The Trinidadian Deewani: Longing and Belonging in Peggy Mohan’s Jahajin

Nivedita Misra


Peggy Mohan’s Jahajin gives expression to the plight of the East Indians indentured on the sugar estates in Trinidad. However, the novel steers away from the burden of memories and argues for a more dynamic understanding of memory and its hold upon the East Indian diaspora in the West Indies. This article uses a poem titled “Trinidad” by Kedarnath Singh as a conceptual framework for understanding the present that connects with the past. It also cross-references the folktale of Rani Saranga narrated by Peggy Mohan in the text to a film version of the same made in the 1960s. Peggy Mohan’s text plays with diverse versions of memories that are variously structured by the three women narrators in different time frames as strategies of survival to overcome pain.


Trinidad; India; indenture history; women narratives; diaspora relations

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