The Road to Puthukkad By Gordon Alexander

About "The Road to Puthukkad"

                                       By Gordon Alexander 

The Road to Puthukkad
 is a story of adventure,
human endeavour, 
romance and murder. 

 In late 19th century 
Southern India, the 
heavy jungle of the 
Western Ghats mountain
range is buffeted by 
two monsoons. It was
home to wild elephants,
panthers, poisonous 
snakes and a small 
number of aboriginals. 

 It is here that Colin 
Moore, second son of 
English gentry with 
no prospects in his 
homeland, decides 
his future lies in 
growing tea. There
was an increasing 
demand for tea in
Europe and it was 
now known to grow
well in South India. 

With his labour supplier,
Nakkan Maistry, and his
cook and translator, 
Thomas, he treks into
the mountains to build 
the estate he will call 
Puthukkad [Tamil for 
New Fields]. Together
they face innumerable 
challenges as they 
battle the elements, 
elephants, malaria 
and racial conflicts.


 About the Author



Born in London England in 1935 and raised in Scotland, Gordon studied Agriculture at Marischal College, Aberdeen. 

During his teenage farming years he spent seven months of one summer on a dairy farm in Denmark. Later, at twenty, he worked for six months on a farm in Normandy, France.

He was conscripted in 1956 for two years National Military Service, the highlight of being selected as an officer cadet and five months later he graduated as a Second Lieutenant. Gordon then spent seventeen months in Bicester, Oxford, which were boring except for a couple of days when the unit was put on standby for Suez, but the crisis was soon over. He left the army on 4th of January 1958.

Back in Scotland, considering his future and aware that the majority of planters worldwide were recruited from the North East of Scotland, he wrote to a Plantation Company head office in London. Within a month of being interviewed he was on his way to India on a P&O liner, an eye opening three weeks for a twenty three year old bachelor. The next 13 years were spent first as assistant manager then as manager of various tea estates in the mountains of South India. The work force was largely Tamils from Madras State and thus Gordon gained a deep insight into the local people. He also enjoyed many jungle trips with Aboriginal peoples to the Periyar {Big River}  

Gordon immigrated to Vancouver Canada in 1972 with his wife and two children (2-years and 3-months-old) and no job. Life was very challenging for a few years but improved when they moved to Victoria and started a small business, which they grew over twenty years. Retiring in 1998, Gordon enrolled as a Humanities student at the University of Victoria, graduating with a diploma which was awarded exactly fifty years after his Agricultural diploma from Aberdeen.  

About this time he began to scribble.............