Wednesday, 19 October 2011


My only motivation was that I wanted to pay a tribute to my beloved maternal grandmother for the numerous stories she told me in my childhood days.

It was not until many years into my professional career and long after she had left this earth that I began to realize that there was one story that stood out from amongst the other ‘Chinese whispers’ I’d heard in Goa! It was the Legend of Dona Paula told in a version that I was yet to hear from others! Could it have been a fiction of my grandma’s  imagination? (Too late to ask her now!). In any case, who cares! It still makes a captivating story!

The more I thought about it the more I was motivated to publish the story. When I first began writing the story about three and a half years ago, I could not go beyond a thousand words! I was faced with a new challenge of embellishing it with my own musings on Goa – the Portuguese influence on life and culture, the folklore, the introduction of a new religion and the accompanying corruption of state and religion - Etcetera. Etcetera!

Initially, I was not in the WORD … just the once-in-a-while church-going Christian! I had very strong views on the church’s continuing influence on Goa and I gave vent to many things I wanted to say against the church. I was strongly self-righteous then and critical of everything that the Catholic Church did. I had already positioned the story in 1667 due to the mention of the ‘inquisition’ by my grandmother. I realized that the era of the inquisition was a horrific one and my hatred for the church increased in leaps and bounds. It was not until I handed over the manuscript to my brother Cosme that I realized what I was doing was seriously wrong! We discussed and we argued about what parts should be included and what parts should be deleted from the story. My brother was in the Word much before me. He had actually experienced the touch of the Lord and had received a convincing miracle too! It was not until I had my own encounter with the Lord that I had to rewrite the story, carefully considering every word that went into it. Even when I had to describe the passionate moments in the book, I had to carefully weigh each word to avoid making the book sound vulgar and unacceptable to my readers. After all, one cannot know the joy of day unless he has experienced the gloom of the night and so, in a couple of places, the story may get a bit intense! (Believe me there was no other way!).

Praise be to God, the feedback has been good thus far. What is even more exciting is that the story is under review by a well known movie producer in Mumbai, and a Dubai- Goan has approached me with a konkani movie proposal!

Book Summary:  "Dona Paula" by Joseph Canisius Dias is more than just a historical romance novel set in Goa’s Portuguese colonial days--it is a fine example of quality writing about a young lady and an army officer. Paula, The lady-in-waiting to Lino’s wife discovers the Captain’s wife in an adulterous act with another man; Threatened, Herodiana is determined to get rid of her at any cost. With the careful weaving of true history with romance, "Dona Paula" is truly a pleasure to read.
Note: Those in Goa/India who wish to place an order for the book should visit WORD VENTURES in the Reliance Trade Center, behind Grace Church, Margao, Goa.India.  Tel: +919822157695.
For those who reside outside India, should either order from WORD VENTURES via the website OR from AUTHORHOUSE. (

1 comment:

  1. Dona Paula is an exciting story...After you read it believe me, every trip to Old Goa, Dona Paula (and other places in the novel) will never be the same...they will be filled with nostalgia. In fact every time I visit these places I remember Dona Paula moving around there... it also arouses my sense of history and I start imagining the people and events which may have taken place in those very places some 400+ years ago!
    You have done a great job brother...keep it up. May the Lord prosper the work of your hands!


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