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Shades Of The Tamarind Tree is a heart-warming memoir set in the backdrop of a Jesuit Boarding School in India in the 1960s.
The story had an obscure prelude with Pope Benedict VI issuing the Apostolic letter Nova in Indies for establishing a diocese in Patna, India. The sacred task trickled down to the Jesuits of Missouri province in the USA. Four years later, in 1921, the first batch of American monks arrived in Bihar's capital city, Patna, after undertaking an arduous 50-day sea journey from Boston.
Within a short time, events moved fast in the wake of the "first-five" going to work with seemingly boundless energy. With several parishes and schools coming up across far-flung areas of the province under the watch of Patna Jesuit Society, a divine calling witnessed during the decades leading to India's independence, over 150 American Jesuits move home from Midwest, USA, to Patna, India to support the work.
With possessions limited to a few pairs of trousers and shirts, a couple of cassocks, and a shared baseball kit, the priests added to their meagre worldly assets a treasure trove of love and admiration from countless grateful Indians.
When St Xavier's School Patna opened in 1940, it set into play events that would impact countless lives. The school became a model for many other Catholic schools in the city and places as far away as the Himalayan nation of Nepal and the distant Indian princely state of Jaipur..
The spectacular impact these Institutions collectively had on the rapid development of post-independence India is impossible to quantify.
Through the eyes of a child growing up in the shadows of the American monks, the author takes the reader into the fascinating world of "Fathers and Sons".