Rajni Mala Khelawan is an Indo-Fijian Canadian writer and researcher. She has given numerous inspirational speeches and public readings in Canada and in the Fiji Islands. In addition to being a visiting writer at the University of South Pacific, Fiji Islands in 2011, Khelawan was profiled on hit TV and radio shows such as Bollywood Boulevard, CBC Radio, Omni News, NUTV, and Asian Magazine TV. She was the Writer-in-Residence at Fiji National University in 2014. Her short story “Bucket of Cherries” was a winning entry for New Asian Writing Journal; and "Still Standing" was published in The Voice Magazine. Khelawan's two novels are Kalyana (Second Story Press: 2016) and The End of the Dark and Stormy Night (Trafford Publishing: 2008). Her third magic realism novel In the Shade of a Bougainvillea Hedge, written under the Fiji National University's Writer in Residence program, is looking for a home. In 2024, her first children's book entitled I am a Hindu, was published by Saunders Book Company for Ontario schools and public libraries. Khelawan holds a Master of Arts Degree from the University of Toronto. Her SSHRC-funded research entitled "Gender and Ritual among Fijian Hindu Women" studied gender and Hinduism among descendents of indentured Indians. Khelawan's areas of academic research includes South Asian religions; indentured history and colonization; and transnational and diaspora studies. Currently, she lives in Toronto, Ontario, and is working on completing her fourth novel under the Canada Council for the Arts grant she won in 2022.
I can give speeches on subjects such as an immigrant writer's journey or hold classes pertaining to creating Fiction (e.g., character development; exploring theme; symbolism). I can also speak about Indo-Fijian people's indenture history. Also, my debut novel was self published and latter novel was traditionally published; I am able to speak on strengths and challenges of both methods. Having recently published a children's book on identity series, I can speak to younger audience as well.
Creative Writing: Development of theme; character; plot; symbolism
Creating meaning through art
For younger audience, I can read from my identity series book "I am a Hindu" and lead discussion on what it means to have a different faith in a diverse community. How can we respect each other.