Friday, 9 December 2011

Floyd's India: Viva Queimada

Advertising veteran, Neville Gomes unveiled the book, ‘Viva Queimada’ at St. Andrews auditorium on 6th December, 2011. It was unveiled amid a theatrical act focusing on the eclectic customs of the East Indians community. The attendees present were well established honchos from the advertising and communication business amongst others.

The book traces the roots of a 500 year old community, delving into its customs, cuisine and way of life. The book gradually weaves through the period from 1498, when the Portuguese first arrive to the advent of the British, the Maratha siege and so on. Encapsulated through a twenty five year period timeline, it captures interesting happenings from around the world and the subsequent events on East Indian turf.

Viva Queimada a tribute from Neville to his late wife Sandra Gomes progressively sketches how the community was bestowed with the title, ‘East Indian’. Depicted through interesting and captivating images it showcases the East Indian way of life, Portuguese era built churches and forts, high achievers and well known personalities who have done the community proud. It cites how the EI folk sought education from the Portuguese established schools and then went on to being employed with the East India Company in strategic professions such as Customs, Port Trust, Railways and in the WACi as well.

Research and historical reports threw up interesting finds at every turn. The book draws a parallel with the erstwhile East Indian earthen ware, wooden spoons and similar cooking mud vessels used in Shakespeare’s home. It also illustrates how similar the Amish art of quilting is when compared to the East Indian art of quilting or godhri making. The Amish describe the women in particular as quilting bees, where a group of women gather collectively and weave together a quilt of many colors. Few East Indian women as well still keep up with this tradition of laying pieces of cloth together and then stitching them up.

Completed over a period of four years, Viva Queimada sketches the lives of East Indians spread over Chaul, Revdanda, Gorai, Bassein and Bandra to EI’s settled in Australia, Canada, UAE and New Zealand. The team was intrigued and eager to meet diverse personalities from the field of sports, law, journalism and other strata of society. It was also an occasion for the team to reach out to the families of those personalities who had received a special commendation for their services from HRM.

The book priced at Rs 2500/- and Rs 10,000/- for a special edition was officially released by Gerson da Cunha the notable stage, film and advertising personality. The book is available with Kripa Foundation, Ummeed and Women’s India Trust.