An affectionate portrait of a childhood spent in India during the last days of the British Raj.
In 1914 Godfrey Davis arrived in India, a junior officer in the Indian Civil Service. By the time he reluctantly returned to England thirty years later he was a high court judge with a knighthood. Sir Godfrey fell in love with India. He sympathized with the independence movement and shared a great friendship and mutual admiration with Mahatma Gandhi.
Wendy Davis inherited this affection for India and its people. In Dal & Rice she chronicles the memories of her childhood and offers a poignant and measured character study of her father. Her story is part social history, part travelogue, but mostly a very personal account of a relationship with an exotic, chaotic, and often mysterious country.
A near century of colonial rule left an indelible mark on India. Avoiding political or ideological perspectives, Wendy Davis has written a fascinating memoir that captures an unusual childhood and a vanished way of life.
"When India gained her independence and Pa retired ... his Indian judges continued to write to him in England. The ending of one letter from Judge Desaar was tear stained and hardly legible, so saddened was he by the deterioration of the justice system. Pa's dreams for India were also shattered. He believed, like Gandhi, that a country can never be divided on religious grounds and that partition was the greatest betrayal for which the British had ever been responsible."
- from Chapter 53, Following in Pa's Footsteps