Sanjana, with her grandfather
"To begin my story, I will start with our present year, 2019. This year I will be turning 43, and for the 40 past years, I have been living in Denmark. You may be thinking that there is time missing between my birth and my life in Denmark? Stay with me and I will explain.
Let's start with the basics. In 1979 I was adopted at the age of 3 from India. Ever since then I have been known as Casper to friends and family here in Denmark. My adoption has always been known to me since for the most part, I have stood out in my brown skin compared to others in a predominantly white surrounding.
Growing up I always have been curious about my past and where I came from. Culturally though, I did not know much about my birth country for a long time. Time passed, and I began to visit the library more frequently and would pick up books or anything that was remotely linked to India. I buried myself in books, which also eventually landed me studying Indian Studies at the university. My achievement for getting into university is something that still surprises me till this day because I never loved school or studying and I was never one of those overachievers with grades to match it, but I guess I was pretty determined at the time. Although it was a short-lived experience, I did go on an Indian study tour back in 2005. Fast forward, it would take me another 10 years before I returned to India. During my second visit, I visited Coimbatore - my place of origin and a place that I had not been back to ever since my adoption. With my visit to Coimbatore, my urge to know about my first family also grew stronger, and 4 years later, in January 2019, I returned to Coimbatore, again. This time, I went there with “ACT”, a child rights organization based in the Netherlands who has helped many adoptees, especially from India to reconnect with their Indian family.
Together with ACT and SCED, I visited my village, and this is what I know so far about my time before I was adopted. My name was Rajkumar, and I was born in Linganur. My father suffered a paralytic attack, and his wife (my mother) supposedly had left him for reasons unknown. Later I was handed over to Blue Mountain Children’s Home around 1978. There are people in my village who do remember my father, but after 1986 he disappeared, and no one knows where he went or what happened to him. While he was living in Linganur, he would be staying together with my grandmother, and they worked as coolies. I returned from my trip to India without finding any of my relatives, however, I still have a glimpse of hope. Maybe it is naive on my part, but it is all I have. If you by any chance have reached here, I want to thank you for listening to my story.” (Denmark)
Casper lives in Denmark where he is working on developing a realistic fiction cartoon about a boy adopted from India and in search of his roots. Follow his work on Instagram @adoptedthejourney.