A Bend in the River of Life, organising the launch

A Bend in the River of Life, organising the launch
17th March, my sister Christine Pereira’s Bday was the day chosen to launch my latest novel -- A Bend in the River of Life. A book which I took less than a month to write. It just flowed out of me, one chapter after the other and 40,000 words were done. It was cathartic, and a release from the pain I felt seeing my parents get ill and slowly become shadows of themselves over years with Parkinsons. Yes! Both of my parents got it albeit for differing reasons.

So early on the 17th morning, we went off for Mass and sent up a fervent prayer that my book launch would go well. After which I came home and set to work. First making the water melon juice. Takes a little time, as all the seeds have to be carefully removed with the tip of the knife, so very little manual handling of the fruit is done.That keeps the juice fresh.

The wonderful Ninja that David had bought for us, liquidized two melons in half and hour, maybe more and I left the juice in the fridge, in dekchis to chill. I always mix in a little sugar and black salt and that gives it a wonderful flavour. Leave the juice to chill for at least 4 hours and it will taste grand. Add a glass of water to make the juice less thick or to your taste.

Pushpa the house help had made the chutney for me the day before. I make it like my Mum taught me, coriander leaves, only the tender ones, a lot of mint, some curry leaves, a whole coconut and 4 chillies. Grind it all with tamarind sauce no water. And throw in some dates and black salt for flavour. The chutney before lathering onto only the freshest bread, must be generously mixed with Amul butter. And both slices should be thickly spread with the chutney. I used the electric knife bought for me from Australia by my Dad over 30 years ago. With it I could make a huge dekchi full of sandwiches in a matter of an hour.

In no time people began to appear and were keen on getting the front chairs to hear better. I had my launch on my terrace, in my own home as the book was about my parents and Parkinson’s and I wanted it here in their honour as the book is dedicated to them. Plus my parents have been my inspiration through my youth to read and write and so what better place than home if one has that luxury.

Chairs we had to lug from different floors to set up on the terrace an hour in advance. We finally had around 40 chairs from the building itself and we set it up under the canopy my sister had brought from Australia. My husband as always organised the banner for the backdrop of the event which made it all look so professional. You must remember we were in advertising for 15 years so we are very professional in our approach for these events.

Three tall chairs which are used as bar stools in Nossa Goa the restaurant run in our former home completed the seating. They were tall and we could be seen well across the 60 odd people who attended. I took up Mum and Dads pictures so people could see how they looked. I did not want them to see Mum in her present condition poor thing, instead put up her beautiful film-star like pictures for her to be admired. She was there in spirit and so was Dad.

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