Category Archives: My Book

Quit India – the story behind it.


Quit India – the story behind it.

A thought became a revolution; it took over minds and hearts and it divided a country in two. Once brothers, the people of India turned into enemies when their motherland, India, became India and Pakistan.

But when did the hatred, the resentment begin? When did the British Raj become insufferable?

The British entered India in 1608, concentrating on trading on new land. It was only when the Mughal Empire weakened in 1707 and dissolved that the East India Company took over India in 1764 after the Battle of Buxar.  The East India Company – a British trading company administered power over India and ruled most states aswell as exercising power and control of Indian Military Forces.

There were many battles and disagreements through Indian history, such as the Battle of Buxar but what began the Indian Independence ‘battle’ was the ‘war’ between the British Raj and the Indians in 1857, known as the First War, the Great Rebellion and the Indian Mutiny amongst other such names. This war was a sepoy’s (an Indian soldier) fight that escalated throughout India.

Although this was seen as the catalyst of the First War, other factors contributed to the slow but sure build up of resentment and hate toward the East India Company.

It came to be believed by the sepoys that the East India Company intended to divide faiths and have them convert to Christianity, by force or deception. Land seizure was another British rule, one that forced the fact that if a ruler did not produce a true heir, their land would then be the property of the East India Company. As a result, many kingdoms such as Oudh, Nagpur and Awadh were taken over.

But what started the Mutiny? What was the cause of such an upheaval? The answer – a disregard of the native’s faith.  The beliefs of the Hindu and the Muslim man were ridiculed by the East India Company.

Ignoring the Hindu’s religious devotion and worshipping of the Cow, the ‘mother’ who gives milk, and the Muslim’s revulsion of the Pig, that they see as dirty, lazy and greedy, the East India company ordered their army to manually load ammunition that was greased with the fat of the pig and the cow. Therefore, biting one end of the cartridge before use in a certain rifle was outrageous!

But no one had the nerve to stand up until Mangal Pandey, an infamous sepoy, took lead and braved to voice the injustice of the Company. He brought the cow/pig greased cartridge fact to the forefront to his fellow sepoys.  Anger led to retaliation, with Mangal Pandey leading. He fired the first bullet.

Mangal Pandey with a few others was arrested and sentenced to death by hanging but Pandey was hanged ten days before his sentence date.

After the ‘War’, the East India Company was abolished and the responsibility of India was taken over by the Crown. Many steps were taken later to ensure some peace, some which included the end of attainment of land from stately princes.

After a lull in the Indian subcontinent, in 1915 Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi arrived from South Africa, known as Bapu (father) and Mahatma (the Great One). Gandhi travelled throughout India to ‘see’. He observed the rich and the poor, he witnessed ill treatment from the British Goré (white people) directed at the natives. Racial discrimination and prejudice were high on the list of unforgiveness.

Gandhi realised that India needed to fight back, to win back her rights and to claim her country back from the ‘foreigners’. One day, Gandhi settled on his decision. The European’s injustices and his tolerance to them went just too far. In 1942, he called for the ‘Quit India Movement’. He wanted the British out of India!

Gandhi advertised the Quit India Movement throughout India and voiced clearly that there must be no violence. India’s people embraced the Movement and embarked upon it with passion. Vallabhai Patel – Indian barrister and statesman, Jawaharlal Nehru – Indian politician (who became the first Indian Prime Minister), and Muhammad Ali Jinnah – Muslim lawyer, politician, statesman (founder of Pakistan), united with Gandhi in the Quit India Movement and participated and argued in heated discussions and speeches.

They were all arrested for ‘disturbing the peace’. But this didn’t stop India, who fought back. Nothing was going to stop them now. During the course of the Movement, many riots started along with the damaging of government buildings, derailment of railway lines (which the British Raj had introduced into the country), boycotting of schools and colleges and the throwing away/setting fire of British goods.

Marches, riots and freedom speeches were a regular occurrence; violence (against Gandhi’s pleas to stop) turned murderous.  Indians were arrested or killed – the lathi, a soldier or policeman’s baton was never far away from the protestors.  Many were jailed for a long time or executed.

In 1946, Jinnah proposed a new country – Pakistan. He wanted a Muslim country, to be ruled by a Muslim man, not Hindu. The other leaders were not happy about this and tried reasoning with Jinnah to no avail. Jinnah was adamant.  He declared 16th August 1946 as Direct Action Day which saw colossal rioting and manslaughter across Calcutta.

Tension, anger and fear grew amongst the Hindu and Muslim communities and during October and November 1946, horrendous numbers of massacres, abductions, rape and forced faith conversions of Hindus,  aswell as loot and arson were seen in Noakhali, actioned by the Muslim community.

Gandhi spent four months in Noakhali trying to restore peace and bring the communities together. But his efforts failed. During this time, Partition of India was accepted by the Congress Party.

14th August 1947 – Pakistan was formed.

15th August 1947 – midnight, India was made a Free country;  she gained her independence. The British flag was lowered and the Indian flag rose.

It was Independence Day and both countries rejoiced in their new found Freedom.

Today, in England and in many other countries, Independence Day is celebrated each year on the 14th and 15th of August remembering those Martyrs who sacrificed their lives for us and mourning those Indians whose lives were taken away through riots and massacres; a time which changed lives forever and is still fresh in those minds who lived during those horrendous times.Freedom banner
Today, I am giving my book Freedom of the Monsoon away for free. Just click on the link below. I hope you enjoy the book, and I hope you will be encouraged to leave a review. Thank you!

Amazon UK  Freedom of the Monsoon

Amazon USA Freedom of the Monsoon (USA link)

Amazon India Freedom of the Monsoon (India link)

Abstract 1:

Pooja stared back at her reflection. The bruises were deep purple and her mascara had run, leaving black streaks behind. Taking a wet cloth, she wiped away the signs of abuse from the corner of her mouth. She took out a compact from the antique dresser and fought to cover the bruises with her scalded hands, then she brushed through her already knot free hair. It was then that she stopped crying.

Gingerly, Pooja adorned her hair with a butterfly clip, and stood up to examine herself in the full-length mirror. She looked better now; the bruises didn’t show up as much.

“It’s alright, beta, things will get better, I promise,” she whispered, putting her hands on her stomach. “Your Papa didn’t mean to do it. He is a good man.”

Pooja walked from room to room, overlooking the cleaning of the house. The servants were busy today; Amar was expecting guests. She must try and present herself well…

“Meenakshi, how is the dinner coming along?”

“Very well, Memsahib,” Meenakshi, the chef’s wife assured her.

 Pooja was satisfied, and moved on. Everything must be perfect today. Amar must have no complaints. Pooja passed the drawing room – something wasn’t right. The cigars!

“Laxman!” she called.

“Yes, Memsahib.” Laxman, who overlooked the housework, appeared.

“Laxman, the cigars. Fill the cigarette holder and quickly. Saab must have it full.”

The big clock struck seven. The guests would be here soon with Amar. Pooja steadied her breathing, and went to her bedroom to get changed. Maybe a little more powder will be good. She opened the wardrobe, which contained over two hundred saris, and searched for something suitable. She settled on a pink and silver one. She hoped Amar would approve. Glancing in the mirror, she noticed there was something wrong with her hair. It was the hair-clip. Amar didn’t like butterflies…he would be so angry. Pooja changed it to a flower design – yes, that’s better.

Abstract 2:

Since the news of the partition, Pooja began to worry about her mother even more so. She asked Amar, if she and the children could go and stay for a while, until the anger calmed down. Amar thought it was a very good idea. He went a step further, and arranged for their stay himself. He booked the train tickets and Pooja, and the children, were to arrive at Rajkot in a week’s time. She couldn’t wait.

Pooja thought of her husband now, and her love for him overwhelmed her. Tears pricked her eyes; her Amar had really come through for her. Since her arrival back in Bombay, they had slept in separate beds. She began to trust him a few months later and with his compassion, for her and her family, he showed her that he wasn’t selfish anymore. He showed her his love with every opportunity, and her love for him came back. But she was scared, what if he began drinking again? What if he began to bring women home again? She kept her distance but he didn’t falter. He was patient and kept on loving her.

Amar always brought Pooja a hair garland, a white one; it was her favourite after all. He never forgot.  She fingered the one he tied on her just that morning, and smiled. Today, she will ask him to share her room and her bed again. Today, they will be husband and wife once more.

Pooja leaned back into her chair. It was quiet and serene. Radha was asleep, Veer was at the neighbours, and Kamla and Rani were at the theatre, so she was left with little to do.

Suddenly there was a shout.

“Memsahib!” Ram, the help, appeared at the door. “Memsahib,” his voice was barely audible and his face was ghostly pale. “Please come quick!”

Pooja followed him, her heart thumping wildly. Was it Kamla or Rani? Visions of her own rape came back to her.  Or was it Veer? Had something happened to him? Radha…but she was asleep in her room. She should check.

“Memsahib, where are you going? You have to come now, this way!” Ram pulled Pooja away from Radha’s room.

“Ram, please tell me, what’s happened. Is it one of the children?”

“No, Memsahib,” he said. He led her to the front door.


	

Witch Crystal


Witch Crystal – Book 1 of the Witches of Zrotaz trilogy.

 

added sharpness

The Witch Crystal was silent, hidden from the clutches of the High Witch, somewhere, where she couldn’t find him. The time has now arrived to show what it can do…

Witch Crystal, a fantasy story of a young girl, Book 1 of The Witches of Zrotaz trilogy, follows Larissa, and the discovery of something she never imagined. Her life was as normal as could be, for a low-key witch. She had a best friend, a great mother, and she liked the new boy in town. Her mother owned a florist, and she went to a normal school.

Strange things began to occur, and Larissa’s normal life was not so normal anymore. Her friends, her life, were not what she thought they were, or who Jake was. An abduction of her best friend brings the unknown to the forefront, and Larissa is faced with the task of finding the Earth Spirits, and to repair the Aurora Borealis. Will Larissa be brave? Will she be able to accomplish her task, to adhere to the prophecy?

Available from Amazon:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B00GX49RPQ?*Version*=1&*entries*=0

An interview with Pooja


Namaste and Hello

Here I am today, talking to Pooja, nearly thirty years on from Indian Independence. She talks about her life, what she has done since and about her children. She talks about her life in India before and after Independence, about Dev, Amit and Sunil.

Me: Tell me something about yourself, Pooja.

Pooja: I grew up in a village with my sisters and brother and my friends. We had lots of fun times. I moved to Bombay after my marriage to Amar and well, my life took off from there.

Me: What do you remember the most about living in a village? Do you miss it?

Pooja: I feel free in the village. The simplicity is special to me. I remember the river dips we used to take and running in the fields. Ma used to tell me off so many times. She said, “You are not a boy, Pooja. Tomorrow, you will be married. Lot’s of girls your age are getting married.” (Pooja laughs)

I thought about her life after her marriage…it was better if I didn’t speak of it. But she surprised me.

Pooja: When I married Amar, I was young in mind – I didn’t know anything. He was very attentive in the first few months. He took me places, we went to high society parties and he loved me. I still wonder when and why all that changed.

Me: A lot has happened in the last few years, your life has changed dramatically.

Pooja: My children are my support and I love them so much. Without them I don’t where I would be or what I would do. I see Rakhi a lot in Amar.

Me: Tell me about Dev, Amit and Sunil. They were your childhood friends…?

Pooja: Sunil – he is still as pagal (crazy) as he was before he married. Even with children of his own now, he thinks he is twenty-four. (Pooja smiles). He hasn’t forgotten his love of Films and makes sure he goes to see a film at least four times a week. Neha scolds him so much for that!

Amit is like my brother. I do love him. He is very happy with his wife. I wasn’t sure at first, losing one’s first love…but now, he is in love once again. I see it in his eyes. He keeps in touch with his ‘Memsahib’ and has told me he will come to England to meet her one day. On his request I have visited his Memsahib and he was pleased to hear that she is very well but looking as old as he. She loved his gift of spices and herbs from him.

Me: And Dev?

Pooja is quiet now. She looks away and seems distant, like she is not in this room. Then, she turns back at me and smiles her radiant smile.

Pooja: Dev has grown as a man, a husband and a father. He has taken on responsibilities – a business man now. He owns two garages with Khan bhai and is always travelling to and from Simla. Payal is a sweet woman and I am glad she is Dev’s wife.

I sensed a melancholy feel from her last sentence. Was she feeling lonely? Did she miss Dev? I decided to change the subject.

Me: Tell me about the Quit India Movement. How do you feel about it? How has it changed your life?

Pooja: In some ways, it was good to have gained our Independence. But a lot of lives were lost. Killings, abductions, rapes, loot and arson…that’s what I see. Some people fared well but many didn’t. Partition was a major cause and even my own, suffered.

Me: It has been almost thirty years since India gained her partition. Your children have grown up…Why did you choose to move to England?

Pooja: Rakhi married and moved to America. She does a lot for charity but she is an author too. She has written many books. Kamla studied whilst in India and she wanted to further her career in England. She is a doctor now. She is married to a doctor and they live in Surrey. Veer is working in Europe. Poor boy, his wife died in a few years ago. I look after his son and daughter when he is away. They keep me occupied. And my sweet Radha, she is married too, but she prefers the simple life. She decided to be a housewife. She is a really good cook and people have praised her. They are urging her to open up a restuarant.

So you see, most of my family live in the UK. My children need me here.

Me: Do you miss India?

Pooja: I go back every year now. Since my children have all grown up and moved on, I am quite free. But I don’t go alone. Radha and Veer accompany me for a few weeks until they have to fly back and some years, Rakhi and Kamla come too. I stay on and look after my work there. I have Amit, Dev and Sunil to keep me company.

Me: Do you still take part in charity events? You helped a lot of the homeless and orphans back in India.

Pooja: Yes, charity work is dear to me. I try and help all I can and I raise awareness and monies to help the homeless and other people, who are in need.

Me: You have come a long way. Your career has taken off…

Pooja: I teach as a lecturer in universities and have spoken at conferences, about social awareness and living. I talk about charity work ofcourse but also on the economy and business. People are always interested on how I became a success. (Pooja laughs)

Me: But you are a success.

Pooja: Success is not what I do, it is my children.

Me: Thank you for talking to me, Pooja.

Here, I conclude me interview with Pooja. She is a changed lady but for the better with no regrets.

Interview by Kris Wampler


Kris Wampler’s Blog

A resource for indie writers

Malika Gandhi, author of Freedom of the Monsoon, is a writer who’s chosen the indie route after being denied the traditional route.  She talks about her book and all the work she did to learn how to self-publish the right way.

1. Pretend for a moment I’m a reader looking for my next book.  Pitch me your book in five to ten sentences.

Ever wondered what your life would be like if it was suddenly turned around by one thought, one action?

Ever thought you were safe?

Ever sacrificed in honor of your country?

1942 saw the beginning of an Indian ‘war’ against the British Raj as Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi’s cry of Quit India was felt across the subcontinent of India.  Meet Rakesh, Dev, Pooja, Amit and Sunil; five individuals with their own story to tell.

Read how they fought, sacrificed and hoped for a ‘Free India’ as they struggled against the horrendous happenings of the Independence Era.

2. What motivated you to become an indie writer?  Have you been traditionally published?  Why or why not?

Like so many, I tried the traditional channel of becoming published and like so many, my manuscript was declined as the clientele lists of the publishers and literary agents were full and couldn’t possibly take on any more.  Taking a step back I reflected on what to do – keep trying to have my manuscript accepted or try self-publishing?

My editor, John Hudspith (see his website, kimissecret.wordpress.com), pointed out the benefits of going down the indie route.  The more I researched into this, the more I became convinced to try this.

Becoming an indie writer was like a breath of fresh air which gave me the opportunity to have my book published far quicker than going through the traditional route.

3. How have you liked self-publishing so far?

I find self-publishing exciting.  It is a beautiful journey into one’s creative ability.  It is hard work but which comes with self-satisfaction.

4. Tell me about the marketing techniques you’ve used to sell your books.  Which ones have been the most successful?

Being an indie writer is new to me and I am still learning the ropes.  My book is out as a paperback and as an e-book.

My marketing techniques consist mainly of word of mouth and social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and community forums of various sites like YouWriteOn and Amazon.

I’ve had a good response from Facebook and where I go, people are keen to talk about my book.  It’s a good feeling!  I am currently working on acquiring more exposure from the Twitter and LinkedIn sites, which I have recently joined.

5. Are there any marketing techniques you intentionally avoided or discontinued, and if so, why?

I intend to work through all aspects of marketing.  So far I have not avoided or discontinued any techniques.

6. What’s the most important thing you’ve learned about self-publishing that you didn’t know when you started out?

I suggest always have your work seen by a professional editor who will make sure it is ‘up to scratch’ and ready to be released in book form.  Even though I edited my work initially, I failed to see many mistakes and that is when and where an editor becomes important.

Self-publishing is a process from completing your work to publication and is a learning journey.  The most important thing about self-publishing that I learned is that you cannot be shy and if you need help, don’t be afraid to ask for it.

7. If you could do one thing differently in publishing your books, what would it be?

I believe I have worked within the rules of self-publishing.  I did my homework: found a niche in the market, wrote the book, had it edited, designed the artwork for the cover myself and hired a cover designer to have it converted into a book cover and finally submitted my work for publication.

Any queries or doubts, I questioned and received acceptable answers.  I wouldn’t do anything different.

8. Independent authors face the obvious challenge of marketing their books without the resources of traditional publishers.  What advice do you have for an indie author just starting out?

Self-publishing is an attractive alternative to traditional publishing.  Be determined to reach your goal, whether it is to have your book globally recognized or only to be delighted to see your name on a book cover, to be read by friends and family.

Never stop marketing your book.  Self-publishing is fast becoming fashionable and my advice is to jump on this train.

9. What projects are you currently working on?

Currently I am planning the sequel, which begins with the horror of partitioning India and mass immigration.  I am also working on my blog.

10. If you could market your brand – not just one particular book, but your overall brand of writing – in one sentence, what would it be?

A fiction writer who believes in passionate, historical writing.

11. How can readers learn more about your books?

Please visit my site, malikagandhi.wordpress.com, where you will find more information about the book – where to purchase it, a little about me and my recent blogs surrounding Indian Independence, which is the base of my story.

It is currently available as an e-book on Amazon Kindle and paperback through www.feedaread.com and will be coming soon to all major bookstores such as Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Waterstones and WHSmiths.

A Brief History – Indian Independence


A brief history – The Indian Independence era

A thought became a revolution; it took over minds and hearts and it divided a country in two. Once brothers, the people of India turned into enemies when their motherland, India, became India and Pakistan.

But when did the hatred, the resentment begin? When did the British Raj become insufferable?

The British entered India in 1608, concentrating on trading on new land. It was only when the Mughal Empire weakened in 1707 and dissolved that the East India Company took over India in 1764 after the Battle of Buxar.  The East India Company – a British trading company administered power over India and ruled most states aswell as exercising power and control of Indian Military Forces.

There were many battles and disagreements through Indian history, such as the Battle of Buxar but what began the Indian Independence ‘battle’ was the ‘war’ between the British Raj and the Indians in 1857, known as the First War, the Great Rebellion and the Indian Mutiny amongst other such names. This war was a sepoy’s (an Indian soldier) fight that escalated throughout India.

Although this was seen as the catalyst of the First War, other factors contributed to the slow but sure build up of resentment and hate toward the East India Company.

It came to be believed by the sepoys that the East India Company intended to divide faiths and have them convert to Christianity, by force or deception. Land seizure was another British rule, one that forced the fact that if a ruler did not produce a true heir, their land would then be the property of the East India Company. As a result, many kingdoms such as Oudh, Nagpur and Awadh were taken over.

But what started the Mutiny? What was the cause of such an upheaval? The answer – a disregard of the native’s faith.  The beliefs of the Hindu and the Muslim man were ridiculed by the East India Company.

Ignoring the Hindu’s religious devotion and worshipping of the Cow, the ‘mother’ who gives milk, and the Muslim’s revulsion of the Pig, that they see as dirty, lazy and greedy, the East India company ordered their army to manually load ammunition that was greased with the fat of the pig and the cow. Therefore, biting one end of the cartridge before use in a certain rifle was outrageous!

But no one had the nerve to stand up until Mangal Pandey, an infamous sepoy, took lead and braved to voice the injustice of the Company. He brought the cow/pig greased cartridge fact to the forefront to his fellow sepoys.  Anger led to retaliation, with Mangal Pandey leading. He fired the first bullet.

Mangal Pandey with a few others was arrested and sentenced to death by hanging but Pandey was hanged ten days before his sentence date.

After the ‘War’, the East India Company was abolished and the responsibility of India was taken over by the Crown. Many steps were taken later to ensure some peace, some which included the end of attainment of land from stately princes.

After a lull in the Indian subcontinent, in 1915 Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi arrived from South Africa, known as Bapu (father) and Mahatma (the Great One). Gandhi travelled throughout India to ‘see’. He observed the rich and the poor, he witnessed ill treatment from the British Goré (white people) directed at the natives. Racial discrimination and prejudice were high on the list of unforgiveness.

Gandhi realised that India needed to fight back, to win back her rights and to claim her country back from the ‘foreigners’. One day, Gandhi settled on his decision. The European’s injustices and his tolerance to them went just too far. In 1942, he called for the ‘Quit India Movement’. He wanted the British out of India!

Gandhi advertised the Quit India Movement throughout India and voiced clearly that there must be no violence. India’s people embraced the Movement and embarked upon it with passion. Vallabhai Patel – Indian barrister and statesman, Jawaharlal Nehru – Indian politician (who became the first Indian Prime Minister), and Muhammad Ali Jinnah – Muslim lawyer, politician, statesman (founder of Pakistan), united with Gandhi in the Quit India Movement and participated and argued in heated discussions and speeches.

They were all arrested for ‘disturbing the peace’. But this didn’t stop India, who fought back. Nothing was going to stop them now. During the course of the Movement, many riots started along with the damaging of government buildings, derailment of railway lines (which the British Raj had introduced into the country), boycotting of schools and colleges and the throwing away/setting fire of British goods.

Marches, riots and freedom speeches were a regular occurrence; violence (against Gandhi’s pleas to stop) turned murderous.  Indians were arrested or killed – the lathi, a soldier or policeman’s baton was never far away from the protestors.  Many were jailed for a long time or executed.

In 1946, Jinnah proposed a new country – Pakistan. He wanted a Muslim country, to be ruled by a Muslim man, not Hindu. The other leaders were not happy about this and tried reasoning with Jinnah to no avail. Jinnah was adamant.  He declared 16th August 1946 as Direct Action Day which saw colossal rioting and manslaughter across Calcutta.

Tension, anger and fear grew amongst the Hindu and Muslim communities and during October and November 1946, horrendous numbers of massacres, abductions, rape and forced faith conversions of Hindus,  aswell as loot and arson were seen in Noakhali, actioned by the Muslim community.

Gandhi spent four months in Noakhali trying to restore peace and bring the communities together. But his efforts failed. During this time, Partition of India was accepted by the Congress Party.

14th August 1947 – Pakistan was formed.

15th August 1947 – midnight, India was made a Free country;  she gained her independence. The British flag was lowered and the Indian flag rose.

It was Independence Day and both countries rejoiced in their new found Freedom.

Today, in England and in many other countries, Independence Day is celebrated each year on the 14th and 15th of August remembering those Martyrs who sacrificed their lives for us and mourning those Indians whose lives were taken away through riots and massacres; a time which changed lives forever and is still fresh in those minds who lived during those horrendous times.
Today, I am giving my book Freedom of the Monsoon away for free. Just click on the link below. I hope you enjoy the book, and I hope you will be encouraged to leave a review. Thank you!

Amazon UK  Freedom of the Monsoon

Amazon USA Freedom of the Monsoon (USA link)

Amazon India Freedom of the Monsoon (India link)