Badr-ud-Din Tyabji’s first volume of memoirs is a personal record encompassing half a century of India’s recent history. The momentous changes this period witnessed are chronicled by Tyabji from a unique position of vantage. Diverse cultural and intellectual influences – an enlightened Islamic and strongly nationalist family tradition, tempered by a liberal Western education – shaped his forceful personality and distinguished career. This volume traces the author’s childhood and youth under the Raj, his experience as a civil service officer, the rough crossing over into Independence under the shadow of Partition, the shaping of the new sovereign republic, and his experiences of the Indian Foreign Service in its infancy.
The Tyabji family rose from a background of entrepreneurial prosperity to social prominence in an age when emerging nationalism was propelling the country swiftly towards a final confrontation with its colonial identity. These memoirs bring to life personalities and events of this vibrant period, not too distant but already sadly fading from national memory. The value of the book as a historical documentation is greatly enhanced by the author’s robust wisdom, eye for detail and wry sense of humour. But his sharp observation, unflinching candour and cutting wit are always mellowed by a lively curiosity and instinctive generosity of heart. A self confessed egoist, Tyabji counter – balances his nostalgia for the past with pragmatic evaluation without detracting from its essential period charm.
Publisher: VANGUARD BOOKS