What does it mean to you? Do you think the book has a meaning?
These four words are of course referring to my debut novel; a novel which gave me tears when I couldn’t think of how to end it or what my next chapter was going to be about. It was sometimes a harrowing experience but it was something I had to finish, no matter how long it took me.
I got there in the end and actually published it. I did it through self-publishing. Why? Many reasons…the main one was because it was taking me ages to get a publisher and also an agent. I had also heard that once I do get an agent, he or she will have to find a publisher interested enough to take my book on. Even after that, it could take up to a year before the book is finally out. Then, the hard work of promoting is up to me as publishers don’t do so much of that for an unknown author.
Doesn’t paint a nice picture, does it?
So, I thought – self publishing it is.
Let me tell you a little about the book and the characters:
The story is set in colonial India – the 1940’s. It is the time when Gandhi returns from South Africa and declares that he wants a Free India and the British Raj out. But then things don’t go according to plan. He wanted non-violence but he got violence instead, from his fellow Indians. Amongst all this, five such individuals are forced to face grim circumstances that change the course of their lives drastically. Are you intrigued?
The first character is Rakesh. A nice fellow with strong feelings about the Raj. He wants revenge.
His brother, Dev is confused. He knows what his brother is up to and can’t stop it. But something happens there which leaves him devastated.
Pooja is the only girl from this group of five. She leads a normal life but suffers severely by the hands of one, spiteful girl and then, is forced into a marriage where her life gets worse. A husband she acquires of course but with children not much younger than herself. That is not the worst of it.
Amit, a fine fellow, falls in love with a white Memsahib – a lady who came to India from England and resides with her brother and her husband-to-be. Poor Amit falls in love with her but with consequences.
Sunil, is the last of the five. His story is not personal but he ‘sees’ other lives which are affected by the Quit India movement. He questions the motives of the Raj as he encounters death and arrests.
Now you know that there are five characters and are probably thinking – five characters. How is the story told? Won’t that be confusing?
Not at all because their stories are told from their point of view.
The novel is full of real facts set in the fictional world of these five individuals, a mirage of colours – foods, weather – the monsoon especially, the numerous aunts and uncles (believe me, everyone is an aunt or uncle in the Indian culture!). You will hear words that you never came across (don’t worry, footnotes and glossary supplied) but apart from all this, you will see a destruction of love and loss.
Freedom of the Monsoon is epic story, seen through a personal level and we can learn a lot from such an important time in history.
You can buy this book as an E-book and as a Paperback from: