ebook ∣ Flight to Freedom
By Swapna GUPTA
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Based on a true story, 'Meena's Story' coversa span of nearly eighty years from 1939 when her mother, Elizabeth Burdett, stumbled on an escalator in London and fell into the arms of a dark, handsome Indian. Before long, she boarded a P&O liner bound for Bombay, to join him. The voyage to Bombay was easy. The myriad challenges that faced her from the moment she was led to hide in the servants' quarters of her Muslim husband's family house in Hyderabad, that was something else - comic, ironic, and tragic in equal measure. Set in India, Pakistan, England, and Canada, Meena's 'flight to freedom' is not an escape from captivity, but rather an escape fromhaunting memories. The physical and geographical dislocations that affect Elizabeth(named Zareena by her mother-in-law) enmesh Meena as well. Swapna Gupta brings to a story of simple livestossed about by forces of religion and political violence a sensitivity and understanding that weaves together threads of love, family attachments, fear, loss, and remembrance in a moving narrative.