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Being Jewish in Ahmedabad

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The Walled City (Library of Modern Jewish Literature)  By Esther DavidDavid belongs, like the poet Nissim Ezekiel, to the Bene Israel tribe which settled in India over 2000 years ago. The Walled City is the story of a Jewish girl’s coming of age in the very Hindu city of Ahmedabad. The girl David writes about lives in the area between Relief Road, Delhi Darwaza and Khamasa, a neighbourhood in which the Jewish extended family to which she belongs rubs shoulders with Hindus and Muslims, in a variety of roles, domestics, vendors and neighbours. Though the novel is supposedly fiction, it reads like a work of non fiction because it is so close to every day life as experienced by the Jewish diaspora in Ahmedabad.

One can only guess at the period in which the book is set because there is no reflection of the political upheavals sweeping the subcontinent, however, it seems to be set in the 1950’s.

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