Friday, August 31, 2018

An appreciation of Stars Next Door

Hey Silu,

I just want to thank you for gifting me the book entitled "Stars Next Door". You may not believe it but I scanned and read it from cover to cover. As you know I never lived in East Africa except for a brief visit with Birdie before I migrated to Canada. However, as I turned the pages of the book, I was intrigued by the number of people that I knew who were highlighted in the memoir. Some who are really good friends.  Some, sadly have passed away.
Of course, on page 113 your exploits on the hockey field are well documented as they have been many times before. My brother-in-law, Charlie DeSouza, is also featured in an earlier chapter. Charlie was a standout cricketer for Uganda. Of the many accomplishments in your life, your participation at the Rome, Tokyo, and Mexico Olympics, will surely figure as some of your greatest achievements.

I was delighted to read about people such as Auggie and Angela, Astrid, Zulema, Metalia, Hilary and Elsie, my good friend Henry Braganza. I was also pleased to see Jimmy Van Rossi and Lygia featured in the musical section of the book. They made good music a matter of fact, they still do! Of personal interest were photographs of Reynold D'Souza, and Albert "Patch" D'Souza. The two of them were products of St. Paul's School in Belgaum. My Alma Mater. There are also some nice shots of Delphine Francis. I will show the book to Jeannine when I get the opportunity.

Well Silu, now you get my drift as to why I enjoyed reading this book. But it would be remiss of me not to make special mention of the author, Mr. Cyprian Fernandes. His easy and fluid style of writing made for a user friendly read. Authors of today could take a page out of his book....literally! Your friend must have been a very successful journalist and sports writer in his time. Please pass on my congratulations to him for an entertaining and well written book of memoirs. If it was of so much interest to me even though I did not spend time in East Africa, I can only imagine Kenyans and others who would have been absolutely enamored with this manuscript. It must have brought back fond memories of their happy days in the African Continent. I was also impressed with the quality of the photographs, given their age. 

And finally, let me give a "shout out" to the printers and designers in Goa for their professional production.

Take care and all the best. Will call you later in the week.


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