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One World – One Great Big Family

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Leaving India: My Family's Journey from Five Villages to Five Continents By Minal Hajratwala“Indian diaspora” is one of those phrases that have become part of conversation these days. Most people mouth the phrase without thinking too much of it – yes, yes, it covers UK, New Jersey, somewhere else in America, Canada. And then the conversation trails off in vagueness. The reality of the far flung Indian diaspora does not become apparent until you get hold of a book like Minal Hajratwala’s. Her extended family consists of 36 first cousins strung out across the globe between Fiji, England and South Africa, literally five continents when you sit down to analyse them.

What she does is follow her ancestors on a very personal journey. One that started from Navsari in Gujarat in 1834, just after slavery was outlawed in the British colonies and replaced by another form of servitude, indentured labour.

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