I like to practise yoga, meditation and eating a healthy vegan diet. I am a follower of the Jain religion that advocates ahimsa (peace) for all forms of all life. I have no prior knowledge or experience of working with heritage or fiction writing.
I have been researching the history and the multitudinous benefits of industrial hemp for several years. When I saw the cover photo for this project, the first thing that caught my attention was the sails and rope on the ship that I knew were made from hemp.
This project was very eye-opening to me in so many ways. Researching about the uses of hemp during the period of the East India Company was an interesting challenge. Although hemp was used widely during this time, finding factual information involved going through many sources on the internet, reading through various books and picking up information from people I met randomly.
My initial idea was to write about hemp but it then transformed into a love story based on advice from Rajeev, the short story mentor. Now a new twist came as I was starting to use my imagination to write a love story. Although all this was not easy, I enjoyed exploring my own mind for any ideas that transpired.
I enjoyed the connection I developed with all the members of the group. Rehearsing for the play has been lots of fun too, with great ideas and story-weaving from Canah. Most enjoyable for me has been the friendship I developed with Ahmedullah, the instigator of this amazing project. He has been a great mentor and friend, and I will surely cherish all of my new connections.
‘The Queen, like many East Indiamen, were built out of timber and rigged with hemp sails and rope. She was pierced for fifty guns and ranked with fifty-gun frigates, to which she bore a very close resemblance and was more than capable of being converted in a moment to a warship. Victoria gazed in awe at the ship and her beautiful sails.
“Those sails look very familiar.” “Of course, they look familiar. When she was brought to England, she was fitted out with sail cloth and rope at Bridport.”
“You mean to say that the hemp fibre that we spent so many hours every day making into rope and sails was fitted on to these ships” ’
B r i c k L a n e C i r c l e
Jack has escaped a troubled family life from London. He has run away from home to escape the clutches of an abusive dad, but leaving behind his dear old mum. On arriving in Bridport, he is lucky to get a job as a rope-maker and slogs away at this job until he grows to become a young adult. Wherever he goes, and whenever he is in trouble, his mum’s spirit is always with him, guiding him in the right direction. He gets married to Victoria, his sweetheart that he met at the rope factory as a young boy. Although life was tough, trying to earn enough money to cover the rent, they were happy to have each other. Davey, the local bully, starts demanding more interest from him for a loan and so they decide to escape to India and start a new life. Just before they leave Bridport, a fight ensues between them, and so now Jack has another reason to keep on running.