Where it all began

In its earliest incarnation, The Indian Mate was merely an idea for a blog, the desire being to write something of value for the generations to come, and to detail the lives of people who sacrificed everything to lay a pathway for others.

It wasn’t long before the scope grew not only to include and document the heart-wrenching moment of Partition and what that meant to future generations, but also to show a modern family that is not far removed from the trauma of these events. A book was the logical choice to make it more tangible, real and meaningful.

The power of determination

There are a lot of instances in The Indian Mate where odds were beaten against the so-called ‘expected way things should go’. These experiences were about more than just going the extra mile: they highlight the kind of superhuman strength that’s possible when you have a purpose. I hope my writing will help the younger generations to understand this and inspire them to forge ahead with their own purpose so that one day they can share and inspire others with their own stories.

Given the hardships I faced, the goal of bringing my family to Australia may seem like an extraordinary accomplishment, but to me it was more than that – it was a message I wanted to champion: that if you believe in something, you can do it against all odds, especially when it involves improving and enriching the lives of your loved ones.

One of my favourite quotes is ‘The hardest battles are given to the bravest soldiers’, and I feel my journey was nothing short of a battle.

Challenges of writing a book

Conceptualising and writing The Indian Mate came with its own set of challenges, but I never lost sight of why I was doing it, or the importance of the message I wanted to convey. I kept pushing myself bit by bit to bring it out of me, which led to many sleepless nights, being awake at 4am, laughing, crying and reliving parts of my life that were buried so deep. With the help of my family, friends and my own sense of purpose, I was able to accomplish it: around 600 pages and 200,000 words after half a decade of writing! The process of writing The Indian Mate was a journey of its own.

The two volumes of The Indian Mate relive a story of people like me: people who left everything that they’ve ever known behind to create a better future for themselves and their loved ones; people who are from two different countries, but don’t fully belong to either; people who realise that their lives in two different countries have forged a new identity for them. These volumes are my journey from Namaste to Howrya in my own words – I hope reading these will be an enjoyable and inspiring experience for you!