When Destiny encounters love...
Bennet Paes, Goan author has released his second book “Love n Share it” set in pre and post liberation. The color and ethos of its times have been captured with finesse. Café spoke to the author to understand more
Setting out to write a book is like setting out to give birth to a child. It is a demanding experience. It requires discipline and continuous dedication.Love n Share It the second book by Bennet Paes is set in Goa during the pre and post- divestment of the Portuguese rule and modelled after the fortunes of a Shasti-Goan family. It operates at various levels of a romantic romp and a traumatic thriller.
The story centres around Jeff, Jo and her sister Fermina. Time-honoured barrier forces Jeff and Jo –who happen to be two lovers to travel separate ways, while the journey of the third one, her sister, Fermina, was even more unfortunate. Motherhood came to be thrust upon her, not by the will of the fountain she had thrown her coin in, nor even with the man she silently swooned over. Wrestling with emotional turmoil, Jo learned that some battles were indeed worth fighting for – and fight for them, she did.She is relieved off a fruitless marriage and was free to go back to her lover. Along the way, she also discovered that to ‘love n’ share it’ was the only path toward the reversal of her sister’s misfortune. Did she succeed?The side-characters provoke satirical page-turners and the annotations lend a factual touch to an imaginary narrative. Bennet Paes, the author is a well-travelled man. Speaking of the book he said “It’s not possible for a lover to share his love between two sisters, but destiny has the power to change that equation – and it does, as you will realise after going through the story. And that’s exactly how I came to title the book: “Love ‘n Share it. If you go a few pages into the book, you will realise that there is another character too, waiting in the wings. So, the story revolves around three, and evolves into what seems at first a love triangle. But destiny has its way, and a solution comes into being”. Asked what the book aimed to show through the story, he said “Since all the characters in the novel, except bay Emma, are from the pre-liberation era, they lean heavily toward the Portuguese influence on their way of living, and as such demonstrate the unease of readjusting to the nuances of an ‘Indian Goa.’ But they don’t go so far as to dissent noticeably”. Asked what he intended to achieve whilst writing a book, he said “When I write a book my sincere ambition is to appeal to its readers. In the case of this book, the story, the characters and the backdrop are entirely Goan. And I have written it in large enough font and easy enough language and illustrated to a large degree to meet the needs of a ‘Goan in the street’, so to say. However, there are some difficult and non- English phases which could be referred to the glossary. They are meant, also to educate the readers”. For the author this book marks another chapter in a long journey that first began in 1961. He said “The late President Kennedy was assassinated in 1961. He was a hero to my father and I. After that tragic event, I wrote a longish letter to my father in Goa chronicling the highlights that led to this tragedy. I was in Kuwait then.After hopping from one college (St.Xavier’s in Bombay) to Wadia’s in Poona and to RPD in Belgaum for six years (two in each one) and coming out a cropper, I had no alternative but to run away from my father, even if it meant to Timbuktu. Luckily, I landed nearer in Kuwait. My father was mad at me, until he received that letter. He wrote: “Never mind the past, but I never knew you could write so well.” That one line stuck with him and 47 years later when he returned to the place, he was born he converted his father ‘s dental clinic into an office which was used by him to write. The first book was thus dedicated to his memory. It was an amateurish exercise, although a few readers encouraged me to write more, and “Love ‘n Share It’ was born in consequence.
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