Sea of Poppies: A Novel (The Ibis Trilogy)
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The first in an epic trilogy, Sea of Poppies is "a remarkably rich saga . . . which has plenty of action and adventure à la Dumas, but moments also of Tolstoyan penetration--and a drop or two of Dickensian sentiment" (The Observer [London]).
At the heart of this vibrant saga is a vast ship, the Ibis. Her destiny is a tumultuous voyage across the Indian Ocean shortly before the outbreak of the Opium Wars in China. In a time of colonial upheaval, fate has thrown together a diverse cast of Indians and Westerners on board, from a bankrupt raja to a widowed tribeswoman, from a mulatto American freedman to a free-spirited French orphan. As their old family ties are washed away, they, like their historical counterparts, come to view themselves as jahaj-bhais, or ship-brothers. The vast sweep of this historical adventure spans the lush poppy fields of the Ganges, the rolling high seas, and the exotic backstreets of Canton. With a panorama of characters whose diaspora encapsulates the vexed colonial history of the East itself, Sea of Poppies is "a storm-tossed adventure worthy of Sir Walter Scott" (Vogue).
Were said to do: there was no pressing reason for them to seek the sanction of anything other than their own desires. With no parents or elders to decide on these matters, who knew what was the right way to make a marriage? And wasn’t it she herself who had said, at the start, that they were all kin now; that their rebirth in the ship’s womb had made them into a single family? But true as that might be, it was true also that they were not yet so much a family as to make decisions for one another:.
Malum too, because he was her hombo and she had set her heart on him. I was the only one there, let me tell you, whose eyes were dry, for I knew better. Listen, I whispered to your Tantinn Paulette, don’t worry, they’re safe, those five; it was they who pushed the boat back in the sea, so they’d be taken for dead and quickly forgotten. And as for Malum Zikri, don’t worry about him either, tu-vwá, he’ll have made some arrangements for you – just trust in him. And sure enough, a day or two later,.
The day: Sãjh bhailé Sãjha ghar ghar ghumé Ke mora sãjh manayo ji Twilight whispers at every door: it’s time to mark my coming. Just beyond the boundaries of Calcutta, to the west of the dockside neighbourhoods of Kidderpore and Metia Bruz, lay a length of gently sloping bank that overlooked a wide sweep of the Hooghly River: this was the verdant suburb of Garden Reach, where the leading white merchants of Calcutta had their country estates. Here, as if to keep watch over the ships.
They had to be taken together or not at all, and although they came cheap, they had their own ideas of how much work they would do and how many men would share each job – which seemed to mean that three or four lascars had to be hired for jobs that could well be done by a single able seaman. The Captain declared them to be as lazy a bunch of niggers as he had ever seen, but to Zachary they appeared more ridiculous than anything else. Their costumes, to begin with: their feet were as naked as the.
The task had one fortunate consequence: with the fana emptied of its jhulis, all its occupants now had to sleep on the main deck. This was no great trial, for the weather was growing ever hotter, in anticipation of the coming monsoons, and it was better to be out in the open, even if it meant sleeping on wood. What was more, the fresh air seemed to have the effect of loosening everyone’s tongue, and the lascars often gossiped late into the night as they lay under the stars. Serang Ali never.