Vintage Lambert Mascarenhas receives a revival a year and a half after he breathed his last at the age of 106. Initiated by his surviving family and published by Broadway Publishing House, three of the freedom fighter and Padma Shree awardee’s books will be released on Sunday, November 13.
For the many who have been seeking to read the story of the nationalist-minded Tobias Costa but could not lay hands on a copy of the novel, there is good news. The fifth impression of Mascarenhas’ tome Sorrowing Lies My Land hits the bookshops on Sunday.
But that is not all. For the fans of Lamas – and surely there still are those who remember Lamas – a compilation of his celebrated column Musings Moods Memories will also see the light on the same day, along with the second impression of Mascarenhas’ short story collection In the Womb of Saudade.
Lamas is the pseudonym under which Lambert wrote the column that first appeared in the Goan Tribune in Bombay from 1961 to 1962 and then had a long run from 1966 to 1985 in the monthly magazine Goa Today that he founded.
As the blurb on the back cover of the book says, the pieces are “often satirical and funny, and sometimes nostalgic, the articles are his take on the everyday – from politics and social events to family life and holidays”. Those who have read the articles in his column will remember Aunt Artimizia and Degolacao from Igatpuri, central characters in the column through whom Lamas often spoke.
Speaking to gomantaktimes.com, Lambert’s daughter Ameeta Mascarenhas said, “Over the years a lot of people have come up to us and said, ‘oh, we remember reading your dad’s column Musings Moods Memories, and we enjoyed it so much.’ So we thought that this is almost like a historical record of facts, his opinion of what was happening.”
The idea of putting the column articles together in book form was that of Lambert’s wife Dr Jolly. “My mother thought that this should be republished. And you can actually hear a lot of my father’s voice when you read these column articles. When I was typing them out, it was like really listening to my father,” Ameeta said.
Lambert, however, did desire to republish the novel and the short story collection, a wish that his family has fulfilled.
Sorrowing Lies My Land, set in the Portuguese colonial period, is recommended reading for the Goa University English literature course but has been out of print for the past few years.
Khalil Ahmed of Broadway Publishing House told gomantaktimes.com that he had spoken to the family of Mascarenhas about publishing the book. “Readers used to come to the bookstore and ask for Sorrowing Lies My Land. I spoke to his daughter and the family agreed. They also wanted to publish the compilation of his column articles, so we have brought out all three books together,” Ahmed said.
The three books are an essential addition to the collection of any Goan bibliophile as these books convey the perspective of a freedom fighter, writer, journalist and commentator.