Thank You Mr Crombie

Lessons in Guilt and Gratitude to the British

May 2024 9781911723004 344pp
Available as an eBook
EU Customers


Mihir Bose, born in Kolkata shortly before Indian independence in 1947, still feels enormous gratitude towards Mr Crombie of the UK’s Home Office, who confirmed his permanent resident’s rights. After studying in Britain, Bose had dreamed of making a life and career there; now he could pursue it. Shiva Naipaul mocked him for reembracing the colonial lash, doubting Bose’s prospects as a writer—but he was wrong.

This absorbing account shows how Britain has changed dramatically for the better since the ’60s. Then, Indian food was shunned, not adored; landladies wouldn’t rent Bose a room; white women would not have relationships for fear of mixed babies; and he suffered several assaults, fearing for his life.

Bose could not imagine then that the British would take such great strides towards multi-racial harmony. Yet Britain’s complex, sometimes deeply shameful, imperial legacy must still be addressed. India, defying its doubters, has been coming to terms with its tortured past. Can twenty-first–century Britain grow once again and earn the gratitude of future generations?


‘I came to Britain from India, fulfilled a dream, and I say this: we’re a great country, but a work in progress.’ – Mihir Bose reflects on race, empire and British society in The Guardian. Read the full piece here.

‘A vivid, vivacious memoir of London’s journalism scene… . Mihir Bose has elephantine powers of recall and, when feeling vengeful, some killer punchlines. The effect is perversely relaxing, akin to unwinding at the end of the day with a clubland habitué.’ — TLS

‘A moving, relatable telling of the universal hustle, grief and joy of all immigrants – Bose Da has hit a six, straight out of the stadium.’ — The Irish Times

‘[An] interesting and thought-provoking book… . Refreshingly, Bose shuns the modern theory that everything is either completely right or completely wrong.’ — Daily Mail

‘An enjoyable and readable life-story interspersed with personal reflections about Britain’s past and present through friendly but not uncritical eyes.’ — Church Times

‘[Mihir Bose’s] account is candid and unvarnished, colourful and humorous, with some interesting home truths for Indian and British people.’ — The Chiswick Calendar 

‘This is the memoir of a life transformed and a nation reinvented. Eye opening, funny and revealing, we see a nation become more tolerant and accepting, while having to acknowledge a less than enlightened past. A beautifully written personal account of the birth of modern Britain.’ — Clive Myrie, BBC presenter, foreign correspondent and author of Everything is Everything: A Memoir of Love, Hate & Hope

‘Mihir Bose is a remarkable man with a remarkable story to tell.’ — Sir Max Hastings

‘Mihir Bose has taken all the many books and articles he has written and with his customary enthusiasm, wit, warmth, diligence and ability has distilled them and added his own extraordinary personal story – from Kolkata to the highest reaches of British journalism – to produce an entertaining autobiography of the highest quality.’ — Nick Hewer, journalist, former presenter on Channel 4’s Countdown, and Lord Sugar’s former aide on The Apprentice

‘I love this book, a portrait of Britain written with honesty, intelligence, lucidity, hope and extraordinary sweetness, which is the character of Mihir Bose.’ — Sarah Sands, Deputy Chair of the British Council and author of The Hedgehog Diaries and The Interior Silence: 10 Lessons from Monastic Life

‘An engaging odyssey about ex pat-Indian identity, Britishness, colonialism and sport, by a treasured master writer.’ — Lord Peter Hain, author of A Pretoria Boy; Mandela: His Essential Life and The Rhino Conspiracy

‘Warm, sweet and laugh out loud funny – but also the most penetrating series of insights into Empire and race I’ve seen for years by one a writer who truly understands both.’ — Trevor Phillips, Times columnist and author of Windrush: 75 Years of Modern Britain


Mihir Bose has enjoyed colonial dividends working for The Sunday Times and The Daily Telegraph, was the BBC’s first sports editor and first non-white editor, and has written over fifty books, winning several awards. He was the first journalist in the UK to specialise in covering the business of sport.

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