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Indian Australian author Nandita Chakraborty's 'Rosemary's Retribution' is a cross cultural love story

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“My most recent love story, 'Rosemary’s Retribution' is inspired by one of the darkest periods in India’s history known as ‘The Emergency’," says Nandita Chakraborty.

Nandita Chakraborty was born in Kolkata in India into a small conservative family that has always been associated with the arts.

Her father was the famous Bengali film producer, Dhiresh Kumar Chakraborty.

“My father won many accolades in the field of Indian Cinema, so the house was always filled with creativity,” she told SBS Hindi.

Chakraborty studied Fashion and Visual Merchandising and forged a successful career in New Delhi, but says she always felt personally and creatively unfulfilled.

“That is when I began to write. At first, it was poetry, and then short stories,” she says.

In 2000, she came to Melbourne where she started her own fashion boutique with her then husband.

It was not until after a difficult divorce that she began searching for something that would define her purpose in life.

She found solace in writing again.

In 2011, Nandita fell 40 metres during a horrific rock climbing accident which left her with a traumatic brain injury resulting in a cognitive disability.

Nevertheless, in 2013, she self-published her first novel 'Missing Peace'.

Her second was ‘Meera Rising’.

“I took time off and travelled through India for six months, where I began to understand the pandemonium of Krishna’s devotees.

“One night, by chance, I saw a classic Indian movie about Mirabai – a movie I had seen as a child, but never understood.

“It inspired me and that is how Meera Rising was born, a story about a legacy of love, divinity, and sacrifice, that needed to be shared with generations to come,” she says.

Nandita Chakraborty
SBS

Her latest, 'Rosemary’s Retribution', is also about women defining themselves in love and all that empowers in its name.

“My most recent love story, Rosemary’s Retribution is inspired by one of the darkest periods in India’s history known as ‘The Emergency’.

“The book is set in Kolkata in 1975, follows a thick plot of family secrets and the woes of cross-cultural marriage. It follows the story of Shabana and Ted, one a young diplomat from Melbourne and the other a maid in the foreign office in Calcutta.

“The unconventional friendship between the two turns to love under the shadow of Urdu poetry and western literature. Against cultural differences, both fight for social acceptance and find themselves caught in a web of secrets and betrayal that spans forty years,” she says.

The book was launched in Melbourne this week. 

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