left it, in 1922. But would the country I had heard so much about live up to my dreams? All would be revealed in the many letters I wrote to my mother in Dorset, and in the accounts of our various travels. However, when a decision had to be made about our twelve-year old daughter’s schooling, we experienced the flip side of Foreign Office life which echoed my grandmother’s heartbreak on leaving India. Her stories are woven into the chapters of ‘Letters from New Delhi’ which is set against a backcloth of medical and daily life, on and off the compound of the British High Commission.

Jenny Campbell (r) taking part in a talk at Rothesay Public Library on 21st June, 2013, about the changing world of publishing and how to self-publish. Jenny's Letters from New Delhi was launched at a local bookshop on 2nd March and she joined forces with MacMillan Cancer Care at their stall during the Rothesay Jazz Festival, in May, donating half the proceeds from her book to the charity.

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