From Farewell the Winterline,
Stan Brush's memoir of a boyhood in India. Stan is
born in Khargpur, Bengal....
1: Beginnings, Time & Place
born shortly before midnight on November 8th 1925,
5-month-old Stanley held high in the arms, close
to the loving face of my first ayah, Marrimma.
She was a family servant from the Telugu speaking
region of south India.
A Humorous story in
the Winterline Journal:
Deefholts' "not so humble" Indian Cooks
the first floor bedroom of the American Baptist
Mission bungalow in Khargpur, Bengal,
as it then was. My mother, Helen Irene Humphrey Brush,
wife of the Reverend Mr. Edwin Charles Brush, was
attended by a midwife, Nurse Huston-Avis. She was
a medical staff member of the Bengal Nagpur Railway
Hospital, an institution located just a few blocks
from the American Mission.
from the fact that I turned out to be a boy - my
parents had been hoping for a daughter - the only
of the newly emerged little person, I was later told,
was my extremely deep-set eyes. This gave rise to
a short- lived concern about whether the infant
would be able
The first name "Stanley" was my motherīs choice in honor
of her closest college friend, Iva Stanley, at Denison University. The middle
name "Elwood" was my fatherīs choice in honor of the Reverend Dr. Elwood Harrar,
minister of the First Baptist Church of Camden, New Jersey, the clergyman who
had married Dad and Mother in 1918.
R E F E R R I N G T
O T H E P H O T O A
B O V E
family anecdote recalled the awestruck remark by
a now-forgotten relative who, upon seeing this
picture for the first time, remarked about how
much Helen (my mother) had changed!
These names, I might as well confess, were an embarrassment
to me as a boy. They did not carry the masculine cachet of names such as
William, Richard or Scott. But they have worn well and are perfectly acceptable
at the age of thirty-seven in 1923 - the year of
his arrival with Mother and John (aged four) in
India - was deemed by Mission authorities as too
old to learn a new language, so he and Mother were
assigned to English work in Khargpur immediately.
opinion now is that they were severely handicapped
in their ongoing encounter with Indian India
by not having this initial period of intensive
language study and the cultural training that goes
with it. On the other hand, British India was in
so many areas English speaking and Anglophilic
that it was possible to live, work and form deep
friendships there without mastering an Indian language.
In truth, English itself had become an Indian language
and remains so today.
an unusual and talented
Anglo-Indian friend in Khargpur Chapter 2