06 NOVEMBER 2014
Godfrey Pereira, Author of Bloodline Bandra Godfrey Joseph Pereira, was born in Pali Village, Bandra on December 22, 1955 where he attended Saint Andrews High School. Graduating from National College, Godfrey received his undergraduate degree in English Literature and Philosophy, from Bombay University. Godfrey joined ‘Onlooker’ magazine as trainee journalist. He worked for a number of publications in India. He was the assistant Editor, of ‘Society’ magazine, ‘Sunday’ magazine and’ India Today.’ He also covered the ﬁrst Gulf War from Israel. Several years later, Godfrey migrated to the United States. He worked as a reporter/writer in ‘News India,’ ‘India Abroad’ and ‘India Monitor’ in New York City. Godfrey currently works as Events Director at The Monroe Center for the Arts in Hoboken, New Jersey. Bloodline Bandra by Godfrey Joseph Pereira will be published by Harper Collins at the end of November 2014. Is the novel Bloodline Bandra a fictional story based on true events? Yes, that is true. Bloodline Bandra is sectioned oﬀ into two parts and an epilogue. Part I, describes the salt and spice of the Catholic East Indian way of life in Pali village, Bandra. As a child I had experienced this life & it has always intrigued me. Part II describes the life of David Cabral in New York City as a “Legal Slave.” I had been taping the way the East Indians spoke for many years. I am a student of English Literature and I instinctively knew, that there was something linguistically brilliant here. Five years ago, I sent the tapes to a linguistics Professor I knew who had once taught linguistics at Cornell University in Ithaca, Up-State New York. She was astounded by what she was listening to. What people in India call "The Mack" way of speaking has a lyrical magic and is now dying, dying, almost gone. Here is an example: Expressing obscenity or talking about sex without sounding “dirty” was classic Pali Village doublespeak. Tommy-Eat-Shit-A-Lot speaking to Thelma Two Teeth. Tommy-Eat-Shit-A-Lot: “Ah-RayThelma!” Thelma Two Teeth: “What men, what you want bugger. I can see your leg is shaking.” Tommy-Eat-Shit-A-Lot: “My hands are scratching men. If your hands are scratching like mine are scratching, we
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Godfrey Joseph Pereira alongside his novel Bloodline Bandra can scratch together, no ……. Maybe we can bleddy, you know….” Thelma Two Teeth: “You know wot men, I feel same.” Tommy-Eat-Shit-A-Lot: “Let us go to Bandstand, sit behind the rocks and bleddy make Happy Diwali men.” What the couple wanted to do was fornicate, hidden from public view, behind the black rocks at the sea side at Bandra’s, Land’s End, Bandstand; and Diwali, is a festival of hot ﬁre works, lighting lubricated erect wicks of lamps, and passionate sweet celebration. I am an East Indian & I knew as a writer, I had to try and preserve this on paper. My roots run deep in the gutters of Pali village. My great grandfather built one of the very ﬁrst houses in the village. It still stands there today. Going back, I wanted to capture how Pali village was really like. The tapestry of life in the village was a story that had to be told. That is how it all started. Back then, everyone had a pet name. In Bloodline Bandra, you will meet Tommy-EatShit-A-Lot, Lorna Leg Spread, Salt Peter, Catgut Willie and a host of colorful amazing characters. These characters, in Bloodline Bandra were all built by taking miniscule characteristics of many people and cementing that into one whole. Yes,
that's all real. But what is fascinating is the way the East Indians intermingled... their mores, their Kabuki reactions to simple actions; their rustic lives were fascinating, and of course they way they talked, absolutely brilliant, when observed from the perspective of English Literature. Could you tell us something about the story in brief? The salient features, without revealing the ending, of course? Well, David Cabral, a journalist lives in Pali Village. Part I of Bloodline Bandra describes how the East Indians lived; in Pali village as it used to be once upon a time; a picturesque rusty world, where common sense was often over ridden by superstitions and old wives’ tales. Their way of everyday life was fascinating. Eventually David Cabral, with his rustic philosophy, and rural expectations, leaves for the Promised Land;
America, to work for an Indian publication in New York City where he is trapped in what I call "Legal Slavery." What is "Legal Slavery?" When you come to The States and many other countries, you are issued a work visa. Now this work visa, states that you can only work for the company that "sponsors" you. And that's when the teeth of the trap start closing. Many of these sponsors, treat you like an animal, hand you a minimum wage, and sometimes physically torture you. The facts are published on www.bloodlinebandra.com. The research shook my soul. I discovered that Indians do this to other Indians, not only in New York City but all over the world. And here is the truth. I was a victim of "Legal Slavery' myself. It is a horrible mind breaking experience that led me down a torturous, dark road where I eventually tried to commit suicide. David Cabral goes through the hell of a "Legal Slave" in New York City. Part II is his sad, shocking, unbelievable story that has bits and pieces of my own experiences. The review on your site mentions something about 'Modern Day Slavery'? What exactly is that and how does it feature in this Novel? Yes, that is correct. David Cabral, the central character falls into the black hole of modern day slavery in New York City. He speaks for all the powerless people all over the world who are brutally exploited & savaged by their employers. What he goes through has to be read, it happened, & unfortunately it is still happening. This is real. David Cabral's story is an amalgamation of millions of Indian workers abroad who are treated like cattle. This Modern Day Slavery is taking place all over the world. From sea to shining sea in America to the heart land of India, England, Australia, New Zealand & Hong Kong & many places in the so called "Gulf" region.
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