Tuesday 5 May 2020

The Tainted by Cauvery Madhavan @CauveryMadhavan Blog Tour @hoperoadpublish #RandomThingsTours #TheTainted

It's spring 1920 in the small military town of Nandagiri in southeast India. Colonel Aylmer, commander of the Royal Irish Kildare Rangers, is in charge. A distance away, decently hidden from view, lies the native part of Nandagiri with its heaving bazaar, reeking streets, and brothels. Everyone in Nandagiri knows their place and the part they were born to play--with one exception. The local Anglo-Indians, tainted by their mixed blood, belong nowhere. When news of the Black and Tans' atrocities back in Ireland reaches the troops, even their priest cannot cool the men's hot-headed rage. Politics vie with passion as Private Michael Flaherty pays court to Rose, Mrs. Aylmer's Anglo-Indian maid, but mutiny brings heroism and heartbreak in equal measure. Only the arrival of Colonel Aylmer's grandson Richard, some 60 years later, will set off the reckoning, when those who were parted will be reunited, and those who were lost will be found again.

The Tainted by Cauvery Madhavan was published on 30 April 2020 by HopeRoad Publishing.
As part of the #RandomThingsTours Blog Tour, I'm delighted to welcome the author here today with a guest post.

A Bit about Me by Cauvery Madhavan

When I look back on my growing up years in India, what stands out are my loving parents. It was an idyllic, carefree childhood. My younger brother and I were typical Indian army kids. My father served in the Corps of Engineers, an officer and a gentleman to the nth degree, and my mother was a consummate fixer upper of everything, as she had to constantly make do with whatever potluck of domestic circumstance she was presented with - Regiments moved regularly, all  over India, and often at very short notice. I attended 7 schools across India in my 12 school years and all run by Irish nuns. The first time I walked the promenade at Salthill I knew in my heart why the nuns had us singing Galway Bay at every opportunity!
My brother and I had got over our sibling rivalries and had grown very close when he was killed in a car accident aged 19. It was a horrid, hard blow and left my parents totally broken. They came back to life only when my own three were born years later. His death continues to define my life in many ways and I miss him terribly. I think he would have been a wonderful uncle.
I was 25 years old when I arrived in Ireland. From Madras to Sligo in 1987 - there was culture shock to deal with, for sure. But in reverse. Leaving India for Europe I was expecting sex, drugs and rock n’roll. What I got was Gaybo and the realisation that I’d left a conservative country for an ultra-conservative one.  I should have guessed - the day before I flew to Ireland my husband who had arrived four months earlier rang me long distance. Bring condoms, he said. You can only get them on prescription here. I spent my last day in India scurrying between dozens of pharmacies, arriving in Ireland on Valentine’s Day, my suitcase full of sin.
Looking back on those days, it was a good time to be brown in Ireland. As we made weekend forays across the border at Belcoo, to stockpile on cheap groceries and booze, we learnt to roll our windows down and stick our heads out. On being spotted, we’d be asked to leave the long queue of cars, most with boots open, passengers and contents strewn on the road, to be waved swiftly on by gun wielding, unsmiling soldiers. We weren’t mistaken for terrorists then.
For the first 12 years, we were always two years from going back to India. My husband, who was training to be a vascular surgeon, studied every hour he wasn’t working to get his FRCS exams, while I brought up our three children. They are all reared now - two girls and a lad in the middle, nearly off our books, my absolute pride and joy. We moved a dozen times, gathering a beloved collection of neighbours who have become the family we didn’t have in Ireland. Those wonderful early years gifted me the bones of my first book, Paddy Indian.  I wrote The Uncoupling soon after. I’m glad my father was alive to see me published though, in his eyes, I had really made it the day I was interviewed on BBC. He was a product of the Raj era!
Several of my interests have grown out of a severe propensity to procrastinate. My garden, greenhouse, flock of hens, herd of pigs, trio of dogs and pair of cats all require sudden and urgent attention whenever I need to write, oft times one after the other in quick succession. I keep a clean and tidy house too as a result and, that most discerning of groups - my children’s friends, say I am a really good cook. I believe procrastination is method writing of sorts. It buys thinking time, a lot of it in glorious solitude - consequently much of my writing is done in my head. I edit as I write and a page a day leaves me very satisfied. When none of that works, I jump in the car and head to West Cork. All three of my books have been started, gestated in parts and finished on the Beara Peninsula.
I was born again aged 47.  A full-blown stroke left me without any speech and completely paralysed on my right side. But I recovered, and though it was near miraculous, I remain an atheist who lived to tell the tale. I didn’t know that, post recovery, my best years were yet to come, and they have been absolutely wonderful. I’ve learnt how to ski. I trekked to Everest Base Camp. I lost two stone. I can navigate Twitter. I started playing golf - ok I confess I am actually addicted to golf. But I have an All Ireland medal that justifies it.
So here I am, I’ve got to 57 and I am working on my fourth book. I’ve solid, interesting ideas for three more and when I’m done writing them, I plan to take a year or two off to train to win the over-70’s golf title. Then, I’ll get back to writing again.
© Cauvery Madhavan - May 2020

Cauvery Madhavan was born and educated in India. 
She worked as a copywriter in her hometown of Chennai (formerly Madras). 
Cauvery moved to Ireland thirty-three years ago and has been in love with the country ever since. Her other books are: Paddy Indian and The Uncoupling
She lives with her husband and three children in beautiful County Kildare 

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