Poems by Rohini Balram

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Born as a fourth generation of Indian Indentured labourers in Fiji and moving to Australia in adulthood, Rohini Balram identifies herself as an Indo-Fijian-Australian. Her palms have been prickly since adolescence, and she has been writing on particular culturally controversial subjects, questioning norms, expressing feelings and describing vivid imaginations. Ink apparently has been that balm which has given her fears, beliefs and feelings a liberated voice. At tertiary level, Rohini naturally skewed towards studying a Bachelors of Education majoring in English Literature and language. Teaching in a high school for seven years in Fiji with students of Indian and Fijian backgrounds was an opportune time to observe racial breaches. This compelled her to trace this fragmented society back to the indenture times. Consequently, she was inspired to work on a Post Graduate Diploma in Pacific Literature. Her passion to write about Indo-Fijian women experiences from Indenture times to the contemporary was ignited via a presentation for a post graduate course where she began to question the hyphen (Indo-Fijian) in her identity. This in turn fired her up to research and work on a Master’s thesis namely: ‘The Means of Connecting the Contemporary Indo-Fijian Women to the Imaginary Homeland .'Having a personal identity crisis and emotional experiences of the double diaspora via racial threats in the host land (Fiji), Rohini succumbed towards an imaginary flowery homeland. Thus a lot of her works centre around the flowery picture of India through the lens of the Bollywood Cinema. Furthermore, being a gym instructor and passionate about running marathons, her writings also feature the sporting experiences of marginalized (Indo-Fijian) women in a developing host country. Today, Rohini is a freelance writer and a PhD student at Western Sydney University in Australia, working on a research titled: Understanding Indo-Fijian women and sport- Re-doing gender in Fiji and the Diaspora. She spends some time writing short pieces for educational software companies in Sydney. This also gives her the freedom to indulge in pieces on any subject that might tickle her fancy.