WHAT started in an environment of despair for a former parliamentarian has today seen the release of a book.
Originally not intended for publication, A Fijian Memoir — Footprints of a Girmitya's Grandson was launched in Suva on Thursday evening.
The book waswritten by a former trade unionist, former parliamentarian and Cabinet minister Pratap Chand.
Mr Chand told The Fiji Times his journey to write the book began in 2006 when his wife fell seriously sick in Brisbane, Australia.
"She was admitted to the Princess Alexandria Hospital for more than a year and I was going through very tough times, so I began to write early in the morning," he said.
"I wrote four chapters of the book and stopped when my wife was discharged from hospital in early 2007 as I had to look after her. After my wife's death in September 2008, I forgot about the book. I picked up in 2010 and started writing again after being encouraged by a friend Narendra Nand.
"I wrote the draft and got it polished by some people and it was edited by Prof Brij Lal, with Dr Ganesh Chand putting the final touches in the end," said Mr Chand.
The book is based on the life of Mr Chand — from his childhood to education, the trade union movement, politics and his wife's death from myeloma, which is a cancer of plasma cells.
It is about his journey from the sugarcane fields of Tavua to parliament, and how his wife's deteriorating health changed his political career. Mr Chand dedicated the book to the loving memory of his mother Dharam Wati, father Munessar, grandfather Lurkhur and wife Birwati Chand.
The book was launched by Dr Ganesh Chand. The launch was attended by trade unionists, politicians, invited guests and Mr Chand's relatives.