Zee's Notes: I know this book came out last year but I just finished reading it and for those who want to connect with some history or want to know about our community in Kenya 2 generations ago this is a must must read - I absolutely loved it. If you want to buy a copy email me and i'll connect you with someone in Toronto who may a few copies left.
Article from Coastweek in Mombasa
A Regal Romance byAmeer Janmohamed
'This book is a gold mine for those who were born and brought up in Mombasa'
Coastweek - - FORMER Mombasa resident, Ameer Janmohamed has written a book about his life and events revolving around it, writes ANJUM ASODIA.
Aptly titled, "A Regal Romance and Other Memories", this book is a fascinating journey of a well-known and respected individual, who spent a major part of his life in Mombasa, finally settling in London in 1972.
Ameer, or ‘Bhurio’ as he was affectionately known as, begins his book tracing back his family tree as far back as possible, noting actual events that occurred and were recorded in family letters to the late 1800s.
From his forefathers, grandfather, and father and down to his own birth, every event is documented with times and excerpts from diaries and letters.
The story then picks up speed through to the family business, family affairs, deaths in the family and how it affected his immediately family and, of course Ameer himself. His youth, adulthood and final retirement is chronicled in detail.
But this is not just a story about the man himself.
Even as he speaks (this book seems to come from the heart), Ameer gives the reader an insight into society of that time, why things happened the way they did and other people’s influence on him and the events that took place.
You can feel the awe and bond that he had with his parents, grandparents and forefathers as he carefully tracks down his lineage.
The writer has kept his language simple and clear, making you feel that you are watching a black and white film as you go through the pages.
Each character that he talks about vividly takes shape in your mind, the numerous photographs in the book aiding this.
The book ends with a glossary of Gujerati words that will be useful to non-Gujerati readers and an in-depth chronology dating back to 3000BC to date.
This book is a gold mine for those who were born and brought up in Mombasa from the 1930s to the seventies, as they will definitely remember many events and people from that time.
For those, like me, who have an interest in history and past events, this book will open a chapter in Mombasa life in that era that will not only be interesting but educational too.
Ameer Janmohamed came from a very well-to-do family and thus was involved more with people in that class of society.
Thus there is little mention of those that did not reach that level, which is the only drawback in the book.
However, had he written about every little detail in his life, this would be a much thicker version and would, perhaps lose the reader’s interest span which the current book has.