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Tales Across Time: My family's life in India, 1846 to 1990
Lalita Gandbhir, who was born in 1938 and grew up in Pune, India, vividly and insightfully describes her family's life, spanning a period from her great-grandfather's generation to the recent past (1846 to 1990). She addresses everything from issues of caste to birthing and parenting practices to arranged marriages, family living arrangements, and customs. She covers such memorable events as the influenza pandemic of 1918, her family's periodic retreat into the jungle during epidemics of plague, ghosts that lived among people, mob attacks near her family's bungalow following the assassination of Mahatma Gandhi, and her own experience as a young child during World War II. She also profiles each member of three generations of her extended family, offering a portrait of a family that left behind a primitive agrarian existence in Konkan, Maharashtra for a more urban, professional one in Pune. The book also features contributions by several family members who share their own recollections. "I am writing this book," Gandbhir explains, "because my children and grandchildren wanted to know about the lives of their forefathers, and what life was like in India's villages, where their forefathers lived…The picture I have painted is incomplete. But I have done the best I can, so that hopefully future generations will have some knowledge about their forefathers."