5th of May, 2012, is a date that shall go down as one of the most defining days of my life. This day, a book was launched by the Bahrain Writers’ Circle, called My Beautiful Bahrain. I am one of the co-authors along with Namit Bhatia, whom you all recall being mentioned on this blog innumerable times. Our article – Bahrain, A Culinary Oasis got accepted as one of the 40 articles written by 50 authors, all of different nationalities.
My Beautiful Bahrain is the brain-child of Robin Barratt, who is the founder of Bahrain Writers’ Circle, the first of its kind – writers’ club in Bahrain. He encouraged every single one of us, members to give out our story that talked about Bahrain and how beautiful this island is. He kept at us for months together when members like me thought, we weren’t good enough to have our names printed as authors in a book. He motivated, compelled and even bullied to have us write. Finally the book is out and we can’t be proud enough. Atleast for me, it means the world to have my name in print for the very first time. I was over the moon when Robin asked me to read out a passage from the book at the Launch. I was filled with trepidation but I practiced my speech couple of times and felt prepared.
My Beautiful Bahrain in Robin’s own words,
“With lots of fascinating personal ‘life’ stories, quite a few tourist-type information and fact based contributions, some wonderful poetry, an occasional piece of fiction (set on the island) and a mixture of other diverse and captivating prose, with fifty contributions from forty writers from fifteen countries (almost 300 pages), My Beautiful Bahrain is both varied and unique, and an undeniably indispensable guide for travellers and visitors to the island, as well as a ‘must-read’ book for people living here, doing business here, or just interested in what life is like living on this tiny, tiny island in the Arabian Gulf.
The aims and goals of this book are to show the world that; firstly, there are a great many terrific and talented writers on the island that most definitely should be read and heard and secondly, for most people here, Bahrain is a wonderful place to live!”
As simple an agenda as that wasn’t the easiest to manage since finding a publisher who would do it for absolutely nothing was a tough task. But Robin persisted for everybody’s sake and the result is for all to see. The first edition is already sold out and more are being printed as I type this post. To download, you could check this out.
My parents were able to attend this mega-event of my life and that makes me feel super -blessed. My husband, my daughter and friends – Namit ( co-author ), Pooja Rajpal( who has her own article in the book called ‘Newbie’), Gayathri( who came by to wish me luck) made me feel so special.
My Beautiful Bahrain has given me the confidence to not stop with it but to continue writing to be published in the future. It was just the right sort of nudge required.
To celebrate, I made a No- Bake Blackberry Cheesecake with some blackberry sauce. The cheesecake looked devastatingly gorgeous ( coming from the creator, it seems narcissistic, but it was stunning to look at). I am in love with the deep purple colour and now I know what color I am going bring into my wardrobe soon. The cheesecake is entirely my concoction, ingredients, proportions and all. I just kept adding ingredients whilst mentally noting down the proportions in order to write down the recipe later.
The biscuit base was crumbly, just the way we like it.We aren’t a big fans of the snappy sort of base that usually comes with bakery cheesecakes. As for the cheesecake, the flavour was spot on. The tart blackberry flavour and the smooth creamy texture on my tongue reminded me of a purple satin dress that I had once and how it felt against my skin. It is indulgent, celebratory and gorgeous ( did I mention that already?) to look at.
From here on, as I dip my dessert spoon into a heavenly slice of the blackberry cheesecake, I reflect on how My Beautiful Bahrain is just the beginning. There is so much more coming in the near future.
I can see it.