Book Review: The Heart Knows No Colour by Praba Moodley

Image Credit: Naufal Khan's book Zulu Hogwarts

In 2003, Praba Moodley published “The Heart Knows No Colour”.

#CrownTheBrown: This book was a phenomenal read! A story relevant to many of South African Indians and their family history. The story is based in Natal and takes us on a journey of a young girl – Sita – and her family who arrive from India to build a new life.

Their expectations of their new home was filled with hopes of opportunity, fortune and freedom. Their dreams shattered with the reality as they were already assigned as indentured labourers on a sugar-cane plantation.

The story enables us as readers to grow with the protagonist of this beautiful tale as Sita comes of age. We embark on a journey of forbidden love between two lovers who hail from two different ethnic backgrounds and classes within the White hierarchy we know as apartheid in South Africa.

Praba Moodley successfully depicts the lives Indian South Africans as indentured labourers and their unbreakable spirit to dream of opportunity and fortune

Crown The Brown

This book proved to be an eye-opener for me as a millenial South African Indian. Being a born-free in post-apartheid, opportunities, fortune and freedom is all I know to a certain extent. Experience is something I cannot comprehend, as I hear the tales of the lives, struggle and achievements of my great grandparents or grandparents.

South Africa is regarded as the ‘Rainbow Nation’ thanks to the magic of Madiba who crushed apartheid with his signature jive, smile and positive affirmations that promised us a country where we could live in harmony. This poignant story transports the reader into the passion of two lovers where their relationship is frowned upon during a period of turbulent .

The effect of apartheid also created impact on their love story when you are segregated as a human being, The book enables the reader to experience the frustration that our ancestors had to deal with in terms of the cultural and patriarchal views of an Indian family.

In South Asian households, we are disciplined with the notion that males are always meant to lead. We conform to gender roles in households, we are taught that males are dominant and females are submissive. The book showcases the notion of one woman who had no control over her heart and yet was not enabled to become independent regarding the decisions made pertaining to her life.

Praba Moodley successfully depicts the lives Indian South Africans as indentured labourers and their unbreakable spirit to dream of opportunity and fortune. She allows her readers to compare the generation we live in where we are unshackled from the poison that is apartheid that which was the only life our ancestry experienced.

This book by Moodley is an important story that allows you to understand the history behind our country, especially within our Indian communities. We need to be able to understand the sacrifices that were made for our generation. 

I highly recommend this book to the younger generation of born free millenials who have no inkling of the struggle that Blacks, Indians & Coloureds experienced.


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praba moodley
Author Praba Moodley

About the author: Indian South African writer, Praba Moodley has been a lover of books for many years and thankfully, her passion for books were executed in her writing!

Born in Pietermaritzburg, author Praba Moodley has used her own experience and love for literature to articulate the amazing skill of storytelling through her books, one of them being “The Heart Knows No Colour.”


About Indianspice Staff Reporter

Report and write stories for Indianspice.co.za. It is our ambitious goal to cover issues/events/news concerning South Africa and the diaspora.

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