Sara Banerji was born in 1932 in Stoke Poges, Buckinghamshire, in England. One of her ancestors is Henry Fielding, the 18th century author who wrote The History of Tom Jones, a Foundling.In 1939, when Banerji was 7, World War II began, and she was evacuated to various large and old country mansions. Her father, Basil Mostyn, fought in the war.After the war was over, Banerji emigrated with her family to Southern Rhodesia. The family lived in a single mud rondavel with no electricity or running water.Banerji later travelled all around Europe, visiting various places. She worked as an au pair and also attended art school in Austria. She has also worked as an artist, and has held exhibitions of her oil paintings in India. She also taught riding whilst in India, and has been a jockey. She is also a sculptress, and has previously been a waitress.Banerji worked in a coffee bar in Oxford, where she met her future husband, Ranjit Banerji, who was an undergraduate from India. He was a customer in the coffee bar. They married and moved to India, where they lived for seventeen years. Banerji attempted to run a dairy farm, which was defeated by monsoons and heavy seasons of rain.