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About the Book :
In 'The Sunny Days of Youth', a memoir, four friends reminisce together about attending Loreto House, a school for girls in Calcutta (now Kolkata), India. They look back 60 years to a long-ago time of school rules, Irish nuns, examinations, uniforms, little traffic, Bengali festivals, and family vacations. 'The Sunny Days of Youth' -- lines from the school song -- recalls a lost way of life.
But why this book, and why now? What started out as conversations among Krishna, Laurel, Nandini and Nini about being old school friends turned into something more than a simple memoir.
Ruby Lal, in her book on the girl child in colonial India, alluded to the unique nature of education reform in India that still resonated in the 1960s. Girls left their homes, and engaged in a privileged, still-new kind of general education at schools that were dedicated to their success as students.
The four friends' positive experiences at Loreto House were ultimately an outcome of these reformist educational efforts during the late 1800s. Yet, the four were neither dutiful, 'proper' future-women, nor were they saved from oppression by institutionalized, western-style education. What they did have was fun, and play, and freedom, and friendship.
This book is an effort to record, for the future, what being a girl child felt like and looked like, all those years ago. Beautifully and simply written, filled with vintage photos, 'The Sunny Days of Youth' is a treat for young and old readers alike. It's not just a school story, but a riveting record of a lost cultural experience.
About the Authors :
Nandita has an Education Honours degree from Calcutta University and later did a Bachelor of Education. She worked as a primary school teacher and, now, is retired. She lives in Kolkata.
After graduating from Calcutta University, Krishna travelled extensively on ships with her husband. Later she taught in schools and became a teacher of the hearing impaired. She opened a school for them with some like-minded friends. Presently, she is retired and lives in Kolkata.
Laurel went to the University of California at Berkeley and received her doctorate from the University of Chicago. She is now retired from the US diplomatic service, married and lives in Berkeley, California.
Nandini is an alumna of Lady Brabourne College and Jadavpur University. She later trained at Hamline University. Currently, she is Dean of Students at Garden High International School and guest faculty at St. Xavier’s College, Kolkata.