Hey this is nice, even though.....I'm an Indian. I know!
Fortunately I soon learned that the substance was not blood but instead betel, a plant the natives chew which makes their saliva red. The stains are caused by their spitting, and frankly, some habits are disgusting, chewing tobacco is just as bad.
I resent that! What if I said someting derogatory about you guys? We all have our habits, you tolerate me, I tolerate you, one day Ram Rajya (Rule of peace) is surely coming!!
Author's Response: I'm sorry if you found anything upseting or derogatory in this piece as that was not at all intended. All I was attempting to do was to display the mindset of the British after the Indian Mutiny, and frankly it was very much an imperial mindset. I have spent much of the last three years researching the Mutiny, and for the character, accuracy would have meant he was very biased against the Indian people. His opinions are not my opinions, and I was hoping that people would be able to see the blatant bias he was coming from as a part of history not as modern fact. Toleration is very important, but it has not always existed and it is important to acknowledge that and educate ourselves so that we can move towards a better understanding and toleration in the future. Again, I apologise if you took this piece the wrong way, it was not intended as such, but instead to acknowledge the past to influence the future.
Hey, that was a great little story. You do a wonderful job presenting the time period and the attitudes that the people probably held. The whole thing is fantastically believeable, especially because of all the little details you include in the story. I could really picture that bead of sweat popping out on the soldier's forehead and irritating the poor guy. What a terrible dilemma he was in trying to figure out how to relieve the irritation.
However, it was not only the details about the soldier that made the story so believeable, it was the numerous details that were specific to the location. You do a really good job of incorporating the Indian words you use throughout your story. It really grounded the story in the location. Of course, the detail about the color on the wall was great. I love the way you first describe the color and then give the character's reaction to it before actually saying what it is. That was pretty suspenseful since my original reaction was the same as the character's. Of course, it would have been nice to get a little more description of the surroundings aside from the wall with all the reddish-brown color on it. But, still, it was great to get that much detail in such a short description of the wall.
Overall, this was a really great historical story to read. You bring in little bits and pieces of history to give it that dated feel but also throw in things that make it timeless - like 'constant vigilance'. That was my very favorite part of the story. Bringing in the whole idea of 'constant vigilance' is really what made this story what it was because it cemented the tie between this nameless soldier and his descendant, May-Eye Moody. It also makes it seem that the idea of 'constant vigilance' was one passed down through the family, which is a great idea. Very well done and nicely written.
Author's Response: Thanks so much for the praise, I really appreciate it. Upon further reflection I do wish I had worked in the details of the area, but having never actually been to India (yet) I was loath to do so without much more strenuous work on the climate and plants of that area. I feel like it has to be correct if I am going to write it. *smiles sheepishly* I'm glad you approved of constant vigilance, it just seemed right, especially coming from a soldier and being passed down to a soldier. I really appreciate all the criticism and praise, it lets me know what to work on in my next piece (and what to go back and fix!). So thanks again.
I really enjoyed this, Kristin! It's so cool to see something to do with Moody, even if it is an ancestor of his. You managed to include bits of the Moody that we are familiar with, while at the same time making this ancestor his own person. And it's always nice to see a Constant vigilance! when you're talking 'bout the Moody's. ;-)
I think one of the best things about this fic was how you made it feel so historical. I felt like I was in India while reading this. I also really enjoyed the use of all the native words. You didn't overdo it, but your use of them really added to the atmosphere of the whole fic. Nice job there. It's obvious you did your research, and that's a good thing.
I liked the ending. Dunno why, just liked it. :D This fic wasn't a long one, but I don't think it needed to be. I think you kept it a good length. Just a nice, somewhat quick, insight into a Moody's mind. Really great. I'm glad I found this fic! It's not something I would normally read, as I don't hang out in Historical too often, but I'm glad I clicked on it. Nice work!
Author's Response: Thanks for all the praise. I really love British Empirialism, especially in India (it is my focus for my history major after all) so I was really glad of an excuse to write this. I'm glad the atmosphere came through, I was a little worried the words would just confuse people or my explanations would be too redundant. *whew- glad it seemed to work* Anyway, thanks again!
Soon I can escape this dreadful heat for the cool shade of an office and the delightful task of finding those rogue joodo-wallahs. (Think you have a slight typo here ... you may mean jadoo-wallahs.)
Actually, I have no idea about the Sepoy rebellion or those Indian terminologies, yet I was able to understand what you meant. This truly shows that you managed to convey you ideas well.
The way your character kept repeating phrases about the heat emphasizes that it's blaxingly hot there. You got the political mindset head on, but I would have wanted to see more of the exotic settings of India - the sights, sounds, and activities. I got a good feel of your character the events and the beliefs of that time the problem is that I have a hard time picturing the setting.
You've really done your research! In this monologue, you also don't often start your sentence with an 'I' which really does help to a better flow when I read this. :) Congratulations on being a finalist. Truly well deserved. ^_^
Author's Response: Thanks! I'm sorry I didn't go into the setting more, I really wanted to focus more on the thoughts of the people than the physical around them. I will go back and see what I can do. Thanks again for your congratualations and I appreciate the review!
Oops, just realised you'd already said that it's a one-shot. Sorry about that. But nonetheless, I'd love to read more of the British Empire stories, especially the aftermath of the Jallianwala Bagh massacre. Think about it, please? Your writing is wonderful, and I'd be glad to read more.
Author's Response: Thanks for all the comments, I'll try to do something about the Jallianwala Bagh massacre if I can, but it happened fifty-ish years after so I may have to get creative in order to tie the two together...
Magnificent. Absolutely marvellous. Being an Indian myself and having studied Indian history in thorough detail, I was pleasantly curious to read your story after happening across the summary, it certainly seemed like an interesting read. And I was not at all disappointed.
Firstly, presenting a segment of Indian history by involving wizards and witches, both British and Indian, was truly a stroke of ingenuity. I've often wondered, while reading through the brutalities of the Empire during those days, how the Britishers were able to justify their actions, how they never felt guilty about what they did. Of course, I'd heard about Darwin's theory of the 'survival of the fittest', the superiority of the white race from other races, and how they were entrusted with the mission of 'civilising' the inferior races. You've captured the mindset perfectly. It's kind of shocking actually, as this kind of behaviour seems tantamount to what the pure-bloods think about the half-bloods and muggle-borns. 'Filthy, dirty-blood' etc.
Couple of nitpicks:
But I suppose Iím one of the lucky ones, even if it is hot as the blazes down here.
- A word, such as 'sun', is missing between 'the' and 'blazes'.
The jadoo-wallah used the Imperious curse
- The correct spelling is 'Imperius'.
Soon I can escape this dreadful heat for the cool shade of an office and the delightful task of finding those rouge joodo-wallahs.
-Is it 'rouge' or 'rogue'? Hmmm, I don't know why they would call the 'jadoo-wallahs' red, the description of 'wild' would fit better (according to them, of course!)
Oh yes, I speak Hindi, and I immediately recognized the word 'jadoo-wallahs'. It was very amusing. That's what they must have been known as, anyway.
I liked the references to the abolition of 'Sati' and the belief that the Indian people are miserable due to their own religious beliefs. It corresponds so much to what I've studied, it was rather refreshing to read it once more (and it'll help me in my upcoming History exam;). The propogation of Christianity was once again one of their objectives, though we can't say they've had too much success.
Fortunately I soon learned that the substance was not blood but instead betel, a plant the natives chew which makes their saliva red.
Oh I know what this is. We call it 'Paan' in Hindi, and I was never too fond of it. Too bitter for my liking. But it's still pretty common, especially among the older people. Of course, they don't spit it out anywhere they want nowadays, goes straight into the rubbish bin (though I can't say that for all, I guess;).
I guess this would be around the 1850's or 60's, wouldn't it? I remember the Revolt of 1857 breaking out because of those greased cartridges, and it doesn't seem too far after that. Is this a one-shot? If not, I'd like to read about Moody's ancestor's opinion on the Jallianwala Bagh massacre. It seems as though this incident shocked the conscience of many Englishmen in Europe itself, and I would definitely be interested in reading that.
Please note that I meant no offence to any Brits who might be reading this, just talking about those in the past who were a part of the British Empire in India.
Finally, coming back on topic (i.e. Harry Potter), I liked the use of 'Constant Vigilance!'...just goes to show that some things run in the family, eh?^_^
Absolutely brilliant, and I look forward to reading more!10/10
Author's Response: Thanks for the critique. I really enjoy British Empire history so this was a lot of fun for me too. Colonial mindset is fascinating, people can believe the oddest things. Besides, I just like getting in people's minds and trying to figure out , "why?" I will definatly go back and fix those errors. Thanks alot!