B r i c k  L a n e  C i r c l e

MAJEDA RAHMAN CHOWDHURY

My story is about Mir Jafar’s relationship with his first wife. I have a fascination with villainous characters because I want to know what events in their lives made them become who they were. My story is about how Mir Jafar’s primary focus in life was always power and status. I decided to write my story from the perspective of his first wife because that way I could still be historically accurate without being too restricted by facts, since there is very little written about her in history books.

The Meeting of Mir Jafar and Robert Clive after the Battle of Plassey
by Francis Hayman c. 1760

Colonel Mordaunt’s Cock Match
by Johan Zoffany c. 1784–6

Reading Between the Lines

‘Everything in the room had been misplaced since Ali’s meltdown after his dismissal. However, the one thing that remained intact was Ali’s grand display of the medals, badges, and sashes that he had been awarded for his military victories. The display was situated in the centre of the room, slightly to the left to allow access to the bed but central enough to capture the eye of anyone who entered. The display was shaped as a pyramid, starting from Ali’s earlier awards at the bottom and working its way up to where his red belt, symbolising his leadership over Orissa, used to hang. However, the pyramid seemed incomplete.’

Helping to transform the intellectual landscape of the Bangladeshi community in the UK and celebrate the amazing British diversity

I have a degree in history and I initially was interested in getting involved in this project because I wanted to continue my interest and passion for history. I have never written fiction before so I saw this project as a challenge. However, because I wanted to keep true to my history roots, I tried to keep my story as historically accurate as possible.
 
Since graduating in 2014 I started work in the charity sector and alongside this I was also volunteering at the Imperial War Museum; but felt like I needed to get more involved and learn more about history. The East India Company (E.I.C.) was always a topic I was keen to learn more about, but was never really motivated to do it on my own accord. This project was perfect, as it provided me with a purpose to start reading more widely about this topic.
 
I thoroughly enjoyed this project because it allowed me to broaden my knowledge about my own history. I am a British Bengali who was born and grew up in East London. Growing up, I never really considered the wider history of how and why I am here today. My knowledge of my ancestral links to Britain never went beyond my grandfather’s migration here in the 1930’s. This project allowed me to take a step back and learn about Britain’s first contact with India so this was a great learning experience for me. Also, as the topic of the E.I.C. is so big, I think it’s really interesting how different writers chose such diverse topics, eras and people to write about. I look forward to reading the rest of the stories, since we haven’t seen anybody else’s work yet.