The Temptress beckons- A Book Reading

‘If you write a book about a bygone period that lies east of the Mississippi River, then it’s a historical novel. If it’s west of the Mississippi, it’s a western, a different category. There’s no sense to it.’ That was Louis L’Amour. But what happens when a book is written ‘Tri dimension’…with 3 facets? Would that interest the reader? And in which category would it fall in.

title-waves-reading

Well only the reader will be able to tell if it appeals to them. So the Shadow of the Temptress ..the book and its author made its voyage to Mumbai and then back to Goa. These were the places that the protagonist travelled to.

The first reading was at a Book store called Title Waves in Bandra. A very elegant book shop, one of the best perhaps in the city. No frills in this presentation. The author took the mike and the audience sat spell bound.

title-waves-audience

The second reading was in a restaurant in Goa. Goa is all about music as a chapter in the book will tell. So the story was outlined with songs. Joanne D’Cunha with her golden voice enthralled the listeners.

mustard-song

And the restaurant geared up to some interesting flavors. The Four Temptresses made their presence felt with some exotic flavors. Check out Perpetua, Innocence, Miriam and Carissa. The mains were O So Tempting. Proprietor Poonam was the creative inventor.

menu-for-mustard

And while on creative avatars take a look at this pomelo salad. Absolutely tempting.

mustard-food

And while the book might not be as ‘light’ as the salad…browse through the culture of Goa and Bombay from 1912 to 1955..two different countries Portugal and England. Check out if history repeats itself…is the drug trade prevalent in Goa only today? And of course the psychological advantage the women from Goa had over this hapless youth. The Shadow was cast by the Temptresses.

 

 

Where the past is a treasured legacy

The beautiful area called Fontainhas…also known as the Latin quarter. Beautiful architecture of an era gone by, old villas and buildings with projecting balconies painted in traditional colors.

Picture 245.jpg

It was in the late 18th century that an expatriate Antonio Joao de Sequeira while working in Mozambique, established Fontainhas. Today another Antonio…a Goan expatriate has reclaimed one of the villas and converted it into a beautiful homestay called Mateus.

IMG_20161014_201038.jpg          img_20161014_201214-1

Fontainhas means little fountain and it got its name from the foot of the hill which began to sprout in 1770. In 1884 a Government administrator created the Phenis fountain, which had a fine façade and porch. There is a well which till today epitomizes the beauty of the place.

Picture 238.jpg

Unfortunately many of the old houses are falling into a neglected condition. Lucky there are people like Antonio who brings the place back again to its former glory.

Picture 267.jpg

In the past an evening in the Fontainhas would see unmarried women sitting on the roofed gallery steps, wearing colourful flowery dresses, chatting with their neighbours in Portuguese. Or perhaps violinists strumming their instruments. Mateus has retained those balconies which gives the place so much character.

img_20161014_200935

It’s important to hang onto the small parts of Goa’s heritage…..its part of a treasured legacy.

Christmas Happenings in Goa

The evergreen fir tree has traditionally been used to celebrate winter festivals- Pagan and Christian. Pagans used branches of it to decorate their homes during the winter solstice, as it made them think of the spring to come. The Romans used Fir Trees to decorate their temples at the festival of Saturnalia. The first documented use of a tree at Christmas and New Year celebrations is argued between the cities of Tallinn in Estonia and Riga in Latvia! Both claim that they had the first trees; Tallinn in 1441 and Riga in 1510. The ‘Brotherhood of Blackheads’ put up both trees, which were an association of local unmarried merchants, ship owners, and foreigners in Livonia what is now Estonia and Latvia.

ch                       img_20161213_201718

And this is a record of some of the happenings  in Goa during the Christmas week? Lets talk about the Christmas tree. Decorated in many styles…the one at the Grand Hyatt hotel was one to be remembered.

img_20161213_201920

The elves? Santa had its very own way of getting them to visit this year.

img_20161213_203139

But before these celebrations close to 300 kilos of assorted dry fruits were mixed with cinnamon, nutmeg and generous amounts of liquor (more than 25 litres) which will be stored at room temperature in the bakery, to soak in all the liquid and mature beautifully in time for the festive season. This marinated assortment of dry fruits will be incorporated while baking delectable cakes, puddings and other delicacies. The longer the mix is retained, the tastier will be the Christmas cake.

chefs-at-the-cake-mixing-ceremony-at-park-hyatt-goa-resort-and-spa

Now Park Hyatt really did things in style.

Sea of Serendipity 2016

As the name suggests, this was one festival that will be imprinted on the minds of people for a long time to come.

img_20161215_185230

And that does not only mean the ‘imprints’ only

From music to food…it was the exploration of everything that took place.

img_20161216_172432

Even the ‘teeny boppers’ walked down Serendipity Street

seren.

And it was here that Goan folklore came to the fore. Saraswat Stories

                img_20161216_181106       img_20161216_190417

And for the finale…..the roof came down. That was the ‘Sea’ that no tide in Goa ever brought forth.img_20161223_211333

 

My ‘session’ at GALF 2016

Regional writing, developing dialogues- in all these ‘happenings’ my first novel The Shadow of the Temptress made its debut at the Goa Arts and Literature Festival (GALF) 2016 on the 10th December this year.

the-book

GALF 2016 showcases and highlights writers and poets from a wide range of languages: Hindi, Kannada, Malayalam, Tamil, Khasi and Asomiya from its inception in 2010. Besides the writers and artisits in Goa….I was happy to be part of it…

galf-openeing

There were artists from the North-East and Kashmir, as well as Pakistan, Nepal and Bangladesh, and themes like Dalit writing, poetry, graphic novels, and translations. Dance too.

galf-dance

With eminent Dr Fatima Gracias and Dr Cidalia Bodgode, my story unraveled.

galf-release

It is a tri dimensional story of the protagonist Sebastian who is crushed and influenced throughout his life by four women, which comes to the question. Were women in Goa empowered to take control of their homes way back in 1912? . The story unfolds in Goa and documents beliefs, traditions and culture during that period. It then moves to Bombay…another country..a stark contrast emerges. Where is the third dimension? It ends with a simple question. Does History repeat Itself?? Read to find out…..

A beachnik Bonanza @ La Brise

God made earth and then that limitless horizon that touched the heavenly abode. You have the vantage point of sitting on soft undulating grains of sand and taking in His majestic creation….

article187

Yes the beaches of Goa do put a spell on you. And if you happen to be on one of the popular beaches…Candolim; then think about this. Opt for a beachnik.

A lovely concept which has been the pastime of the locals for many years… a picnic on the beach. But now La Brise…has taken this to a different level. A classy level, but still with the ‘old favs’ specially made for you.

img_20160828_132853       img_20160828_132753

Hark back to the time when that picnic hamper would have….bread, cold meats, cold chicken leg, pork chops…… Its all laid there for you. With chef’s creating the ‘sizzle’ too. Nostalgic!!!

Want to strum the guitar? Technology rules. The vibe with music as you gaze out at the sea. Age does not matter.

 img_20160828_133125-2

So watch the elements combine. The sand and the sea. Entwined..overlapping….a super combo! You remember the experience. The fun and frolic as it embraces you to carry on for the week ahead. And just that ‘mint’ for flavor.

 img_20160828_135252

Sundays’ matter…It was a blast. Remember time and tide waits for no one, a swim, a shower, a meal. Want to paint those nails or braid your hair? This is the place. It’s time you were there.

Start them young

As a judge at the Mustifund High School to develop young Orators, one cannot but reminisce that Goans do have the gift for speech.

dscn0623               dscn0629

Way back when Lucasinho Riberio performed at Sokol Vaddo in Assagao, much before Goa was liberated. And today there is a thriving academy that teaches them young

img_6966

So what is Tiatr? It is a unique form of dramatic art, neither prose nor a musical drama.But it does have both, A full length story divided into parts…perhaps 6 or 7. Each part is called a ‘pordho’ which may or may not have a ‘kant’ (song). The full length songs are known as a ‘kantaram’.

eksiddent_-_singing_a_trio

The tiatr is based on social issues…social, politica;, religious and comedy is an essential part. An interesting one is ‘Eksiddentt’…a trio….  Tomazinho, Joao Cardozo and Eugene Cardozo sings a song, the crowd heartthrob, Sheikh Amir, doing what he does best – a drunkard comic act.  It’s a story of a man paralysed due an accident, all-in-all about the repercussions of an accident, it reveals the tragic implications on the family and the victim as well.

Entertaining, thought provoking…over the years this mode of entetainment has gained in strength. The power of the ‘voice’ holds sway.