words sarah tanburn | images marguerite dabaie 

“I rode my pony in the forest," she said waving a hand across the expansive view.

“Was it safe?"

“Of course," she claimed. “I went on my own."

I struggled with the image of the daughter of the local white commander in those last days of the Raj cantering unaccompanied through the thick trees of the Kasauli hills. She would have been a little girl. At seven, she was taken “home” to the country she had never seen, to that dreary school high on the Yorkshire moors. Her parents returned to India without her. 

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