Selfie celeb at labour of love book launch
MY BUDDY AJ has a habit of teasing waitresses. I don’t mean in a lewd way. Even if he entertained the thought, his missus would give him a klap.
His habit is to request a finger bowl and proceed to add salt, pepper, chilli sauce and whatever other condiments might be available on the table.
He would then tuck a napkin into the front of his shirt and slowly reach for a soup spoon. The first time he did this was on a foreign trip where little English was spoken.
The horrified waitress lunged at him with furious sign language. His ever-so-genteel dinner companion, Sandman, tried to help by whipping out his cellphone to record every wicked frame.
Now, thanks to social media, AJ is the first citizen of my beloved Bangladesh market district to have gone viral.
When he arrived at Vin’s
50th last week, people forgot the birthday boy and wanted selfies with our celeb.
True to Chatsworth form, he popped in and out using the perennial excuse: “I’ve got another function to go to.”
He wasn’t fibbing. It was the launch of author foursome Ram, Nowbath, Gounden and Ramlochan’s 256 page labour of love, Asherville-springtown People and Place, at the David Landau Community Centre.
At R200 a pop, the beautifully bound and lavishly illustrated hardback is a steal.
They managed to keep the price that low, thanks to various sponsors, including a shy but generous local property developer who also had a birthday last week.
Another sponsor was a local doctor and seasoned political activist who did the honours as the guest speaker. He laid into our politicians for their reckless foibles. The less said about that the better, as there is a book in him that’s waiting to be written.
These kinds of valuable community histories can only be told with the support of benefactors. Much of the funds came via freedom Struggle veteran, 89-year-old Swaminathan Gounden’s polite manner of knocking on doors.
It would be most encouraging if more people stepped up to fund research projects that bring to light the trials and triumphs of ordinary communities.
If you are lucky enough to lay your hands on Ashervillespringtown, linger over the entry about the courageous sports activist Morgan Naidoo who was president of Sacos at the height of apartheid.
Pause to ponder the social welfare work of Dr Pramda Ramasar, 89, and the legions of other community-spirited individuals.
There is also a picture entry that salutes Professor Krishna Somers’s gift to the Clayton Gardens Home for the Aged. He must be climbing towards his 100th birthday.
The picture of Centenary High Girls Choir of 1971, replete in pigtails and boaters, will get a smile out of the ladies.
I was pleased to see legendary soccerites the late Maniraj Singh and Super Naidoo get a mention.
Find Higgins on Facebook as The Bookseller of Bangladesh and at Books@antiquecafe in Windermere.