In 'Wheel of Surya', two young Indians called Jaspal and Marvinder struggle to make their way to England to look for their father, Govind, who went there to move further on with his studies in university to claim a second degree. Unfortunately Govind got caught up in a war and joined the British army to fight against the Nazis. Jaspal and Marvinder were violently separated from their mother, Jhoti, who got left behind in the train station in India with her mother, leaving Jaspal and Marvinder no other choice but to get to England themselves.
Luckily Jaspal and Marvinder get to their first destination, Bombay, with the help of an old man, who is a Muslim and agrees to help them with their journey. Jaspal and Marvinder stopped in Bombay because that was the only route they new that would get them to England. The problems Jaspal and Marvinder face on their way to England start here, as they have to find a way to get out of Bombay. They come across many physical problems.
Firstly the old man tells Jaspal and Marvinder that their mother's bundle full of her precious belongs, jewels, aren't worth much in Bombay or England and that they will suffer if they don't find a way to raise more money quickly. Marvinder and Jaspal agree to look for a job, as they have no other choice. Marvinder has a hard time looking for a job. Jaspal also has a hard time looking for a job, as well as going through starvation. We find out how hungry Jaspal really is: 'Left-over paratha, which he would stuff into his mouth'
This quote tells us that Jaspal has not eaten in a very long time, which left him no choice but to eat scraps of food left on the path. Even though Marvinder was not with him, judging by what Jaspal just did, we are given the expression that she too would have picked up scraps of food from the floor, as they both have not been fed in a very long time. Luckily Jaspal somehow manages to get a job, a carpentry job in a ship that was being prepared to go to England. This gave them an opportunity to sneak on board the ship that was headed for England.
One night when Jaspal and Marvinder were sleeping and then awoke they find out that the old man has left them as well with a letter for them, saying why he left. Jaspal and Marvinder were separated again for the second time, as they both were alone again. When the ship was finally prepared and ready to leave for England Jaspal and Marvinder made a break for it inside the ship going through sickness and starvation. Inside the ship people are surprised with what they see, Jaspal and Marvinder, as they did not look like first class children and were dragged to the lower class.
Jaspal was sick many times. All of a sudden somebody realizes them by name and relation, Tom Fletcher who was also on his way to England. Luckily Tom was given permission to help Jaspal and Marvinder. They were taken care of by Matron who treated them rough. When she takes their close off to put it in the wash she doesn't exactly feel good about it: 'I sent their clothes to the laundry, though they should have been burnt. They were disgusting' This quote gives us the reason why Jaspal and Marvinder were treated so rough and why people were racist to them too.
They were treated so dreadful because after all they have been wearing the same clothes for such a long time and people may have got the impression that they were beggars who lived in the streets and gutters, but if they had been looking more suitable, people might not have looked at them suspiciously and may have not treated them so roughly like they really did. Marvinder and Jaspal finally reach England, a place they have only heard echo into their ears and have never seen it before in their entire life. They are now confronted with even worse problems. They weren't used to the weather: 'Marvinder shivered.
It was cold. She could feel her skin tingling, and bitter wind nipped at her cheeks' Looking at this quote I can conclude that that both Jaspal and Marvinder have not adapted to the cold weather, as 'it was cold' and the reason they were cold was because in India the temperature was always very high compared to England, which is why they were cold. They eventually became used to the weather. In England Jaspal and Marvinder are surprised with what they see, as England seems to be a whole new world to them. They come across many emotional problems such as homesickness and having to adapt to a new family and race.
They find out that Govind had almost totally forgotten about them and has also remarried and has also had another baby girl, which they don't appreciate. Jaspal and Marvinder stay at Mrs. O' Grady's house till they sort everything out. Mrs. O' Grady is Jaspal's and Marvinder's step Grand Mother (Govind's new wife's mother). Marvinder stays calm the whole time trying to figure out what is going on slowly and has no problem fitting in with her new family, but Jaspal has a hard time fitting in and can't believe what is wrong.
He refuses to believe that his father in India is the same father here in England with completely new looks: Jaspal recoiled away from him in horror and disgust and hid behind Marvinder' This quote tells us that Jaspal not seeing his father for a long time has changed his feelings about, as he can't stand the look of Govind's face and hates him with all his heart. He also hates him because he has disgraced and betrayed his religion by cutting his hair short and smokes. Jaspal is now confused and does not know what to believe: 'He's not our father, Didi' Jaspal has no trust in Govind and doesn't believe that is his father and tears the picture of his father as a Sikh, which he had been carrying all the way through his journey.
Jaspal runs and Marvinder goes after him and on the way she hears a violin playing, which she always heard the Chadwick's play but it was Dr Silberman. Marvinder felt more comfortable and invited as for Jaspal, he kept his distance away from everyone apart from Marvinder. After a very long time Jaspal accept staying in the house. Jaspal and Marvinder start to go to school and Jaspal is anxious to know what his father works as, everyone tells him that his father is a businessman but Jaspal didn't find that helpful enough.
Marvinder is more relaxed and excited to spend more time with Dr Silberman to listen to the violin and being able to share each other's feelings: 'She felt strangely relieved, as though someone else was sharing her burden now' This quote tells us that Marvinder is expressing her feelings and thoughts about the past to Dr Silberman because he's the only one capable of listening, as something terrible had also occurred in his past life. She feels comfortable speaking with Dr Silberman because he is a reminder of the Chadwick and they also played the violin that Marvinder loved listening to.
You can realize so far that both Marvinder and Jaspal have different issues about everyone. His father and what he has become disgust Jaspal and Marvinder does not seem to be bothered as much as Jaspal. They both now have their own problems to overcome or solve themselves, which has been bothering them for a long time. One day Jaspal decides to follow Govind to his work destination to find out the truth. He struggles to keep up with him but manages to get there. He finds out what his father is and is not proud of it: 'He's nothing but a conman' In this quote we are told what Govind is.
He is a conman and sells illegal products that Jaspal sees himself and his feelings for his father were almost completely destroyed. This is one problem that Jaspal never gets over with. He never does like his dad as much as he did in India even though he didn't really know him, as he only had a picture of his dad as a proper Sikh. Jaspal cleverly manages to sneak into the warehouse where his father works and overhears the people's conversation that Govind works for. A fight strikes out involving Govind and Jaspal is found and almost gets hurt but Govind throws himself over Jaspal saving him.
Jaspal thoughts about his father start to change. He realizes that his father is still strong and brave and would do anything to save his family like he would in India. Someone gets stabbed and everyone run away apart from Jaspal and Govind who team up to help the injured man out and Jaspal runs away instead of returning home, which he was told to do. Through out their whole journey we find out that Jaspal and Marvinder come across many social problems.
It mainly starts when they board the ship to England and when Matron is in charge of them: Scrubbed them both so hard, scalps were rubbed and hair tugged' Looking at this quote I can conclude that matron treated them roughly as she 'scrubbed them so hard', there are a few reasons why matron could've treated them so badly. It's either because they were really dirty or matron just hated children or because they were black and Sikh. Jaspal was most picked on because he had long hair like a girl, which most people hate to see in England. Matron tried to do something about it by discriminating against him: 'Your long hair might be alright in India, but in England, the boys will call you sissy'
In this quote we are told that there's a good chance Jaspal will be bullied in England because boys there aren't fond of seeing long hair, but Jaspal stands up to himself against matron and tells matron: 'No cut hair. I Sikh' This quote clearly tells us that Jaspal's English wasn't good, and therefore he may have a hard time fitting in and understanding other peoples English might be difficult for him, especially in a English country but Jaspal had to live with it as well as Marvinder. After their arrival in England and were living with Mrs. O' Grady they are told to go school where they face many more problems, especially Jaspal.
On the face day of school Jaspal was terrified when Mrs. O'Grady got them to school as well as Kathleen. They didn't look welcomed: 'They kept glancing around, certain that everyone was looking at them' This tells us that Jaspal and Marvinder must have been the first two unusual looking children in school because children were looking straight at them, nothing else but their faces and were shouting racist comments to them. 'Who's your black friend? Ask him why he's got a hanky on his head' Looking at this quote we are given the impression that Jaspal is not liked, as people were shouting racist comments right at his face about his looks.
This was a huge problem for Jaspal as many people kept tormenting him but Jaspal took no notice and carried on avoiding what everyone said to him. Marvinder in the other hand was fitting in all right as she was with a well-known person, Kathleen but was still a little nervous. At break times children will come up to Marvinder and ask questions like, 'Are you a Princess' or 'have you ever seen a tiger' and from then she was never so badly hurt in her feelings so Marvinder was safe enough to come to school again. The children were more interested in her culture but were confused.
One evening after school Jaspal was chased and threatened by a mean gang, Spitfire, who were hurtfully racist: 'O Blacky rip off his topknot! Why don't you wash you blacky or are so dirty it won't come off' The kind of language in this quote is offensive and threatening and if Jaspal was only aware of how offensive it was he would have ran straight away to get some help but since his English was not so good he had no idea in what trouble he was in. This was settled using action. Charlie, one of the members of the spitfire gang tried to take on Jaspal but Jaspal's strength of anger made him win the battle and then had to make a run for it.
After a while Jaspal was found by a friend of Govind and was taken home. When things started to calm down they get worse. Govind gets arrested by mistake, and is guilty for suspected murder at the warehouse and Jaspal is the only witness who knows what really happened but does not return home. Marvinder searches for Jaspal when all of a sudden Elmhirst shows up (the dealer Govind was working for), confronts Marvinder and starts chasing her: 'Hey you! Don't go away' Listening to these words Marvinder begins to run as she is recognized.
Govind, Jaspal, Marvinder were all in danger as the men from the warehouse were after them but luckily couldn't get their hands on them. Marvinder finds Jaspal and is taken home after a while. In the house the Chadwick family arrive and remember the past that they shared with Govind and his family. Everything was back to normal as the police heard Jaspal's side of the story, which bailed Govind out. After a few days Jaspal has some visitors. He made some friends and is excited and his mind full of hatred is cleared off and Marvinder learned how to play the violin and had a gift from Dr Silberman, a violin.
It was all thanks to Tom Fletcher for finding Jaspal and Marvinder or else they never would've got to England without his help. Searching for Govind was no problem as there were a few people who new him to track him down, but the biggest problem was to learn to trust the stranger their father has become because they travelled hundreds of miles and the biggest risk was leaving their mother back in India when they were looking for Govind who now has become a conman and sells illegal items and betrayed his religion, but especially his family, which he had almost forgotten about as he did re-marry.
Marvinder doesn't have a big deal with that, as she's concerned about other things, she gets over it really quickly but Jaspal has a hard time facing the truth about his father but realizes that he still does have feelings for them but he never gets over it like it was in India.