Tell us about your book!
What inspired you to write your book?
As a young student, being part of a student delegation sent out to report on the impact of segregation on higher education for non-whites in the apartheid-South Africa, I became aware of the vulnerable position of the Indian minority in Africa. When refused re-entry visa to South Africa for further studies I started fieldwork in Kenya where I got acquainted with the Indian shopkeepers. Understanding their importance as “cornerstones” in the East African economy, I wrote my thesis on this subject, submitted at Stockholm University. Over the years I have followed the development of the Indian minority in Africa. The idea of writing this book in English, was first pushed forward by my Kenyan-English friend Dr Rafique Chaudhri, who persuaded me to update and carry on  writing about  the Indian Diaspora in Africa. My friend’s death urged me to continue. I finished this book with good advice from his brother Afzal Chaudhri and Dr. Sumit Roy, India.

Why do you like to write? What inspires you?
My abhorrence of apartheid and other forms of discrimination. This is based on my firm persuasion that Human Rights also requires Human Obligations.

How do your friends and loved ones react to your work?
With understanding and support.

Have you started writing something new now?
No - only small observations on life.

What advice can you give to aspiring writers?
Read and learn as much as you can about the subject you intend to write about and try to find new readers. Furthermore, try to associate yourself with a critical but understanding guru and listen to his/her criticism.

Why should people read your book?
Readers of my book might learn something new about Africa that they did not expect.

What do you do when you are no not writing?
Trying to understand life as seen by my eight grandchildren.

Who would you like to read your book?
Anyone who accepts the wisdom of the Sanskrit Classic from the 12 century, Hitopadesha, which says that all of us have received many good nuts. But do remember that you have to crack the nuts yourself.

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