I opened the postal envelope and felt the book in my right hand. A shabby cottage with hogs and crows idling in the front yard, a giant eagle about to perch on the roof, and Bloodline Bandra inscribed in blood-red on the top – the front cover captivated me. I discarded the other book I was reading and straightaway plunged in.
On the very first chapter, Godfrey Joseph Pereira – the author of the book, takes you on a journey around Pali – a rustic Catholic (Cat-Lick as they call it) village lost in the dust of time, a village which has its own taboos, a village where being black-skinned imply that you are the last fish in the basket to be sold. Around the corner you witness Bosco Big Stomach, Salt Peter, and Freddy Fakir taking an outsider to task by yelling at him, ‘Ah-ray baster, wot you mean men? Who bleddy told you dat; your stoo-pid fadder told you dat? Ah-ray, we are sons of da bleddy soil. We are da original pee-pils of Bombay.’
Soon you find yourself transforming into a ‘bleedy bugger’ of the Pali village. And as you meet the notables of the village – Lorna Leg Spread, Small Tree Big Fruit, and Carla Four Eyes you watch the village unfold itself and you realize that Pali is not a ‘yet another Indian village’ but a world on its own.
Then you meet the protagonist, David Francis Cabral, a journalist prodded by the success of his childhood friends who have made it big abroad, forsakes Pali for New York to live his American Dream. There he finds himself entrapped as a legal slave: not paid enough to return to India, neither able to quit his job. He is exploited by his own people – the people from his own country, India. Dejected and depressed, love comes to his rescue through Hatsumi Nakamura – a Japanese cello student who had come to New York just like David Cabral. But then destiny had something else in mind. David soon finds himself back home.
Bloodline Bandra is a man’s journey into a mirage and back. It uncovers the darker side of the glitter – the truth below the obvious. It is about love rescuing you from the torments of life. It is about hope as your last resort.
Beside the gripping tale of a man in search of identity, Godfrey allows you to sneak into the life and culture of the little known East Indians. And the characters are as interesting as their names.
Godfrey’s writing is fresh, evocative, and humours. And the tension and gravity of the story keeps you turning the pages. For me, the book is a clear winner. And I would recommend Bloodline Bandra to everyone, because it is unique, gripping, and an excellent read. Go ahead, grab yourself a copy from Flipkart or Amazon. And don’t forget to thank me because you’ll love it for sure.
My Rating: ★★★★☆