Sunday, April 18, 2010

A writer's journey

I'd arrived in Delhi from an obscure little village by the largest ocean, nestling between an airport and a jagged range of brooding volcanic mountains: amphitheatrical and dramatic. The village was named Votualevu; the airport Nadi; the ocean Pacific; and the country was 'Phiji' as my indentured grandparents pronounced Fiji.

Few students in my hostel knew where Fiji was: Ah, so you've come from Fuji? And when I tried to show them on a world map, locally published, the two tiny dots in the middle of the Pacific were always missing.

I managed by pointing to the two unnamed dots that made up New Zealand. It certainly developed my distorted sense of geography: and some of us began to realise that this archipelago was the most distant islands to which our subcontinental ancestors had been shipped from their land-locked villages of the United Provinces, later joined by labourers from around Madras.

Full report here Fiji Times

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