Lost and Found – A Wahindi Story


It is a summer morning in 1962 when Surish Patel arrives in London via a British Overseas Airways’ shiny VC10. Wrested from the only life he has ever known in British Kenya by the Mau Mau riots, he steps off the aircraft with only one hope: finding happiness in his new home. Freshly arrived in the mother country, he, a young British Kenyan man of Indian origin, is about to begin an unforgettable odyssey of self-discovery.

It is not long before Surish settles in the small, seaside town of Blackpool, Lancashire. But even as he seeks to make a name for himself in London with the hope of passing as an English gentleman, Surish still struggles with heart-wrenching grief of having to leave his family and customs behind. When asked, he reminisces and explains to new and curious Anglo-Saxon friends in London his stories of Colonial East Africa, the Wahindi culture, and the religions affecting his way of life. Eventually, loyalty to his beloved family pulls him back to a different, recently Africanized Kenya.  Now, as he cares for his widowed mother, he is torn between his obligation to fulfill an arranged marriage and pursue his English rose, the love of his life. He is lost.

In this compelling tale based on true events, Surish explores a new way of life and cultures in an uncertain world where he soon learns more about himself than he ever imagined.

About Surish …

In the novel Lost & Found, a Wahindi Story; Surish, a preparatory school graduate in 1962 Nairobi, British Kenya, the reader instantly and impetuously interacts with him. Like most university bound students of his time, Surish has a dream in his heart, but in naiveness, he also fails to recognize his limitations. Whilst reading the novel, Surish’s forceful enthusiasm and energy makes it irresistible for readers not to compare their own lives with his. In conversations with his high school chum, Nari, he acquaints readers with the Indian way of life in British East Africa when he is schooled to compete among Europeans.

In this diversified nation, Hindus, Muslims and Christian cultures fascinates Surish. With Colonialism coming to an end, their Camelot is disrupted. Known as a paradise on earth, Kenya is on verge of collapse. Unprepared African nations pop up making it hard for young Surish to grasp the outcome of the Mau Mau uprising. During talks of Africanization, Indians lose their birthrights and are forced to leave their country. Whilst studying in the United Kingdom, he could not believe that the British secured their own future, and abandoned the Indians back home. He is worried about his family and friends.

In London, Surish’s train of thought steams ahead, as politics and passages from history fades in and out. When his British friends ask why African Indians are called ‘Wahindi,’ Surish shares with them stories such as the birth of Islam or Queen Isabella’s dream to colonize India and make it a Catholic nation. Like any youngster in London, he falls in love and pursues his English rose, but is challenged to make the East meet West in his home.

What is the Main Goal of the book?

Lost & Found, a Wahindi Story – Reading this novel will change the rest of your life. No, that’s not true. But it got your attention. It is an entertaining, romantic adventure set in the life of a young man, Surish, who loves the world around him. At one time or another, all of us, get lost. After the trials, turbulences, and victory, we discover strength that we thought we never had. The fascinating story anchors no particular moral, except Surish’s story is everybody’s story.