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Growing abroad

Trinity Chua
Trinity Chua10/16/2017 08:00 AM GMT+08  • 11 min read
Growing abroad
SINGAPORE (Oct 16): Mohan Vaswani did not speak to his father for eight years. During World War II, phone communication was barely possible. And while Vaswani, his mother and his siblings were living in Sindh, India, his father was trying to make a living
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SINGAPORE (Oct 16): Mohan Vaswani did not speak to his father for eight years. During World War II, phone communication was barely possible. And while Vaswani, his mother and his siblings were living in Sindh, India, his father was trying to make a living in Indonesia.

When Vaswani’s father came back for the family, they had to leave India in a hurry. The country was witnessing large-scale violence due to the partitioning of British India into India and Pakistan. They left most of their belongings behind, expecting to pick up their life in Indonesia — where Vaswani’s father had a shop and a house. That was not to be. “When he came to pick us up, he left the [business] with someone [he knew] and the person sold it surreptitiously. He gave us [the equivalent] of US$1,000,” Vaswani says.

With hardly anything to their name, the Vaswanis took to selling fabrics in a shop they shared with others. In 1948, as business improved, they started a small textiles shop called Toko Vaswani in Malang, Indonesia.

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