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San Cassimally

Scottish-Mauritian novelist and playwright.

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The history of India is one of the grand epics of world history and can be best described in the words of India’s first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru as “a bundle of contradictions held together by strong but invisible threads”. Indian history can be characterised as a work in progress, a continuous process of reinvention that can eventually prove elusive for those seeking to grasp its essential character.

The history of this astonishing sub continent dates back to almost 75000 years ago with the evidence of human activity of Homo sapiens. Amazingly, almost five thousand years ago, the inhabitants of the Indus Valley Civilisation had developed an urban culture based on commerce and sustained by agricultural trade. (Maps of India)

Read chapters set in India »

Book 1

Chapter 1: The Ancestors

(Allapur, Bihar, Late 18th century)

Allapur, the most charming little gaon in the Gaya district of Bihar!

Chapter 6

(Sundarbans, Eastern India, 1820s)

Raju's memories of his pre-Sundarban days, was a mixture of half-remembered facts and stories told by elders which had become more real every time he heard t...

Chapter 10

(Sundarbans, Eastern India, 1830)

As a child, Shanti had instinctively sensed Raju's apprehension whenever he came to their house. Her Pitaji treated the boy with contempt, as if he had just ...

Chapter 12

(Sundarbans, Eastern India, 1835)

Unexpectedly, as they were watching the river that morning, they saw a speck on the water in the distance, and she guessed that it was Jayant's boat, and ind...

Chapter 14

(Calcutta, India, 1835)

The road from Sonarkhali across the Pargannas to Calcutta could be fraught with all sorts of danger, none of the oft-repeated assurances to the contrary that...

Chapter 16: The Startled Fawn

(Calcutta, India, 1840s)

Shanti dozed off for she did not know how long, but when she woke up, Jayant had not come back. That Jayant is so unreliable, she thought.

Book 2

Book 2 Chapter 4: Leaving Calcutta

(Calcutta, India, Late 1840s)

When Jayant reappeared alone some time later, Shanti was filled with an inexplicable hatred for the young man, as if it was all his fault that he had not fou...

Book 4

Book 4 Chapter 2: Hesperus

(Calcutta, India, 1840s)

With a forced smile Raju had followed the older man. The moment the family was out of earshot, Sukhdeo was all smiles and back-slaps, and he said that the be...