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Renita D’Silva: Why India?

Picture this. You are walking down the dusty road to your childhood home, your mother by your side, laden with bags of food pressed into your hands by the friends you have just visited- their way of showing their love.

The relentless sun beats down on your back, soaking your clothes; and your hair sticks to your head and neck in wet clumps. The lake shimmers velvet blue and the frogs sitting on lily pads serenade the flies they are about to eat for lunch.

You chat to your mum, there is so much to talk about, a whole year of news to exchange. Your hands chafe from the bags, the sweat pools in your armpits and you think longingly of sitting under the ceiling fan in your childhood home with a bottle of something cold by your side, that is if the power’s on, which it most likely isn’t.

Passers-by stop to chat, everyone wants to talk to you, ask you how England is. Cold? Yes. Do they speak Kannada there? No. No? Why not? A man passes by on his bicycle, kicking up mud, bell ringing cheerily while he sings tunelessly along, the wheels which are in dire need of air, hobbling dangerously on the many stones. A gunny bag is tied to the front of the bike, in between the handlebars. He stops when he sees you and your mum. Do you want to see what’s inside, he asks, mouth stretched in a grin, pointing to the gunny bag. That is when you notice the gunny bag wobble suspiciously. Ummm, you begin, while your mum laughs and says, Go on then, show us. He unties the rope holding the gunny bag together and thrusts the moving bundle in your face. You see something uncoil and your scream goes on and on…

This is not a horror story. It actually happened, the last time I visited India. The man was carrying a python that he had just caught raiding the neighbour’s chicken coop. I ran a mile of course but not before thrusting the camera, which I carried everywhere like a tourist into my mother’s hands. She did click a lot of pictures- one of the python, but the rest of me running, while she and the man laughed and the python squirmed…

‘Write about what you know’ is the advice all the books on writing give you. And so I did. I know there are many books out there about India, but I wanted to write about the India I have known and experienced, my own personal slice of this land of contrasts, of searing heat and furious monsoons, of the generous warmth of its people, who will welcome you in and share the rice they are about to eat even if they don’t have enough to go around.

Monsoon Memories is about this India, the India I have lived and experienced and wanted to share, the India I know intimately.

Join in on the ride. I promise you, you’ll enjoy it.

About renitadsilva

Renita D'Silva loves stories, both reading and creating them. Her short stories have been published in 'The View from Here', 'Bartleby Snopes', 'this zine', 'Platinum Page', 'Paragraph Planet' among others and have been nominated for the 'Pushcart' prize and the 'Best of the Net' anthology. She is the author of 'Monsoon Memories','The Forgotten Daughter', 'The Stolen Girl', 'A Sister's Promise', 'A Mother's Secret' and 'A Daughter's Courage'.

18 comments on “Renita D’Silva: Why India?

  1. Divyakumar Nayak on said:

    Wonderful. Proud of you. Proud to be Irita’s friend. Irita might be proud of you as well.

  2. Hilda D Silva on said:

    Beautiful narration Rennu. I can recall the incident .Wish we could have many more incidents and holidays in the days to come.Carry on-Mummy

    • renitadsilva on said:

      Thanks mum. I wish so too, but not necessarily for more incidents involving pythons or creepy crawlies of any kind…:-)

  3. Excellent piece of writing, nostalgic,

  4. Rashmine on said:

    Nice excerpt…Waiting to read the book. Congratulations Renita.

  5. Reena on said:

    Interesting article and well written Renita! That was some experience you had! I have at best seen cobra’s in gunny bags but never a Python! What a dare-devil that man must have been. Just the thought of it gives me the creeps :S Looking forward to reading your book 🙂

    • renitadsilva on said:

      Haven’t seen cobras in gunny bags and don’t want to, seeing a python was trauma enough…:-) Thank you for this lovely comment.

  6. Okay, that end was funny. I would have reacted the same way, only I’d be screaming as well. xD

    It makes me wonder, I remember my first–and so far my last–visit to my home country, Somalia, and I still can recall the image of the “flying spiders” that seemed to love to torture us at night–even though ten years have elapsed from that trip!

    Anyways, I’m looking forward to reading ‘Monsoon Memories’ come June! All the best, Renita–and I love this clean layout. Props to Bookouture!

    • renitadsilva on said:

      Thanks so much, Hana. I was tempted to upload pictures of the python and of me running, then thought I’ll wait till the book’s published- did not want to scare people away…:-) I haven’t encountered flying spiders- yet, and hopefully won’t ever, they sound scary…:-)

      Yes Bookouture have done a great job on the site, they’ve been wonderful, am so lucky to have them publish my book.

  7. Francisca Fernandes on said:

    Congratulations Renita!! and wish you remarkable success!! Look forward to reading the “Monsoon Memories” from cover to cover and enjoy the splendid showers, drizzels and experiences of the Monsoon in India… 🙂 God Bless you my dear.

  8. Sreedevi on said:

    Hi Renno, U know i usually dont read the books but when I started reading this, my curiousity increased to know what next started imagining how you would have faced when you saw phython felt as if I also jumped along with you :)… Just lost into that beautiful world..

    Excellent dear… Congratulations!!!

  9. Jason Dsouza on said:

    Congratulations Renita and wish u all the success…Look forward to read your book and many more stories about our place…

    • renitadsilva on said:

      Thank you Jason. Do read the book, it will have so much more. These are all tasters leading up to it:-)

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