Friends occasionally ask me how I come up with ideas for stories. The curious truth is that they often 'visit' me while I'm sleeping and are waiting for me in the morning.
Yesterday, however, I felt a yearning to write a story in some way connected with India. Three things prompted this. Firstly, I have just finished reading An Atlas of Impossible Longing by Anuradha Roy; its poetic prose and subtle representation of life's complexities simply swept me away. Then, two days ago, I visited the intriguing Museum of the British in India in Nelson. Finally, and sadly, I've been taking in the news of the terrible flooding in Kerala.
I've always been fascinated by India. Copies of Mughal miniatures which I bought during my two trips to India adorn one of my walls here in Wycoller. On my bookshelves are histories of the country by James (now Jan) Morris, Charles Allen, William Dalrymple and John Keay, alongside some of my favourite novels, including the irresistible Raj Quartet by Paul Scott, Vikram Seth's A Suitable Boy and, well, just too many others to mention. I've also got a large volume of the Myths and Legends of India and this is where I plan to start my 'immersion'.
Perhaps … a young girl, sleepless, goes to her parent's bookshelves, starts to leaf through a book of Mughal miniatures, is captivated and ...
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