Colour of gold

GITA ARAVAMUDAN’s new book is based on Kolar, one of India’s oldest gold mining towns

The Colour of Gold by Gita Aravamudan was launched by Gopalakrishna Gandhi, former Governor of West Bengal at a sparkling event at the Oxford Book store in Bangalore. The Colour of Gold is a mystery novel set in Kolar Gold Fields one of India’s oldest gold mining towns. The unexpected death of an Anglo Indian employee of the mines, a mysterious letter from England and an Australian journalist investigating the closure of what were once the richest mines in the country are three seemingly unconnected strands which help uncover a century old secret which might have remained buried forever.

In the process of unraveling the mystery the narration flits up and down across a span of 100 years, and brings alive the life and times of a special town with a special way of life which disappeared forever when the Mines closed. While launching the book Mr. Gandhi said that novels even when they are not autobiographies tend to draw inspiration from the lives of their authors. In this case he pointed out that since the author grew up in KGF she was able to portray the town and way of life so vividly that it came alive for the reader. He also spoke about the process of writing fiction where memories merge with imagination.

The launch was attended by several former KGF persons who also shared their memories of the town which was once known as Little England. A couple of days later at historian V. Sriram launched Colour of Gold at the Tag Centre in Chennai. In this event the Chief Guest spoke about the connections between Chennai and KGF and pointed out that though this town was in the heart of Kannada speaking Karnataka, the local people mostly spoke Tamil as they were migrants from the neighbouring state of Tamil Nadu. He also narrated several interesting vignettes of information about the history of the mining town.

Gita Aravamudan

Gita Aravamudan

Gita Aravamudan grew up in a small gold mining town in Karnataka, went to college in Bangalore taught high school for a year and squeezed her way into journalism. Worked as a trainee for Hindustan Times Delhi and then at the age of 21 became a full-fledged reporter for Indian Express Bangalore and became the first woman reporter in the city. Free-lanced for a long, long time, writing for a wide range of English language publications from different parts of the country. Her latest book of narrative journalism “Baby Makers: The Story of Indian Surrogacy” (Harper Collins 2014) the first ever comprehensive book on the subject has already received excellent reviews and is being translated into Japanese. Her other books are “Colour of Gold” a mystery novel set in an Indian gold mining town (Harper Collins in 2013), “Disappearing Daughters: the tragedy of Female Foeticide” (Penguin 2007) (translated into Marathi & Japanese), “Unbound: Indianwomen@work” (Penguin 2010) and “The Healing” a novel set in Chennai (Harper Collins 2008).