How was Jamie born of my imagination?
When I began visualizing Rose Garden International, it was after a holiday in Ooty. I couldn’t help admiring the influence of the British Raj on the hill-station. Having always dreamed of writing historical romances, I thought to myself, ‘Why not introduce a bit of history into this story?’
And that’s how Jamie’s grandparents settled in Ooty a few years before India attained independence. The couple fall in love with the hill-station and build a house there along with a clock tower, the clock imported all the way from England.
Jamie Scott, from Australia, has always been fascinated with Ooty in South India, having heard about it a lot from his grandmother Barbara and reading her diaries from the 1940s. Suddenly bored of his sedentary life in Alice Springs, he decides to take a break and visit Ooty.
I would say it’s the call of Destiny! How else would he meet Rhea Bansal, the woman he falls in love with?
And that’s how Jamie Scott, an Australian from Alice Springs, became the hero of my book Rose Garden International, Book #2 of The Bansal Legacy series.
Read the book to know more about not just the love story of Jamie and Rhea, but also how Jamie falls in love with Ooty, the same way that his grandparents fell in love with the hill-station almost eight decades ago.
An excerpt on J for Jamie…
November 17, 1944
Our house is ready and we plan to move into it tomorrow morning. Sigh! Rose Garden is the most beautiful structure, probably because of the love Jason has poured into every single brick that went into its construction.
Why such a prosaic name for our house? All I can say is that the first time we went to check the land for this property, I could see roses growing rampantly there, all having been planted by the English people who had decided to make Ooty their holiday home. It so reminded me of the English countryside. I couldn’t think of a more apt name for our home other than Rose Garden. Well, that my mother’s name was Rose also helped me make this decision.
I am not sure whether the others will be able to relate to it, but I see a glow surrounding our home whenever I look at it in the morning sunlight. There’s a living area on the ground floor—a central hall with two wings on the left and right. The left wing has the kitchen and dining area, while the right wing houses the library that gets the most of the morning sunshine. I cannot imagine living anywhere else in the world.
And oh yes! Jason and I are expecting our bundle of joy soon. The doctor confirmed that I am pregnant with my first child, to be born sometime in the June of next year. Life cannot get better than this, I am sure...
Jamie paused, his mind going inward. Barbara and Jason Scott had left Ooty in the February of 1947, a little more than two years from this diary entry, along with Baby Nathan, who had been about a year and a half old. They had decided to move to Australia as there had been talks of India getting its independence from being a British colony.
“Did you never think of going back to Ooty, Granny?” Jamie was nine when he had asked Barbara that.
“No darling. My heart overflows with the memories of my time there with your grandpa. With him passing on, I somehow never felt the urge to go back there.” Jason Scott had died twenty years ago. “Maybe you would like to visit Ooty sometime. I know you’ll love the place.”
His grandmother had died a year later, but the thought had been seeded in young Jamie’s mind. While living the busy life of a student and later when he built his career, her stories had been pushed to the back of his mind. But she had left him her diaries. And recently, after moving to Alice Springs, Jamie had taken to reading Barbara’s diaries off and on. He fingered the one dated 1946. He never found the diary of 1945. Barbara had been unable to locate it. “I’m not sure child,” she had laughed. “I didn’t even know that these were lying in the bottom of the trunk that we brought on Michelle, the ship that we travelled on from Madras port in India to Port Darwin in Australia.”
Jamie looked at his computer screen now, frowning at the projects that were waiting for him. And then he looked at his grandmother’s diaries lying on his lap. What should he do?
A sudden smile lit Jamie’s rugged face. The call of Ooty was too powerful. He had just one life to live. Might as well live his dream along with his grandmother’s wishes!
When he found a hotel by the name of Rose Garden International, Jamie didn’t think twice before booking a cottage for his stay. Jamie promised to take just ten days off to check his grandmother’s favourite place before he got back to his regular life.