Many of us live between two worlds, never quite fitting in. Even though this lifestyle can be stimulating, it can also be very frustrating and lonely. This creative tension is why I write.
Members of our Dutch American family have lived in India since 1938. I was born in the hill station town of Kodaikanal in 1959 shortly after my parents began their teaching careers in Kodai International School. I studied there until leaving for America in 1977. After completing a self-designed BA in medical anthropology and history in 1981, I trained as a family physician at the University of Minnesota. My wife Tamar and kids joined me in 1990 to make a new life in India. We lived in Kodaikanal for ten years, then moved to the plains near Bodi. I was granted Indian citizenship in 2006.
Working as a village doctor, I have been privileged to bring the gift of healing to many. In return, the warm-hearted Tamilians have given me India. I want to share little happenings from their lives, Betweenpatti stories which illuminate an age-old truth. Whether in your village or ours, we are members of the same species– one cranky, wonderful, eccentric, and occasionally transcendent group of creatures who share a moment with the neem trees, jungle babblers, sami ants, and all the flossy seeds blowing in the wind.