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On The Table Read Magazine, “the best book magazine in the UK“, set in 1920’s India, Hema Macherla’s Blue Eyes, 18 year old Anjali is almost burnt alive on the funeral pyre of her dead husband before being saved by her friend Saleem and introduced to British officer, Mr. Robert.
Hema Macherla’s new book Blue Eyes is set in 1920’s British India, a time of extreme unrest, when Mahatma Gandhi was just entering the political stage, and as the freedom struggle against British colonial rule began.
Blue Eyes is set in 1920s British India, a time of extreme unrest when Mahatma Gandhi was entering the political stage. These turbulent times, about the ideological struggles of young Indians torn between Gandhian principles of non-violence and the necessity to confront colonial rule, form the backcloth to the personal stories.
The first dramatic scene shows the protagonist, Anjali, a child bride, about to be burnt alive on her husband’s funeral pyre, a horrific custom called Sati widely followed in those times. After a miraculous escape, things go badly wrong and she embarks on an extraordinary, often terrifying, journey of discovery.
Saleem, her childhood friend, becomes entwined in her destiny. As he searches for her, he is caught up in the Jalianwallah-Bagh peace rally in which hundreds of innocent people are killed.
Meanwhile, Anjali boards a train for remote Kalipet. Upon arrival, she stumbles into a terrifying riot at the railway station, but escapes. Alone in an unknown place, she trusts a friendly woman, Mohini and accepts her offer to travel with her to the Zamindar’s harem. Again, Anjali’s life falls into the hands of the wrong people.
Anjali flees Mohini’s clutches and takes cover in a temple where she meets Mr. Robert, a British officer who is also hiding from a violent mob.
From here, the story twists and turns, a love triangle always at its heart between Anjali and the two men who wish her well.
Whilst the narration plays out against a background of brutality inflicted by the colonial government, Blue Eyes also brings out the hidden nature of how the British and the Indians helped each other, and shares insight into the lesser known details of why young British women were nicknamed the ‘fishing fleet’ and ‘empty returns’. Blue Eyes is a story of luxury, vulnerability, love, and fear.-Hema Macherla
Now living in London, Hema Macherla was born in India and has published 25 short stories, several articles, and 3 novels. Blue Eyes is her second novel following her highly successful Breeze From The River Manjeera. Letters In The Sand is her third novel.
Big Red Read was short-listed and came runner up in the Richard and Judy – How to write a novel- competition, out of 44,000 entries. She received ‘National Reading Hero’ award at 10 Downing Street.
All her three of her books are translated into French.
Find more from Hema Macherla now:
It is also available to purchase from the publishers (priced £7.99) at https://tinyurl.com/ze58tu5v
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