MovieChat Forums > The Far Pavilions Discussion > Was Ash half Indian or not?

Was Ash half Indian or not?

I am watching this now and still dont know. Exactly WHO was his mother??

Thanks to anyone who knows


Ash was - by blood - fully English. His mother was Isobel Ashton and his father was Hilary Pelham-Martyn, a famous linguistic scholar (it gives more background in the book).

Isobel died shortly after giving birth to him, which is when Sita took over as his wet nurse. Hilary died a couple of years later in a cholera outbreak.

Ash was so young when his parents died that he grew up to the age of 11 thinking that Sita was his real mother, but on Sita's deathbed she tells him that he is actually the true son of Isobel and Hilary -- making him 100% English.

Does that help? Lmk if I can answer any other story deets for you!


Okay, here's a good one for you (and thanks very much). I did not read the book. I watched the film. In the beginning they have this dark skinned kid who plays Ash and he brings proof that he is not Indian (I finally figured that part out, lol) and the older General or whatever he was looks at the paperwork and says "Oh my god, this child is the son of 'whoever it was".

The kid was not a white child. So how the heck did he turn out to be NOT INDIAN.

Now if they had a caucasian actor playing this part, that would have made sense but this kid, and the actor who played the grown up Ash, (didn't they darken his skin for the movie), and he was able to interact with the other natives....right?

So WHY was he dark and why was he able to interact with the natives and spy on them?

See my confusion. I now understand that all along he was not an Indian.

And the makeup job on Amy Irving was amazing. Those eyes. lol


The child Ashok was dark because his Indian foster mother darkened his skin to hide the fact that he was not Indian. He also dressed like a bazaar rat and played around in the sun, which the English did not do as they prized a fair skin. Dressed as an Indian child with tanned skin, speaking with an Indian dialect Ashok would naturally pass for Indian. Ash may have been naturally dark haired, as many British people are. I should also point out that he was living in Peshawar, which is in the mountains on the Pakistan/Afghanistan frontier and that many people of that area are very light skinned.


Ah!!!! thanks so much for the info.