The General Is Up, again

Last week, the third edition of his novel ‘The General Is Up’ was released at Des Moines, Iowa, US. This Goan writer with strong links to Africa, North America and ancestral links to Far East Asia, gives FREDERICK NORONHA an insight into his writing, his perspectives and the responses this book drew. Incidentally, The General Is Up is set in an imaginary African country, where a General comes to power and decides to expel Asians from that country…. Not surprisingly, the setting is the Goan community there. Continue reading The General Is Up, again

‘Erotic yet sensitive’

Actor, writer and director Karan Razdan who works for Bollywood is one of the creative talent who voted for Goa as part-home. He is famous for direct films with controversial themes like Girlfriend (2004), Hawas (2004), Souten: The Other Woman (2006) and also wrote and directed the hit TV series of the mid-1980s Rajani.

He talks with FREDERICK NORONHA about his new book Tantra and Tantrika, which could get a Goa release too soon.

Q: Your first book, so how difficult and challenging was it? Why?

It was difficult. I am so used to writing screenplays. A two hour screenplay is easier to reign in, control… But a book is a totally different ball game. It’s too vast and it takes time to get a grip over it. My editor Shubha Saha was a big help. She is a journalist and a realist. She would chop down some chapters and I would fight and put some of it back again. It was tough but a very fascinating process.

Q: Does your reputation as a scriptwriter, etc help or hinder being an author?

Obviously it helped. When I was in college and wrote short stories, I would send it to all the leading newspapers. But they would all come back with a rejection slip. So… yes, now that I am a established writer and director, getting a publisher was the easiest part. Shray Jain, my publisher was very supportive. Continue reading “‘Erotic yet sensitive’”

Understanding the book, and how it was shaped in the past

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By Frederick Noronha

The history of the book? What’s that, I can hear you asking. This might be a new term to many of us, given that the field is itself quite nascent. For instance, the academic journal ‘Book History’ was established only in 1998. In India, just two universities — Jadhavpur and Pune — seem to be seriously involved in work in this field. It has only recently been seen as an important field for study.

The history of the book is broadly defined as “the history of the creation, dissemination, and reception of script and print”. In a simpler language, it deals with the ‘back story’ of the book. What all was involved in making a book, into a book.

Recently, the University of Pune held an interesting seminar (in late September 2013) in this field. It was called ‘Journey of the Book: From Manuscript to Digital’, and looked at a wide range of subjects indeed.

Historians looked at ‘the book as history’. Others focussed on manuscripts in Puranic texts, contestations over the Bible in India, and Tamil texts from its Palmyra leaves times.

Dr. Rajan Barrett, a friend of Goan issues who traces his roots to Mangalore, spoke on ‘The Bible: Reception, Rejection, Contestations and Reformulation in India’. When we met up later, Dr. Barrett mentioned that he had started out life in academia in the field of Mathematics, but moved quite drastically to another field like English.

To me, the most interesting paper was the animatedly-presented one by Dr. Abhijit Gupta (Jadhavpur) called ‘Darogar Daptar, or the Strange Case of the Non-Existent Books’. Gupta looked at the fictional stories of a retired police officer of another (the 19th) century. The officer talks about some five book-related scams, involving a single unsucessful writer, in the Battala area of north Calcutta, once the heart of the book market in Bengal. The stories were fascinating; but more than that, it also reminded one how much certain parts of the country — like the Bengalis — love their books. Continue reading “Understanding the book, and how it was shaped in the past”

Tania Pérez Bustos … Free Software, Colombia, India

Tania Pérez Bustos is a PhD student from Colombia doing fieldwork in India. Her research is on the educational and gender dimension of experiences like FLOSS (Free/Libre and Open Source Software) that aim to popularize technology. She says, “I really liked the statement in the (BytesForAll) website in which you assume a critical position towards ICT and the political context it is immersed in … unfortunately not very common.” Here, she talks about her work, and her encounter with India, Colombia, and the need for links between these disparate and distant regions. Continue reading Tania Pérez Bustos … Free Software, Colombia, India

Educational resources … from

Sukumar Anikar <>  [1] and Prasad <> managed to get across to me a copy of a DVD … and what a DVD at that! It contained a whole lot of fascinating educational software for school children. A couple of nights ago, I ended up ‘playing’ some educational games with Aren, 5, and told him that my friends had sent the same across free. “Did you say ‘thank you’?” he asked me in turn. In fact, he kept ‘playing’ on these games, though it was almost midnight, and even though he’s too small to obviously understand many of the concepts … Continue reading Educational resources … from

Needed: volunteer translators

Needed volunteers who can translate old Portuguese texts into English, for possible republication, including Arte Palmarica. See If you can help in any way, please get in touch. Also, needed volunteers to help put online, the digital versions of copyright-expired Goa-related books. FN, … publishing Goa, not accidentally Blogged with the Flock Browser Tags: goa, books, translations, digitising Continue reading Needed: volunteer translators