Umbilical relations do stand the test of time. One such was forged with the passage of the FatelRozack from Calcutta to Trinidad in 1845. The ship carried about 225 Indian indentured workers who sailed to a new destiny in the British plantation colony of the time in faraway West Indies. Undeterred by the great travel time some of those workers and their descendants kept their links with their ancestral land alive. Ties enduring were thus established.
Of all the island nations in the Caribbean, India’s bonding with Trinidad and Tobago is by far the strongest. Given the connection with sugar, Chinidad became the common refrain when referring to Trinidad. After all, the workers were sent to the sugar plantations to fill in for the slaves who’d been freed following abolition in Britain. Poetry and books have been written on Chinidad, mostly based on folklores from the travels of the intrepid sea voyagers, the jahajees. Between 1845 and 1917—when the British indenture system was finally scrapped under pressure from Indian nationalists, nearly 144,000 workers had been taken to Trinidad. Another 3,200 during this period had been taken to Grenada. Some of those who undertook the long journey by ship paid for their passage, and were, therefore, not under the bounds of the indentured system.