When Ayan discovers his brother has cancer, the need to cover medical expenses compels him to leave poverty-stricken Bengal and emulate their late father by becoming a Lascar, shovelling coal in the bowels of the steamships trading between India and England. The brutal reality of this existence leaves Ayan fearing for his life. Fleeing the ship, he disappears into the bitter-cold streets of Victorian London.

What follows is a true test of faith, as Ayan experiences love, loss, prejudice and extreme injustice. After serving time for a crime he did not commit, the kindness of a new friend, and a chance meeting with a young half-caste street urchin changes everything, prompting Ayan to re-examine his life.

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Lascar – written by Shahida Rahman