On the 11th March, 2023, the Indo-Caribbean Society hosted a webinar where ICS member Dr Seeta T Shah Roath presented her novel The Return of Latchmini. The virtual event, via Zoom was attended by more than 45 persons from India, Guyana, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago and Jamaica; while the live stream via Facebook totaled over 71 views and to date over 14 thousand views have been recorded.
This is the first novel in The Demerara Series, A journey that started in British India in the 1880s. A journey retraced by Bhanmattee who sought to establish the truth in the oral history and make lasting connections, past to present. A journey, the author followed as a researcher and an academic, finding commonalities between her maternal oral history with the archival records that Bhanmattee located in Guyana, Suriname, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, and India with over 10 world tours and years of dogged fieldwork. Further, the author was able to triangulate the data uncovered with the many scholarly works done by so many Indo-Guyanese researchers and writers over the last seven or more decades. (Dr Seeta T Shah Roath).
Other presenters for this very educational webinar were Dr Vishnu Bisram, who give feedback on the novel and congratulated Dr Roath, Mr Ashook Ramsarran presented on Keeping Ancestral Memories Alive – The Kolkata Monument, and a very informational prestation was done by Senior Assistant Archivist of the Guyana Archives, Ms Karen Budhram. Some of the documents that can be found at the Guyana Archives includes Ship Registers, Emigrant Certificates 1865-1917, Immigration Department: letter books, Register of Births, Annual Reports of Immigration Agent General, Report of the Committee on Emigration from India to the crown colonies and protectorates, Statistical Returns Emigration from India and Immigration Department Correspondence. Ms Budhran reiterated that requirements for tracing ancestral records include: Name, place, and DOB to access records.
A Reflection on the cover of the novel was done by Mr Philbert Gajadhar the artist of the painting used as the book cover. The viewers were entertained by Dramatization of a section of the novel by the author, and two readers Mr Petamber Persaud and Mr Russel Lancaster. To close the program a special song was done by Hemadavi Udhisingh- A Bhajan – Satyam Shivam Sundaram from the Guyanese of Indian Ancestry Association (GIAA).
The Indo-Caribbean Society encourages everyone especially cultural, history enthusiasts and students of creative nonfiction, to read this highly informative and educational novel. Can be found on Amazon https://a.co/d/6heTdOs And Barnes & Noble at https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-return-of-latchmini-st-shah-roath/1142898980?ean=9798987136614