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Telling stories, making connections with My Godri Anthology in Mumbai
March 30, 2013

Bookworm publishing’s newest book is travelling. Nina Sabnani and Merle Almeida organised an intimate session at Comet Media Foundation, Fort, Mumbai with friends and well wishers.


Photo Credits: Chandita Mukerjee

The room filled up quickly and intently and everyone was captured by Heta Pandit’s key note speech on Community Memory. Heta who considers herself a Goan by choice spoke eloquently and intelligently about the space for memory amongst people in Goa, the markers of identity that are found in customs, ways of life and home steads. She shared both personal and theoretical ideas powerfully informing the audience about an insider – outsider perspective and how Goa is singular in many ways and richer from these ways of being.


Photo Credits: Chandita Mukerjee

Chandita Mukerjee the director of Comet Media Foundation shared a visual presentation of needlecraft across cultures and also established the space for needlecraft as a skill amidst the thinking on memory narratives, family and culture.


Photo Credits: Ketaki

The most intimate and authentic session of this evening was with Anjali Monteiro who conversed with Nina, Merle and Sujata. Anjali and Merle talked about the role of women and how Merle’s grand mother represented women of her time but was also a unique and special character. Sujata shared the making of the book, the purpose and mission and how My Godri Anthology is part of a much larger vision to bring quilt stories alive within the community in Goa.


Photo Credits: Chandita Mukerjee

Nina like the brilliant designer she is, spoke through her visuals. She shared a presentation on her Goa Immersion visit and how the book evolved over a year and was visually quilted together from thousands of photographs and scans from this visit.


Photo Credits: Chandita Mukerjee


Photo Credits: Chandita Mukerjee

The audience were woven into the conversation and every one began to patch and quilt ideas together, listening and learning from each other, absorbing and appreciating and generally getting wrapped in a Godri.

The symbol of the Godri continues to be powerful in how it evokes responses, comforts and cushions and yet remains distinct in its shape, form and identity.

My personal dissonance with the interactions struck me hours later. I was constantly being referred to as ‘the Publisher’ and this new form of address does not sit comfortably on my shoulders. I recognise publishers as a category of fairly informed, powerful people but I am not quite that and will never be. I choose a different path and on this patch work journey of books and reading and reading material, I happen to instigate and support book production. It is remarkable, that one can add to the print world and more importantly add a book of such a distinct and remarkable quality – but this is because of the team I work with , the incredible choice of artists we communioned with and the audience that receive the book with grace and respect.


Photo Credits: Chandita Mukerjee

The bookmarks that Merle and Nina created for My Godri Anthology, simple state, ‘ tell your story’ and that is what Bookworm aims to do. In the end, we will quilt ourselves together through the story and having the opportunity to partner with Comet Media Foundation on this story journey was an honor and a joy.

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1 comment

  1. It was a pleasant evening, enhanced by the bakery next door.
    Nina Sabhnani is always an interesting and comfortable speaker.
    Chandita Mukerjee was a pleasant revelation.
    As for Merle, it was great having her book and listening to her speak.

    To quote Sujata Noronha ……’My personal dissonance with the interactions struck me hours later. I was constantly being referred to as ‘the Publisher’ and this new form of address does not sit comfortably on my shoulders.’ …….. it explains the discomfort that was evident. That aside, I wish Sujata much success for the generous project she has undertaken.

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