26 July, 2021

War Stories Of Home

Raghu Karnad mingles family story with history in a sparkler

Jitender Gupta
War Stories Of Home

Who were they, the young men in the silver-framed, sepia-tinted photographs on the walls of his grandmother’s house in Chennai? Grandma Nugs never thought to talk about her husband Ganny, her mischievous brother Bobby, or even the daredevil of a brother-in-law, Manek. The Parsi side of his family was a history Raghu Karnad knew almost nothing about. No longer.

The 32-year-old former journalist and son of playwright-actor Girish Karnad has just made a splash with his first book Farthest Field: An Indian Story of the Second World War, the res­earching and writing of which was a “rolling wave of serendipity” in which he discovered they were among the 2.5 million men and women who fought for the British Empire at the height of the freedom struggle in India. “When I discovered that family connection, and realised that a whole World...

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