came to Fiji through my own arrogance. There was trouble at home and
I walked out. I met someone and asked him to give me work. He said
he could find me a good job in Fiji. I was taken to a depot and
registered. Once I got into the depot and ate the food provided for
me I was caught in a net and could no longer leave.
It was Indians not Europeans who
ruined things; the sardars
were Indians and they were responsible for all evil. We had for a
time a foul-mouthed sardar
who was an ex-indentured man. He was subsequently dismissed by the
Company. But it was the Europeans who gave us a beating, there was
no redress from them.
Everyone, irrespective of religion,
participated in the tazia.
These occasions were sometimes characterised by widespread fighting
I did fast in the month of Ramadhan
while I was on girmit.
Life was hard in those days. I know of women under girmit
who worked till 9pm or 10pm cutting and loading cane. It was Indians
who created difficulties for other Indians. Was it a good thing to
listen to Europeans and to take to them one's sister or daughter?
All were united, doctors as well as
the Company, against Indians who were like orphans.
We did not get married in those days
we merely came to an agreement. I had a year of my girmit
to serve when I met a Brahmin woman who had come from India with a
She suffered much and one day she
fell at my feet so I said to her: “Maharajin why are you crying?
If your girmit is finished I will keep you as my wife otherwise I
will not. But you will have to give up your religion and become a
Muslim. If you intend to remain a Brahmin then you must find someone
your own kind.”
She replied: “I will do as you
I was able to arrange everything with
the Company and so I married this woman and adopted her son. I had
several children by her and I am staying with one of them at