"I have been known as Mary Dove, even Malaga Moll, but my name is Maharani Narayan. I am a descendant of the most proud and highly honored Koch Dynasty and the first Maharahja Chandran.
I was chained but I was never a slave. I was sold. This is my story."
In Other Words
Although Maharani Narayan, known as Mary Dove, or Malaga Moll, lived a life of tragedy, she was an incredible woman who stood in strength through every aspect and event in her life. Playful as a child in the sheltered world of the palace of Koch Behar, India, she had a deep and enduring connection to who she was through her faith and deeply rooted family ties which endured not only throughout her life, but for centuries beyond. While I do not consider myself a medium, it is true that I do on occasion interact with beings who have died. This is in fact how I got to know Mary Dove and was able to bring her story back to life through SOLD!
While doing research for a friend on his family line, I ran across the name William Dove who as a small child had been freed by the courts of Craven County, North Carolina through an action brought about by his grandmother, Mary Dove. While interesting, I did not continue to dig into that particular story, however it wasn’t too much later that, as I was preparing for bed, a woman appeared in my room. Looking her over suspiciously, I questioned, “Who are you and why are you dressed that way?” To say she was beautiful would be a vast under statement as she gently smiled and introduced herself as Mary Dove and told me that she wanted me to tell her story.
Her descendants, the people born of her flesh and blood, eternally connected through the links of time and circumstance, have all forgotten who they are. None of them know that wound into the very fiber of their existence is the first maharaja Chandran. They do not understand that the very freedom which they walk in every day was born upon the back of strength, faith, courage and endurance. They do not understand that because of those fibers, woven into the fabric of their DNA, they can, and should, walk with pride in the knowledge of who they are. All this was so important to Mary that she simply could not move on until her message had been relayed.
And so it was agreed upon that Mary would show me her life and I would commit it to the written word. It was a long and tedious process that took years to complete. Mary helped me to stand in her shoes, witnessing her life events and all that they entailed. Once I had written down what I had seen, I then got busy researching. Being a skeptic, and knowing that the facts would be scrutinized, I tediously verified and documented each and every detail to be sure they were consistent with the historical facts.
Then came Mary Queen, formerly known as Wajeeha Narayan. We first met her while in the harem in Chapter 1 of SOLD! When the Narayan women were taken transferred to the pirate ship, she was brutally violated. We did not hear from her again and presumed her to be dead until she reappears in MARY QUEEN A LEGACY OF FREEDOM where she leaps back to life to tell how she defied the fates and embraced the life as she found it to live as a free woman of color under the power of who she was and who she could become.
For me writing these life stories was as close to time traveling as a person could get. Often times I spent the greatest part of my day walking in the late 1600s and early to mid 1700s. I found the transition between the two worlds shocking and an assault to my senses. At one point as I was grabbing a bottle of cold water out of the refrigerator, I stopped in amazement. Opening and shutting the door in awe, I then turned to the faucet and put my hands under the cool water which so readily flowed through my outstretched fingers. Then I changed the water to hot and just stood in full appreciation. But I also found the transition to be very difficult at times. Today’s world is loud and busy with planes flying overhead, trains in the distance and even the hum of electricity. People are much more on the move, being able to jump in the car, and chatter is everywhere. Television, phones, music, appliances. Sometimes it was too much for me.
Then there were the people whom I got to know and love. There were others who came forward to help us in getting their stories down, and of course others who would not. But of those who did, I grew to love them with acceptance.
There was also great pain and grief. When through the process individuals times of death came, I grieved. When they suffered and then, ultimately, died, I grieved with intensity. When I am reminded me that they have been dead for over 300 years and I exclaim, “Not for me! For me, she died just last night!” and I felt it wholly. When violence was committed, I recoiled with horror and was filled with impotent outrage, committing it to writing being my sole inadequate offer of solace.
I also got to share in life’s joyous events, though admittedly there were certainly not enough for their lifetimes. The birth of their children, the small daily chatter, and of course love. I laughed and I looked forward to my daily time with them.
In fact I miss these people and the process that will hopefully bring them alive for my readers. I hope that by making their stories public, they will find peace and be able to move forward. I pray that my books land into the hands of all of these women's descendants and that by reading it they more fully understand the richness of their heritage and walk with extra pride in the knowledge of it. I also pray for all of us to understand that who we are is more than just strands of DNA. We carry within us habits born of necessity, beliefs passed through generations, traditions from distant cultures and knowledge nurtured though time. It is all those things woven together which truly make us who we are as unique and special individuals. As with each of us, who we are has already been determined, it is what we choose to become that gives our lives its deepest meaning.