It was an amazing day! The night before, Joy Ma emailed me a link which was forwarded to her by a friend, about Dr Payal Banerjee from Smith College, MA, speaking at Stanford. The topic was: The Chinese in Post-1962 India: Internment, Nationalism, and the Embodied Imprints of State Action. It was the first time that anyone outside the Internee/Chinese Indian community was going to talk about the internment. We both, decided to attend. I took Noel, Nikki and Alice Tam with me.
We arrived early and had the fortune to have a conversation with Dr Banerjee. As we chatted, she realized who I was and with wide eyes asked me "Are you Yin Marsh?" To my surprise I replied, "Yes. and this is my husband, Noel, my friend, Alice Tam, and my daughter, Nikki." She said "I remember Nikki. You wrote the foreword!"
She told us she had planned to use many excerpts from my book and didn't realize I was going to be there. At the same time, I had no idea that someone would be using my book as reference. She asked my permission, and of course, I gave it. We were all blown away. Then, instinctively, she and I both ran towards each other and hugged one another. We all shed tears. It was serendipity!
Dr Payal was a very warm, insightful and sympathetic speaker and though her research is on globalization, labor, and migration, this topic of Chinese Indians and their fate after the '62 War has become her passion. She also made reference to Kwai Li's Oral History of Deoli Internees, and Ming Tung Hsieh's book "The Lost Tribe."
Thank you, Joy, for sending us the link and Payal for bringing up the subject of Chinese Indian internment in a university setting for the first time. We were all thrilled to meet you!