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MY PASSAGE TO INDIA: Pages from the Life of Annabel Mehta as told by Georgina Brown

World rights excluding India and the Indian sub-continent available

Annabel Mehta has fascinating stories to tell – all of them unusual, one of them absolutely unique…

More than fifty years ago, Annabel Lancaster an upper-middle-class young Englishwoman met and fell in love with Anand Mehta, a young man from Bombay studying for a master's degree in economics at London's LSE. When at the end of their studies he returned to India to run the family business, Annabel made the decision to leave behind Swinging Sixties England to marry him and start family life in Bombay. In 1966 she arrived on a boat at the Gateway of India bringing her Morris 1000 with her. The young married couple lived with his extended family in their bungalow in South Bombay and went on to have two daughters, the youngest of whom tragically died aged six after an allergic reaction to prescribed medication.

In the Seventies Annabel began working with Apnalaya, an NGO dedicated to improving the lives of those living the City's worst slums, work which today finds her deeply immersed among the poorest in India. In 2017 Annabel Mehta was awarded an MBE for her charitable work by Her Majesty the Queen. But Annabel has another very different role, one that is very special – her daughter Anjali is married to Sachin Tendulkar, the greatest-ever cricketer in the country where cricket matters most, making Annabel the loving mother-in-law to the most worshipped sportsman on earth.

This a story of India in several dimensions – the life of an English woman abroad, the grim reality of abject poverty seen at close quarters and an intimate portrait of "The Little Master" batsman and the extraordinary experience of being part of his world.

About Annabel Mehta:

Annabel was born in Solihull in 1940, sent to a girl's boarding school at ten and studied piano at the Royal College of Music before changing course to become a social worker. She met her Indian-born husband-to-be Anand Mehta while at the London School of Economics in the Sixties and married him in Mumabi in 1966 where she has lived ever since.

In the early Seventies she became a volunteer with an NGO working with the urban poor to improve challenging conditions in the slums, first as Treasurer and then as President for which she was awarded an MBE by the Queen. Her daughters's marriage to cricketing legend Sachin Tendulkar opened up a new vista in her life and created heaven on earth for Anand.

About Georgina Brown:

Georgina is a British journalist and theatre critic who has worked for The Independent and The Mail on Sunday for more than three decades. She recently returned from a three-year posting in Mumbai where her husband was a diplomat. She remains on the board of Literature Live, the Mumbai literary festival.

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