Birth of Our Son

We chose Indian High Commission in Karachi thinking of the facilities the High Commission would provide for us but this was a very costly choice. Our son, Francis was born in Karachi and our daughter was born in Islamabad.

Francis was born on 20th June 1965 and our daughter, 25th August 1967. Because they were born in Pakistan they used to be called Pakistanis.

Soon after Francis was born, war broke out between Pakistan and India.

There was complete blackout. In the night soldiers would surround our house to see that the blackout was observed. The house we lived in Karachi was fully furnished and also with the best crockery and other arrangements. Every day the Pakistani soldiers would ask us to give them some gift and we were forced to give them good pieces of crockery sets. There was a lady, a Kashmiri Muslim in our neighbourhood. She took pity over us and used to visit us in the dead of night asking us whether we needed something. The Kashmiri Muslim lady gave us a copy of Holy Quran with interpretation by her learned husband. Soon there was a decision that all the Indians should live together so that the Pakistani military police could check all of us at one place. There were more than 300 of High Commission people with their families. The youngest prisoner was our son Francis. Here we had more freedom within the compound.

K.P.S. Menon junior was the High Commissioner in Karachi at that time.

Francis was born in the Hospital where as luck could have it the gynaecologist was a Christian lady from Mangalore who was still serving in Pakistan. The question of baptism of Francis arose. Everyone said the baptism could also be conducted in Karachi. There was one Mr. Thomas in the High Commission and his wife, Elizabeth, were ready to be the God parents of Francis. So Francis was baptized in the Church. At the time functioning well in Karachi, I remember Francis crying loudly when the holy water was poured on his head. So Francis had also with baptism and his God parents in Karachi. Unfortunately we lost touch with Mr. Thomas and Elizabeth, his God parents. They seem to have gone to UK and settled down there where their daughter also had settled down.

I cannot help mentioning Mr. Gopalan and his family of Indian High Commission, who lived near us. Gopalan had two grown up daughters. There were stories that if the war raged there will be great confusion. Mr. Gopalan instructed his teen age daughters to jump from their 2-storey house and commit suicide in case the Pakistani military police started looting and raping. Mr. Gopalan had a heart condition and he felt that he may not outlive the Pakistani posting.

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