Today we have featured guest Author Malika Gahdhi telling us a little about why she writes.
Why I chose to rewrite...
Three years ago, I wrote Freedom of the Monsoon (FOTM), my baby, my debut. I chose to write it for adults, a piece of historical fiction, seen from the other end of the lens – a past that is usually missed out, when that part of history is read about.
When one reads of the Quit India movement, and Mahatma Gandhi, they read about politics, about the leaders, and perhaps a little bit of the thousands who became victims in this war for independence.
Rarely does one read a novel, which shows the dangers, sacrifice, hopes, and fears of the Indian people during the Independence era. Freedom of the Monsoon does exactly this; it tells the story of people, whose lives changed when Quit India was called by Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, known as Mahatma Gandhi.
The first edition of FOTM, was written with footnotes, extensive notes, and a glossary. This was for the benefit of non-Indian readers. But even if this was a idea for the paperback, it wasn’t so for an ereader experience, as many said the footnotes interfered with the formatting.
Originally, I wrote in five main characters, and to help the reader, I added their names at the top of each chapter, so the reader knew who was talking (the book was written in the first person). I don’t know if this was a factor that stumped the sales of the book, but to make the reading experience much better, I cut down to two main characters, incorporating the other three character’s stories around Dev, and Pooja, who are now the main two.
Writing this book was tough, as before hand I researched many historical facts, trough many personal accounts. The accounts were put online, and told from people who had family, who lived in India at the time. Then, taking the stories – not one in particular, but many – I let myself “be” in their stories, in their lives, and feel their despair and pain, which I then transferred into fictional plots for FOTM.
The basic fact was that my book wasn’t getting read by the masses, and I tried to find the reason why this was happening. I changed the format and changed the cover many times – but still no joy. Then, November last year, I decided to take it off “the shelf”, and revamp the whole novel, and have a professional create the cover for me. I rewrote the book, had it beta read and edited, and checked, and rechecked again, then I hit the Publish button.
I am very happy with this edition, and hope you will enjoy the experience.
It is 1942, and a turbulent time in India. The Indians witness an array of emotions, which trigger actions beyond the control of the oppressive British government. Hope is ignited in the hearts of the Indian people when Mahatma Gandhi demands the Raj to Quit India for good, and to give them their freedom, and their own government.
But with hope, comes anger and unprecedented violence.
Dev and Pooja love one another, and hope to one-day tie the knot. A tragedy befalls Dev as he witnesses his brother’s execution; he leaves for Simla to mend his mind, work business just being an excuse. Whilst Dev is away, Pooja is faced with a horror of her own, when a rape attack forces her marry quickly to an older man.
Will Dev be able to come to terms with Pooja’s marriage? Will he be able to overcome his despair of a life without his brother? With the help of two good friends, Pooja and Dev battle everything that comes in their way; but will their determination bring them together?
Death and sacrifice is knocking on India’s doors. The British Raj has to go; the Indians must have their country back. Experience the determination that dwelled in the hearts of the natives as they fought hard and long, sacrificing all they loved along the way.