Following is a terrific story regarding our Indian links, from the June 2012 Bulletin of the Association of Poles in India 1942-1948.
Association of Poles in India 1942-1948
BIULETYN NR 44 JUNE 2012
THE LITTLE DOLL
Recently, a certain young Hindu named, Charitarth Vyas, who was studying in Germany made a visit to KrakÃ³w. Before leaving, in search of souvenirs to take home from KrakÃ³w, Charitarth came across a toy that caught his interest. It was an ordinary child's doll dressed in the folk costume of the KrakÃ³w region.
He was surprised by this because the doll resembled a similar doll dressed in a similar costume that had a special place among the heirlooms of his family in India.
He learned from his parents that once, before he was born, his parents had a guest named Agneska in their home who had given them her favorite doll as a memento of her visit. Intrigued by all this, Charitarth decided to find that girl and make contact with her. In the course of his search, he reached Mr. Stefan WiÅ›niowski of the Kresy-Siberia Foundation, and finally by a circuitous route, we [WiesÅ‚aw and Maryla StypuÅ‚a, former residents of the Polish Childen's Camp at Balachadi, now living in Warsaw, Poland] were contacted and asked if Wiesiek could help in this matter.
It was a good lead. We very quickly cleared up the mystery of that long ago visit and that little doll. In the spring of 1985, on an expedition to India of a group of eight members of the Jamnagar Club [former residents of the Polish Children's Camp in Balachadi], there were two young girls: Ala, daughter of Stefan Bukowski, and our 16 year old daughter Agnieszka.
During the course of their month's stay in Jamnagar, in addition to several visits to places connected with the Polish Children's Camp at Balachadi, the members of the expedition participated in a number of meetings with members of the local community in Jamnagar. One of these meetings took place in a huge girls' school where a young teacher of English named Ashok Vyas and his wife
Tanvi, not much older than Agnieszka, worked. The couple invited Wiesiek and Agnieszka to their home. According to Wiesiek and Agnieszka, it was a very pleasant visit. The young women spent long hours trying on and pinning saris, putting on makeup and preparing an Indian meal, while Ashok entertained them by playing the tabla drums. Later, Agnieszka visited the Vyas family twice more. During her last visit, she gave Tanvi her favorite doll dressed in the KrakÃ³w folk costume. That was how Agnieszka's doll became, as it were, a good luck charm for Tanvi who was pregnant at the time, and soon after gave birth to a healthy son.
As a result of Charithar's quest, Agnieszka made contact with him by e-mail and sent him several photos taken in the Vyas home during her visit, in addition to a photo of his father Ashok
from those days with a beautiful dedication to Agnieszka. Very happy to have found Agnieszka, Charitarth, sent her his sincere thanks and expressed his desire to continue their correspondence.
So it was that a little doll became a beautiful link between the days of long ago and the present, a trifle that became a catalyst in opening a new chapter of Indo-Polish relations.