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Dr Jehangir Anklesaria has come up the hard way. Having graduated from medical college in Bombay in 1914, he launches his medical career in Rangoon. Life is good until December 1941, when the Burmese city is bombed by the Japanese, and everything changes overnight.


Duty-bound, he decides to stay back and join the war effort, working tirelessly to quell a cholera epidemic. Under relentless attack, the army falls back towards the Indian border, where Jehangir suffers an ambush, losing all he has to rogues at gunpoint. Now he is just one of thousands crawling their way up and down the 5,000-foot-high, jungle-clad mountains of Assam, his body ravaged by malaria, dysentery, blood-sucking leeches and starvation.


In The 24th Mile, Tehmton S. Mistry, part of the next generation of Jehangir's larger family, evocatively recreates the story of his grit and heroism in his death-defying journey to safety.

The 24th Mile: An Indian Doctor's Heroism in War-torn Burma by Tehmton S. Mistry

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