Marks and Spencer Made Me

Janet H Swinney


Cape Kanyakumari (colonial name Cape Comorin), is the southernmost point of the Indian sub-continent. As the place where three seas – the Arabian Sea, the Indian Ocean and the Bay of Bengal – converge, it has both geographical and spiritual significance. It was here that, after sitting in meditation for three days, Swami Vivekananda resolved to dedicate himself to the service of humankind through the teaching of Vedanta.
A middle-aged couple arrive from the UK on the ‘holiday of a lifetime’. What significance will this auspicious location have for them?
‘A steady drizzle was falling when they got down at the bus station. A yellow dog skittered past them with its tail down. It was not the weather she'd been expecting in the South, so near the Equator. Perhaps she hadn’t done her homework properly. The dirt road ran with water and looked as though it had done so for days. The two Indians they’d hired to transport their luggage – prematurely ageing father and diminutive boy child – slip-slopped on regardless.’


Marks and Spencer; UK; Kanyakumari; Cape Cormorin; Tamil Nadu; post-colonialism; feminism; cross-cultural misunderstanding

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