left India because it was a time of distress in the country. There
was therefore a willingness on my part to accept the offer of a job.
I was told I would be provided with food and a home as well.
When I went to Calcutta I met a woman
and I took her to be my wife. There I also came across a pundit who
had been to Fiji. I thought that it would be a good idea to go to
Fiji so I could earn some money and then return home after five
Though I was told Fiji would be my
destination, I was not informed of its whereabouts. I was too
illiterate and uneducated and did not ask questions. My family tried
to prevent my leaving but I managed to escape and set out on my way.
I was nevertheless sorry to leave India, but once I had made up my
mind to quit the country my feelings changed. Soon I forgot about my
When I arrived in Fiji I was
indentured to a Mr Witherow in Vunidawa. Initially my job there was
to dig holes. After three months I had to plough land using a
The Indian sardar
on this plantation was an evil man. His wife was involved with the
overseer and this is why he had been elevated to that level. But
there were many Indian women who were intimate with Europeans
because this ensured that they were given comparatively easy tasks.
Despite the fact that both my wife
and I earned money, we found it difficult to make ends meet.
Sometimes we obtained credit from the shopkeeper but he did not
permit it to go beyond our capacity to repay.
With severe stringency and strict
economy we eventually managed to save a little. Though, on leaving
India I had intended to return, I did not in the end.
My family was here so I could not go
back. Further, I had neither money nor home nor a plot of land to go
back to. Mach later when I wanted to write to folks in India my
eldest son opposed it. His mother had warned him that I had money
and once correspondence began I would desert them, hence letter
writing should not be permitted.
He opposed my writing to India. Thus there was no contact.