About Freddie Mercury Being a Parsi

By Vir Sanghvi in The Mint.

I know a lot of people are going to treat this as blasphemy so I better just come out and say this. I saw a DVD of a concert by Queen with Paul Rodgers on vocals and you know what? I didn’t really miss Freddie a whole lot. Of course, it wasn’t the same without the Mercury factor. The camp element was missing. So was the over-the-top nature of the classic Queen concert. As an Indian, I always felt a certain horrified fascination at watching a Parsi boy prance around on stage looking like a gay weightlifter in a Cusrow Baug gymnasium.

But apart from that, the concert was fine. Rodgers is one of rock’s great vocalists and while he can’t go quite as high as Freddie, he makes Queen sound like a rock band, rather than an opera queen’s little dalliance with rough trade.

It’s a funny thing about Queen, but I always felt that there were at least two bands struggling to get out from under Freddie’s leotard. My first exposure to the group came with the early hits, Seven Seas of Rhye and then, the song that broke them in the UK: Killer Queen. But, while both were full of Freddie-style whimsy (“She keeps the Moët et Chandon in a pretty cabinet/ let them eat cake, she says/ just like Marie Antoinette”), there were also harder-edged songs. Now I’m Here began like Arnold Layne, turned into full-fledged rock and even ended with a snatch of Chuck Berry’s Little Queenie.

The first time I saw Queen live, in 1977, the year of punk and the Queen’s Silver Jubilee, I was reminded of Led Zeppelin, whom I had seen at the same venue (Earl’s Court in London). Like Zeppelin, Queen had an acoustic set, a drum solo (by the prodigiously untalented Roger Taylor) and an entire section of guitar pyrotechnics by Brian May (no Jimmy Page, he). The concert sound was much heavier than the records, such songs as Killer Queen did not get a look-in and when it came to the complicated operatic bit in Bohemian Rhapsody, they played the record, went off-stage, changed their clothes and came back for the rock part (“So you think you can stone me and spit in my eye…”)

Only Freddie made it seem more than bargain basement Zeppelin. He wore a leotard, poured himself a glass of champagne and minced, “May you all drink champagne” to the audience. The following week, the music papers bitched: “In the year of punk, what could be more ridiculous than an old queen toasting his audience with champagne?”

Fair enough. But Freddie was a true original. He didn’t have the musical genius of say, David Bowie, but by daring to mix popular opera (more Gilbert and Sullivan than Puccini) and torch singing with heavy rock, he crossed genres with ease.

What most people did not realize then — mainly because Freddie lied about it — was that he was an Indian. Asked by interviewers about his ethnic origins, he said he was from Zanzibar. As no British music journalist knew where Zanzibar was, the matter was usually dropped. To the mainstream press, he said he was Persian.

I began to get suspicious when a Rolling Stone profile in 1974 revealed that his real name was Balsara. Persian? Aha, now it made sense. Obviously, he was a Parsi. But Freddie never acknowledged this. Asked why he had gone to school in India (in Panchgani), he said this was because his father was a civil servant in the service of the Raj. The Raj in the 1960s? Clearly, the man was lying.

That wasn’t all he lied about. Asked if he was gay, he insisted that his camp mannerisms were only part of an act: He was all hetero. In fact, he was a promiscuous homosexual who picked up truck drivers. In the 1980s, he even abandoned the long-haired hippie look and went for an over-muscled, gay look complete with a telltale moustache. Still, he insisted to the press that he was straight.

He had no need to do so. Elton John had come out in the mid-1970s without any damage to his career. Plus Freddie’s look and manner were so gay that you did not have to be Sherlock Holmes to work out that he batted for the other side. I saw Queen play at Wembley during their A Kind of Magic tour and wondered how Freddie could pretend that a) he was not a Parsi and b) that he was straight.

I wasn’t to know it then but that was Queen’s last concert. Freddie was diagnosed with HIV/AIDS and in keeping with a life of deceit, concealed this from the world. He only admitted that he was HIV-positive a day or two before he died.

There’s no real mystery about why Freddie told so many lies: He was that kind of guy. The mystery lies in the affection with which he is remembered. The gay community has forgiven him his lifetime of denial. He’s treated as a stately homo in England. And we in India do not resent his desire to have nothing to do with his own people.

And there’s the mystery of the longevity of the music. More people remember individual Queen songs than Zeppelin tracks. Go to any bar in the Far East and they’ll play Bohemian Rhapsody or Radio Ga Ga. A dreadful musical based on Queen songs (We Will Rock You) still packs in the punters at London’s West End.

Some of it, I think, has to do with the catchy pop-song nature of many of the hits: I Want To Break Free, Radio Ga Ga, We Will Rock You, We Are the Champions, Under Pressure (with that irresistible riff) and even, the appalling Another One Bites The Dust. Freddie didn’t write all of them and it is embarrassing to go to Queen concerts nowadays and hear Roger Taylor sing Radio Ga Ga on the grounds that he wrote it.

But I think the music needs a dose of reinterpretation. Paul Rodgers brought out the rock element in such songs as the curious Tie Your Mother Down and turned We Are the Champions into his own song. Queen have never recorded a rock song of the calibre of Rodgers’ All Right Now (with Free) and when he sings his own material on stage, you recognize that gulf.

Queen will now tour the world with Rodgers. As long as they ban solos by Taylor and May, and certainly prevent Taylor from singing and let Rodgers take charge, they could well lay the ghost of Freddie to rest — in whichever imaginary homeland he’s pretending to come from these days

  • Siloo Kapadia

    But was Freddy Mercury a Parsi? Did anyone stop to consider the fact that he may have converted to another religion, or just stopped practicing the faith?

  • Mark Dorial

    Great article
    though respectfuly disagree about the Freddie element

    He is the GREATEST OF ALL!

    ELVIS SHOULD BOW IN FRONT OF HIM
    LENNON SHOULD KISS FREDDIE’S FEET

  • A Google search on him throws up many results but this one seems interesting–>

    http://www.nndb.com/people/521/000044389/

  • Sorab Shroff

    Love your, “Parsi boy prance around on stage looking like a gay weightlifter in a Cusrow Baug gymnasium” comment! Although I’d like to think Freddie Mercury was a bit more articulate than those stubby monsters at the Cusrow Baug gymnasium!

  • Chathan Vemuri

    It’s really nobody’s business why he didn’t talk about his ethnicity. Try being an young Asian man in your 20’s in 1960’s Britain and you’ll see its no fun and games. He did what he had to, and he did it well.
    Leave him alone.
    Besides, in India, Parsis call themselves Persian all the time.
    Commentators just got confused when Freddie said it is all.

  • yon suprapto

    although possibly totally correct, i would say that freddie was the most famous asian singer in the world. as an asian, it made me very proud of him. thank you freddie!!!

  • Dawood

    Freddie Mercury was very special and completely different from others. Montserrat Caballe once had been quoted: “The difference between Freddie and almost all the other rock stars was that he was selling the voice.” Here I’ve tried to collect all notable tributes paid to Freddie Mercury by peers:

    http://www.tributespaid.com/category/f/freddie-mercury

  • Amit

    Very much mis-represented. Queen was more than rock – Queen was a sound by itself. Talk of musical genious – I think Freddie Mercury is very close to being the greatest – certainly the greatest vocalist of all music. He was a total package. Don’t put David Bowie in the same bracket. Most of the rockers are not really vocalists – well Freddie could go high ( 4 octaves) to low. Try reading what Mr. Robert Plant, Roger Daltrey say of him. Listen to Show must go on (all versions – Freddie, Elton John, Celine Dion) – tell me honest which one stands out. A true genious whose great musical genious is confused with his lifestyle. We know and should always evaluate a musician with his music. If you can do that, you will know what Freddie was.

  • Amit

    I decided to write a few more lines here because reading the response chain, I am not sure how much knowledge is present here about Queen and Freddie Mercury. Show must go on was his last true recorded song recorded when Freddie could barely stand up. Brian May who wrote most of it wanted him to sing in falsetto thinking he could not go full on – but Freddie wanted to go all out – listen for yourself to see the result. Bohemian Rhapsody is not just any composition – it is a special one – Ozzy calls it the most important material put on magnetic tape. Listen to the layered music, it turns a song to an epic – Mercury wrote,composed and obviously sang this one (you can see the genious at work here). What is rock music ? Can you define it ? Well rock music is about attitude, about making statements. I know many like the author thinks if you scream to the top of your lungs, you produce rock music (Well Axl Rose may represent a great band, but is not a great singer, so is David Lee Roth). Paul Rodgers – I don’t know how much you heard – well Queen with Rodgers could not come near to the original Queen (not surprising though – no one will be able to because Freddie was so unique). Rodgers actually is a lot of pop unlike what the author makes you believe. Rock elements Stone Cold crazy, Hammer to Fall, Headlong and many more. You will find all genre in Queen music because they experimented so much and unlike almost everyone else was capable of experimenting. I think the author is not knowlegable enough to write this article or has made it personal.

  • sid

    IN my book he was and always will be AAPDDO FREDDIE (our Freddie aka Farroukh) We are Indians repping all religions and we should be proud of him ..He was one the best voices I have heard ..right there with PT Bhimsen Joshi, RAFI, KISHORE..Sinatra ..oh heaven must be a great place to be right now :))

  • rashflash

    what load of Crap!!! Freddie Mercury was a better singer/song writer then Paul Rodgers will ever be!! Rodgers is so 1D!! Freddie had it all when it comes to vocal range and showmanship. Get your facts right. In England and the rest of the world Freddie Mercury and Queen ae considered as one of the best ever in the History of rock/pop music..

  • JJ

    i was surfing the net about Freddie and came across this article, what horseshit!! When we are all very old old old? people we will dig out his live act and Queen albums and think omfg this rocked! i have nothing against Paul but freddie was one of the best (if not the best) rock vocals and performer…ever!! Period! this not just by me but industry experts, other rock artists and fans, people with considerable more expertise and taste than the author.

  • sumit_desai

    Vir your piece is just an opinion masquerading as an unbiased article. Free better than Queen ? Rodgers better than Mercury ? Probably in the cuckoo land you inhabit.

  • eris

    I’m sorry, but this article is obviously less about music and more about attacking a dead man because he was gay and didn’t want everyone to know his business. First of all who the hell are you? Where is your album so we can all hear your musical talent? Because if Queen is as sub-standard as you insist your own singing, song-writing, playing abilitites must be immeasurable…. second of all I will not sit here and have you belittle Brian May’s natural and obvious class and abilities on the guitar(apart from the fact that the lyrics penned by him are some of the most moving sentiments committed to music) . Roger Taylor is a drummer who actually understands music. Do you know how rare it is to find a drummer who can READ music, let alone write it? Come on… Seriously, get your hearing checked and a personality replacement and then you will see what is so obvious to everyong else.

  • Diana Miranda Nath

    Freddie was amazing, that’s all. I live in India, his country, now, and can see exactly how difficult it would be to live in England as an Indian. He was whoever he wanted to be. By the way, I knew them pretty well in the 70s and went on tour with them (as a fan). I never saw Freddie pick up anyone actually, neither groupies or truck drivers. his common-law wife, Mary, came for a couple of gigs. Freddie was educated, elegant, light, flirty and sometimes moody. Always restless, always a perfectionist. May he sings to us forever from whichever cloud he now calls home.

  • Phil K

    Well, I ain’t Indian, I’m a fair haired, blue/grey eyed White Anglo-Saxon Protestant, but I’d say it’s a reasonable , even GOOD article.
    Freddie’s gayness wasn’t offensive as so many radical queers try to do in the west (their hypocrisies is what anger me) he had EVERYONE on his side. He was a genuine nice bloke.
    A beloved Brit.
    He made the most of what talent he had, and had plenty too – but this feller was right in that he was no Bowie-like musical pathfinder.
    But his sound has never been reproduced in the same way
    A true sign of greatness.

  • Jaq

    “You can be anything you want to be

    Just turn yourself into anything you think that you could
    ever be

    Be free with your tempo be free be free

    Surrender your ego be free be free to yourself”

    – Innuendo (1991) by Queen

  • Jaq

    This article is horribly biased.

    If he truly “lived a life of deceit”, why is his last partner Jim Hutton beside him in the studio sessions of “One Vision” that’s shown publicly to promote the single, then by his side en route to dates on the Magic tour?

    Yes you would have to be fan with some hindsight to catch it, but he did not outright concoct lies – rather he was coy and evasive, as you should keep in mind it is not his duty to offer his medical records and private life as entertainment or gossip fodder (since his band mates, nor Bowie who also goes by stage name, or Jagger had to), but his talent and creative labor.

    As for “hiding” his ethnic origin: why then does a quick search of online fan archives of media clippings about Queen, produce that: he’s born in Zanzibar (so nice of you to twist this fact and any geographical ignorance on part of some Britons, into a burden of Mercury who actually told the truth), he was schooled in Mumbai (has it ever NOT been a part of India?), likes curry/spicy Indian food, and adores Indian patterns on black shirts? He gave coy answers about his sexuality, but WAS on record to David Wigg about having relationships with both genders – again a fact.’ He also told Wigg the AIDS scare (remember the dark ages of ignorance about AIDS, widespread stigma and misinfo back then) had changed his behavioral patterns in mid-80s.

    Why continue to twist the man’s words and life, just so those (the Parsis! the Indians! the Zoroastrians! the Asians! the AIDS activists! the Gay advocates!) who missed out the bandwagon of claiming __their own piece of clout__ from Queen/Mercury’s cultural relevance and influence, can grind that eternal axe? You are of demanding sociopolitical agendas and figureheads out of people who just plied their trade and refused such exploitation. Enough is enough.

    As for the Bowie comparisons – does it really need to be pointed out, that Bowie adopts intellectual, conceptual approach (so whatever “path” he embarks on is more tell-tale), while Queen/Mercury are wholly anti-intellectual in music-making (despite their academic pedigree)? Does it really need to be pointed out, after your apparent window-shopping of Queen output over the decades (!), that this is a band about innovation in AESTHETICS, textures, experiments of harmonic soundscapes (soundtracks, layering of vocals, guitars and so on all as PARTS of an ORGANIC whole)? There are no sociopolitical agendas or claims of revolution being made, because those are NOT the only way to go about creation?

    Montserrat Caballe somehow saw enough in Mercury, to step out of her superdiva’s high tower in the “legit” (!) opera world, for collaborations that had her making claims that Mercury’s the “only one” who’s achieved a fusion of two distinctly separate genres. Are you aware of Mercury writing, composing, laying down Caballe’s guide vocals (yes he does her soprano most convincingly, with what he’s got) for the entire Barcelona album, at the drop of hat in her request? While terminally sick with AIDS?

    I’m beginning to see why this man just forged ahead and plied his trade. If he had to constantly babysit the feelings of all the sociopolitical agendas wanting to a lay a hand on him for Their Own Ends, as well as combating various societies’ centuries’ worth of “norms” and expectations, he would have never gotten anywhere, nor anything done!

  • Jaq

    please allow my 3rd reply on this article, as it is simply too thought-provoking: while we each wave our “banner all over the place” in our own separate ethno-religious/national/sexual etc. corners, i can’t help but wonder — wouldn’t it be a better use of our time and energy, to momentarily suppress the desire for simplistic verdicts on the entire life’s work by some, and instead question our own assumptions and see the inconclusive natures of our observations, and limits of our understanding?
    to wit, why does a “bargain basement Led Zep” receive attention from classical musicians, who spend months to years of their lives rearranging Queen tunes to allow for interpretation in THEIR own discipline? (London Symphony Orchestra, to British Turk Tolga Kashif, to English spaniard Carlos Bonell.) Is this purely a cash grab, without anything to cover the emperor’s naughty bits, or are there sufficient musical substance to warrant the bother that’s also garlanded Stones, Beatles, Led Zep, Bowie et al?
    Why do a cynical, critically lauded synth-elderstatesmen like Pet Shop Boys, publicly clamor to be backing band of Bowie (Hallo Spaceboy), and maybe even trashed Queen in their early days as all upstarts sought their spots railing against the “Establishment”, yet in their down time unwind to The Show Must Go On (Chris Lowe selects it for his Back To Mine compilation of all-dance content, with the Queen song its only rock tune?)
    how does the highly personal trauma of a Parsi homosexual vehemently rejected by his own parents and religion, crystallize into such compelling musical narrative (Bohemian Rhapsody), that it has been reappropriated by such diverse people as the Muppets, the biggest Chinese pop diva Faye Wong (with an audience of 1 billion people, many of whom would balk at someone of Mercury’s demographic identity or appearance), various comedians in TV, film, and stand-up routines, to amateur and school bands?
    What is it about the same man, same vocal talent, and same band, that their music have been mistaken by American R&B audience as being sung by a black man (Another One Bites The Dust), & covered by thoroughly American country-pop folks (Dwight Yoakham on Crazy Little Thing Called Love), to Industrial techno (Get Down Make Love by Nine Inch Nails – who also claims Mercury’s significance to him exceeds that of Lennon’s), and finally to even bands under Queen’s influence despite their homophobic claims (Stone Cold Crazy by Metallica; Guns n’ Roses.)
    Why do Czech fans travel all the way to St. Peters boarding school in Bombay just to see and sleep near a burnt piano once used by Mercury?
    Why do Japanese and Brazilian, to Hungarian and Russian audience who don’t speak a lick of English, still embrace Queen’s music decades after the band last played live in their cities?
    What is all this, if not reaching some common grounds for all people, through music that works on emotional connection rather than pretensions of agendas in manipulating cultural capital?
    And why does the great genius Bowie, find it “very peculiar” collaboration with Queen, to have produced a “very complex” Under Pressure from zero to completion over the course of just one evening? Why does the great Bowie himself now regularly perform it in his own concerts, finishing with a salute to the heavens at “Fred”? Why go through all this trouble for a vastly musical inferior?

  • Joan S.

    Freddie was one of a kind and loved what he did, had such driven ambition and foritude and was a champion to the end! Such an magnetic person, so well loved for his talent and personality who can stir conversation endlessly so many years after leaving this world, that’s someone truly special.

  • Indigociar

    This is absolutely scathing and reeks of bitter bias aswell as a sad inability to understand the guy. 

  • Indigociar

    This is absolutely scathing and reeks of bitter bias aswell as a sad inability to understand the guy. 

  • lily

    Wow! What a bitter pathetic article about one of the greatest musical geniuses ever. Do you not know that Freddie was bullied and made fun of during his school years in Panchgani? It is your experiences in a place that make you love it or not. As a Parsee myself, I feel so ashamed of the way homophobes in our community have not given Freddie the recognition he so rightly deserves. Honestly, till this day he is named the #1 singer of all time by people all over the world. Freddie will be remembered for a long long long time; will you?

  • lily

    Wow! What a bitter pathetic article about one of the greatest musical geniuses ever. Do you not know that Freddie was bullied and made fun of during his school years in Panchgani? It is your experiences in a place that make you love it or not. As a Parsee myself, I feel so ashamed of the way homophobes in our community have not given Freddie the recognition he so rightly deserves. Honestly, till this day he is named the #1 singer of all time by people all over the world. Freddie will be remembered for a long long long time; will you?

  • Lily

    Yes, Freddie was definitely a Parsee right until the end, even though like most of us he probably was not a practising Parsee. He designed his own funeral before his death, and it was a Parsee ceremony with Dasturjees performing the Parsee funeral rites. I am a Parsee and very proud that Freddie with one of the best voices ever, and a most charismatic performer was one of us.

  • niko

    Le quiero decir que siempre hemos sabido en latinoamerica que freddie era un indio parsi, de lo cual usted debería sentirse orgulloso. En esta parte del mundo AMAMOS a este maravillos hombre, cuya hermosa voz nos ha dado tantos momentos de felicidad y siempre su recuerdo estará en nuestros corazones. Que Dios bendiga a la Reina

  • Supersuri

    Of course its blasphemy! More, ignorance on your part.
    In a time when gays were literally witch hunted, you expected him to come out of the closet as soon as he hit centerstage? He took his time and did set an example. “im as gay as a daffodil” were his words to the same media.
    Freddie is undoubtedly the best performer that ever lived.Period.

  • Supersuri

    Of course its blasphemy! More, ignorance on your part.
    In a time when gays were literally witch hunted, you expected him to come out of the closet as soon as he hit centerstage? He took his time and did set an example. “im as gay as a daffodil” were his words to the same media.
    Freddie is undoubtedly the best performer that ever lived.Period.

  • Barak Aga

    Journalist Vir Singhvi was implicated in the Nira Radia Tapes 2G Telecommunications Scandal, which as exposed by India Today and Open Magazine. Criticism of Freddie stems from jealousy. Freddie became famous, Singhvi infamous.

  • Barak Aga

    Journalist Vir Singhvi was implicated in the Nira Radia Tapes 2G Telecommunications Scandal, which as exposed by India Today and Open Magazine. Criticism of Freddie stems from jealousy. Freddie became famous, Singhvi infamous.

  • Dara

    I’m just a poor boy, i need no sympathy –
    Because I’m easy come, easy go,
    Little high, little low,
    Anyway the wind blows, doesn’t really matter to me,
    To me.
    — Freddie

  • Dara

    I’m just a poor boy, i need no sympathy –
    Because I’m easy come, easy go,
    Little high, little low,
    Anyway the wind blows, doesn’t really matter to me,
    To me.
    — Freddie

  • Lily

    Actually, Zanzibar WAS under British Raj until 1963. Freddie was born in 1946, so yes, his father did work for the British Raj in Zanzibar. Please check your facts.
    Don’t you wish you had one millionth the talent that Freddie had in his little finger, Mr. Sanghvi?

  • Lily

    Actually, Zanzibar WAS under British Raj until 1963. Freddie was born in 1946, so yes, his father did work for the British Raj in Zanzibar. Please check your facts.
    Don’t you wish you had one millionth the talent that Freddie had in his little finger, Mr. Sanghvi?

  • Sam Telfer

    when did freddie come out

  • Grammalatergator

    Okay everybody, let this (hater) guy have it… I don’t even know where to begin.  For those who criticize Freddie for not coming out sooner about his sexuality and his illness sooner… The thinking at the time and the attitude was that gays deserved aids.  Freddie was hounded by the press right to the end. How could he even die in peace with his loved ones around if he had let on what was going on with him?  Dying is the most private and personal thing you can do in life and doing it with dignity intact is the hardest thing to do.  I hate that i have to defend  someone who gave so much of himself and his God given talent in his lifetime and yet could not do what we all must do, in the end, with a bit of privacy.  It was no one’s business what he did in he did in his private life.  I don’t ever recall his denying that he was gay, i may be wrong.  I just remember that he didn’t throw it in anyone’s face.  I don’t think that he was “in the closet” but didn’t make a big deal about “coming out”.  Who cares? The man was a musical genius.

  • Mimileejacob

    Montserrat Caballe said “having the voice” not selling the voice. There is a big difference.

  • Mimileejacob

    Montserrat Caballe said “having the voice” not selling the voice. There is a big difference.

  • JFB

    Mr Sanghvi, 1 simple question. Why are you interested in who sleeps with whom???  Can’t u just admire the remarkable talent that Freddie had? He was an inspiration to generations..If he wasn’t , why would modern rock bands have idolised him?? Maybe he didn’t come clean on his sexuality bcuz he knew the hypocrisy of his own countrymen. He was worshipped for his talent everywhere except in his home country…..What does a person’s sexuality have to do with his talent and genius………Focus on journalism please….& don’t mix business with pleasure….It may bring you more trouble than you already have.

  • JFB

    Mr Sanghvi, 1 simple question. Why are you interested in who sleeps with whom???  Can’t u just admire the remarkable talent that Freddie had? He was an inspiration to generations..If he wasn’t , why would modern rock bands have idolised him?? Maybe he didn’t come clean on his sexuality bcuz he knew the hypocrisy of his own countrymen. He was worshipped for his talent everywhere except in his home country…..What does a person’s sexuality have to do with his talent and genius………Focus on journalism please….& don’t mix business with pleasure….It may bring you more trouble than you already have.

  • Freddie wasn’t gay he was bi-sexual and pretty damned open about the whole thing; if he felt it was in fact your business to know such personal things.
    But that is precisely the point; it wasn’t any ones business but his own and the people he shared his life with. Celebrity status does not give anyone the right to the knowledge of personal information. It’s just that simple.

  • Freddie wasn’t gay he was bi-sexual and pretty damned open about the whole thing; if he felt it was in fact your business to know such personal things.
    But that is precisely the point; it wasn’t any ones business but his own and the people he shared his life with. Celebrity status does not give anyone the right to the knowledge of personal information. It’s just that simple.

  • Guju

    “Asked why he had gone to school in India (in Panchgani), he said this
    was because his father was a civil servant in the service of the Raj.
    The Raj in the 1960s? Clearly, the man was lying.”

    No his family probably moved to Zanzibar in the 30s or 40s like my grandparents did during the last years of the Raj.

  • Guju

    “Asked why he had gone to school in India (in Panchgani), he said this
    was because his father was a civil servant in the service of the Raj.
    The Raj in the 1960s? Clearly, the man was lying.”

    No his family probably moved to Zanzibar in the 30s or 40s like my grandparents did during the last years of the Raj.

  • Belladonic haze

    So much hatred and disrespect for such kind, talented and cultured “bringer of joy”. Ah, Freddie.. will this go on forever or will the cycle ever break and justice be done so you can really rest in peace?

  • Belladonic haze

    So much hatred and disrespect for such kind, talented and cultured “bringer of joy”. Ah, Freddie.. will this go on forever or will the cycle ever break and justice be done so you can really rest in peace?