A good gathering of relatives, friends and well-wishers listened to Menezes explain the reason and the background to write the Matata (which in Kiswahili means trouble) series. He said that he wanted to complete putting reflections and experiences of how some families lived and have come to terms with Kenya as a free nation. Along with a slide-projection he showed photos of the Jacaranda tree in full bloom with its glorious purple-blue flowers.
A QA session followed and he said in ahis replies to a few questions that he wanted to write in his old age to record the legacy of Goans in Kenya, as the “African Goan” tribe has almost vanished with many having found new homes in countries such as Canada, England and Australia.
One of the “white” persons in the diverse group enquired about the current status of Goa and though Menezes tried to put in perspective, it was Zulema de Souza, a former president of GOA, Toronto, who gave her opinion on the present state of affairs, saying that she saw Goa as “culturally and politically divided” and that the government was sort of provoking the attack on the Christian churches.
However, Goa isn’t divided as such and “communal confrontation” between the majority Hindus and the minority Christians, largely Catholics, has been few and far in-between. The communal harmony in Goa is much talked about in India and often presented as one of the best examples how different communities can live together in communal peace.
As for the attack on Churches, it’s the forces of Hindutva movement that are behind creating communal chaos and disruption in Goa and the rest of the country. The political arm of the Hindutva combine, the BJP, is in power in Goa and, needlessly to say is very protective and defensive of the RSS whose members are mostly responsible for attack on minorities.
The event was also marked by a celebration of Norma Menezes, wife of Braz.