Showing posts from October, 2014

My father's work with the War Crimes Investigation Committee

My late father, born into a poor family, walked to school through tiger-infested jungles and completed his high school at St. Aloysius College High School, Mangalore. He said he was, a couple of times, kicked out of class for being late with his school fees.

Joining the British Indian Army and being taken prisoner in Singapore by the Japanese, my father underwent 3 1/2 years of horrific captivity in Rabaul, New Britain (now part of Papua New Guinea), during which time his mother had no news of him and thought he might be dead. Back in India, almost as an act of therapeutic release, this high-school educated man, with little exposure to literature, wrote down his story on the letter-pad stationery of his brothers' footwear shop. He wrote it in pencil, in 1946, and the manuscript lay unattended for 50 years until I read it and decided it had to be published. It was presented to him on December 27, 1997, less than two years before his death.

I give below an excerpt from his memoir,…

Fighting for Christ the Lord ... The New Preface to The Killing of an Author

New Preface (October 2014) [Book is also now a paperback on Createspace.]

Recently, thanks to a chance meeting with a childhood friend, I understood why I had really written The Killing of an Author.

As a boy of 11--at an age when American boys are usually playing with their Lego collections, and Indian children of my social class, then, were playing rubber-ball cricket or throwing stones at cashew and mango trees--I enlisted in the Army of Christ. And, as an enlisted serviceman, I ultimately ended up doing a lot of fighting ... though not for Christ.
To begin at the beginning: In a country that has 43 Hindus for every Christian, I was born, in Bangalore, to Roman Catholic parents.  Moving to my parents’ home town, Mangalore (which sometimes refers to itself as “the Rome of the East”), at age 6, I grew up a devout Catholic, brainwashed into believing that martyrdom was the only guaranteed path to sainthood and immortality. Attaining sainthood, I realized, was very hard work: like …