Blossom Showers chronicles an untold saga
The novel is set in a town called Manjooran that bears semblance to modern day Mangalore and covers a story encompassing hundred years of a family.
Formerly a bureaucrat, Giselle Mehta parted ways with the Indian Revenue Service after ten years to embrace enterprise and self-exploration. During the journey she authored her debut novel Blossom Showers where she has tried to imprint a compelling saga of three generations of the Cordelio family which is propelled by eventful pace and robust characterization. Below are the excerpts from the interview.
Tell us something about this book?
Blossom Showers covers three tumultuous generations of a family, narrated in successive voices over a period that spans 1902-2010.
It’s been my particular challenge to give each of my protagonists (indeed all my characters) a voice that suits the particular time period and persona. I preferred a story with a strong focus on the inner life of characters as they grapple with the roller coaster of life.
What made you write the book?
It was virtually my school girl dream to write a novel. My way with words was recognized by one of my teachers, but the dream was obscured by more pressing activities and pursuits. In 2000, after 10 years in the bureaucracy I was on my own. I had a strong need to redefine my identity. I realized that writing was the core of my creative persona, and I took it forward from there.
When did you know that you have a book in you?
It’s hard to pin down exactly when I felt I had a book in me. There were various interests and aptitudes of mine that clamored to be expressed. As a reader I particularly loved books with a historical touch; I also hoped to write in a way that at least partly evokes a less charted past.
The complexities of human personality and the world of emotions have always intrigued me, especially since I studied Psychology as a subject. My awareness of business cycles allowed me to use them as a background for the changing fortunes of my characters. The rest owes itself to my keen observation and memory of lifestyle aspects. All the above and more fused to furnish the confidence of a novel ambitious in scope and size.
What kind of research did you need to do for the book?
The research was multi-pronged because it covers essentially a period from 1902-2010 and covers a range of elements and aspects which was essential for my story. Fundamental to this rendezvous with the past it was also acquainting me with accounts of pioneering planters in what was then called Mysore. The locales of my book shift between the fictional Ashpore in the Western Ghats and Manjooran on the West Coast. For the latter, oral accounts of elders were invaluable in conjuring up the gracious lifestyles of an affluent Westernized community. College magazines and publications of social clubs published around the1900’s helped me learn the language that was used in communication at that time.
Share some anecdotes that you encountered while writing the book?
I was particular delighted to find some obscure information on the coronation of King Edward VII in England and the celebrations in coastal Canara, which gave me a dramatic starting point and also helped to define the character of Rex.
This happened much before I wrote the book and weaved it into my story. As a Deputy Commissioner of Customs, I had to deal with poignant cases of confiscated foreign cars. Fleeing Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait, the owners had driven over burning sands and across the terrain of many countries to suffer this numbing loss over the legal inflexibility of the need for an import license. My empathy with their plight is reflected in the predicament of my character Farrah and her family.
Who is the target audience for this book?
I think my book would appeal to any reader who would like to be engrossed and even emotionally moved by my memorable characters. Those receptive to understanding social milieus outside the mainstream or those who like being illumined with interesting information and insights have reported immense enjoyment of its contents
Publisher: Frog Books and Leadstart Publishing
Price: Rs. 395
Author: Giselle Mehta
Book: Blossom Showers