Farah's Life Story

Farah's Facinating Early Life

By Lu Pearson

Photo:Farah Aged 3 years

Farah Aged 3 years

Photo from WRVS Heritage Plus Archive

Photo:Farah in Mumbai, India. Aged 3 years

Farah in Mumbai, India. Aged 3 years

Photo from WRVS Heritage Plus Archive

This is Farah's personal story of her early life in Persia and India.

"I was born in Persia in a town called Yazd on 18th July 1942. My family were very well  respected and well off. My father was a fourth generation Baha'i. My mother was from a well respected Muslim family. My father's great grandmother became a Baha'i in 1863. When my father was 20 years old and had finished his education, his Grandmother suggested he go to India to carry on in the family footsteps of running a business. In that year his family persuaded him to come to Iran and marry a Persian girl.

Kismet

One day when my mum was shopping, she went into my Father's haberdashery shop to buy some sewing tools for tailoring. She had lots of customers and also ran a class with 20 girl students who came to learn the tailoring business as she was famous in the town of Yazd. My father liked my mother very much so after a few months he asked all the men to write their names on pieces of paper. My mother's father put all the pieces of paper in the Qur'an, he then closed his eyes and picked out a name, whichever name came out first would marry my Mother. As he opened the book, he mentioned my father's name and he would marry my Mother. There were 2 wedding ceremonies, one a Baha'i and the other a Muslim.

Farah's arrival

My Father's Mother lived with my parents because her husband had died, so she was alone. It is tradition to respect their family. After a year my Mother was pregnant with me. As it was Summer and the weather was extremely hot, my parents went to the holiday resort of Hassanahad. Due to my size, it was very difficult for my Mother to give birth to me. My Father rode into town on a bicycle and brought an English nurse from the English hospital. The hospital was staffed with all British citizens and equipped with the best medical instruments. My Mother had booked beforehand to go to this hospital. My father and the nurse rode to Hassanahad with my mother.  When I was finally born, my family were very happy and came along to thank the nurses and help my Mum. After a few weeks they moved back to town.

Emigrating to India

When I was 7 months old I was going to move with my family to India because my Father left his business. My father still had not sold his old business. He owned a drug store with a coffee shop. While we were in Persia, my dad's friend looked after the shop. When my Dad was back in the shop he was very busy and he worked most of the time and he came home late in the evenings. My Mum was alone with me and my sister who had recently been born in India. My mother could not speak Ardu.  Fortunately she had a friend who was a Baha'i from Persia who could speak two languages. Her name was Iran, the same name as my country.  I learnt the English language at school and the Persian (Fari) at home.  I also learnt the Indian language from my Indian friends.

Tragedy strikes

On 30th January 1948 we heard how Ghandi had been killed.  A young man had stepped from the crowd, went to Ghandi and smiled and then put his hands together (an Indian greeting). Ghandi smiled at the man, the young man then took a gun from under his clothes, pointed it at Ghandi and fired three shots, he was right beside him. At every shot he took, Ghandi cried "hesumo" in a low voice which means "Oh God". After a few minutes he died. All the people were very sad and this horrendous tragedy affected many peoples lives. A few days later Ghandi was cremated and his ashes thrown into the water. There was a lot of violence and killing going on from the Hindu and Muslim's groups and war finally broke out.

Fleeing India

My Dad decided to flee the country. While all this was going on, my Mother was 7 months pregnant with my brother. The doctor said " It is dangerous, but it is a risk as every day is getting worse here anyway" I was very excited to travel on the ship, but on the other hand I would miss all my friends and school teachers, and also everything about India. My parents were also sad to leave the beautiful country and loving friends and kind people".

Farah's life is documented further with a series of personal photographs.
This page was added by Lu Pearson on 27/04/2009.

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