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Saturday, February 14, 2015

From Kippers To Karimeen - A Life by Psyche Abraham: Sneaky Peeky Sunday

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Was going through the books at an old and used book store and came across this beautiful cover. The mother baby bonding and the way the young woman is looking at the camera, add to that the overall soft shades in the image made me pick it up right away....

From Kippers To Karimeen - A Life is an autobiographical book with lots of pictures. And its quite interesting and quick to read....this is the page I am currently on.

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As a child, living far away from the bombing, the war did not affect me except, possibly, by the absence of sweets. Food, and especially sugar, was strictly rationed. But, though I didn't connect it then, there was one aspect of the war that did affect me.

 I think there was probably an air force station in Bude, or somewhere nearby, because there were a lot of troops billeted in the town who were naturally looking for a bit of fun during their days off from the war. There were also a lot of lonely women - single women whose husbands or boyfriends had been sent to the front, or like my mother and her friends, women with young children who had fled the bombing in London and other large cities. There was an atmosphere of 'eat, drink and be merry, for tomorrow we may die.' It led to a certain recklessness.

 My mother was a good-looking woman, even beautiful. She was tall, five foot nine, slim: her most
striking feature was her eyes, which were a luminous green and which changed colour according to the light that was reflected in them. She had a soft and sensuous mouth and a long and straight Spanish nose. In Cornwall, she had learned to ride and had become a good horsewoman. She had also become a competent surfer. In tune with the air of abandon of the times, I imagine her being very attractive to men, especially men living under the kind of tension that reality of death staring them in the face brings.

 So a great deal of carousing went on between my mother and her friends. She would come home late most nights. I would always wait up for her. When I heard the gate latch click and saw her walking up the path I would quickly jump into bed and pretend to be asleep. One night, I wasn't quick enough and she caught me and gave me a good thrashing, probably out of feelings of guilt.

 It must have been at this time that I developed a sense of insecurity that has never left me. Much, much later in life, I would worry myself sick if my husband was later than usual coming home from work, always imagining the worst, and because I was so dependent, wondering what I would do if the worst happened.

 During this time, my father was able to visit us only once. He spent the whole of the war years in London. For some reason that I don't know, and again, never thought to ask, he wasn't called up. He........

- Debolina Raja Gupta