A personal record of one of the most significant, yet least written about, decades in Indian history
Daniel O'Connor and his wife arrived in Indian in 1963, virtually the last days of the Nehruvian era, to live and work at St. Stephen's College, Delhi. This was the beginning of a relationship that was to last almost a decade. Being part of a creative college community that mirrored all the effects of a newly realized post-colonial consciousness and the anxieties and hopes of a nation coming to grips with post-Nehruvian existence, the young couple witnessed and participated in many tumultuous events.
As teacher Dr. O'Connor taught midnight's children in the almost idyllic environs of the college. As chaplain he attempted to negotiate a formal post-colonial religious role in a richly pluralistic context. As a young expatriate there was family life to cope with: setting up house and bringing up children in a city trying to get rid of its imperial past, in a society contending with food shortages and rationing, unemployment and communal conflict. Accompanying all this were two wars and political tumult, both outside and inside the college, as students got caught up in the excitement of revolutionary activities under the influence of Maoism and the Naxalite movement. Yet, for all the difficulties and anxieties, it was a happy and fulfilling experience, always interesting, enriched by enduring friendships across barriers of race and creed.
Covering political events and social concerns, dotted with delightful vignettes of college life-from staff politics to the Shakespeare Society's theatre productions - Interesting Times in India, engagingly written and fondly told, seamlessly combines both popular history and personal memoir.
About the Author:
Daniel O'Connor was born and brought up in northern England, with a grammar-school education. His first two degrees are from Durham University, and he subsequently did a Ph.D. at St. Andrews in Scotland. He trained at Oxford for priesthood in the Church of England, and married Juliet, a school-teacher, before coming to India. After their 'interesting times' there, they returned to a life combining priestly and educational work in England and Scotland. They retired to St. Andrews, to be relatively close to their family, where he writes and is assistant gardener.
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