Tigers, leopards and tea: Dursley man Rod Brown recounts his India adventures
8:17am Sunday 16th February 2014 in News
A MAN who left Dursley to seek adventure in India at the age of 22 has written a book about his experiences.
Coaley-born Rod Brown moved to the country in 1951 after seeing a job advert in the Dursley Gazette for a trainee engineer to work at one of the large tea plantations.
He had been working at RA Lister at the time but wanted to leave the small town and monotonous work behind for pastures new.
Out of 200 applicants he got the job and so was off to the Bengal Dooars at the base of the Himalayas.
He had to learn how to speak Hindustani to communicate with the workers as well as learn about the cultivation and management of the tea plants.
In his book Tea & Me he tells of his adventures including close encounters with tigers, leopards, poisonous snakes as well as a plane crash and funny exchanges with the local villagers.
On his return in 1955 he married his childhood sweetheart Janine Rudge, who he had been writing letters to throughout his time there.
Mr Brown, 83, said it has taken him 12 years to finish the book and reckons it might be the only account written of that period in that part in the country.
Even so, he told the Gazette, he was surprised that it got published.
“I only really did it for my family. But when it was done they told me it was too good just to be kept in a box somewhere,” he said.
“They were very encouraging about it, they say it is an excellent story.”
Now Mr Brown, who lives in Broadmere Close in Cam, has been commissioned by his publishers to write another two books about his return to India for another ten years with his own family.
“I loved it out there. It is a beautiful country and the people are lovely individuals,” he said.
“It was almost like a second home. Life on the tea estate was obviously much nicer than in the village.
“I want people to know what it was like in living in India because it was a bit of a time warp.”
Tea and Me, by Memoirs Publishing in Cirencester, is now available to buy at most book stores at £18.50.