His love for his culture and people prompted him to write The Land Called South Kanara. From conception to publication, the coffee table book took three years of hard work. Besides William Pais had to finance his work because nobody took him seriously then.

By Ilyas Qureshi

Published: Mon 12 Jan 2004, 1:57 PM

Last updated: Thu 2 Apr 2015, 12:40 AM

But when this pictorial account of 'Tulunadu' came out of the press, people were awed by the talent of Pais who, along with his photojournalist friend Vincent Mendonca, managed to portray a visual documentary of this western coast of India.

As they say what 1,000 words can't convey a picture can. So, the two friends set out from Bombay where they lived to the coastal region of Mangalore. Thankfully, it was William's aunt, Winny Cutinha, who came to his rescue by raising a personal loan from her teaching job which helped the budding author to set out in the pursuit of his pet project. There were hurdles galore as he often ran out of funds but his determination kept him going and finally the book saw the light of the day.

William Pais was in Dubai recently on the invitation of B.R. Shetty, a prominent businessman, who offered help to launch the second edition as well as to promote the book here in the UAE. "I am really thankful to Mr Shetty for reviving interest in my book. We sold about 200 copies during the launch at the India Social Centre in Abu Dhabi last month. A number of Tulu-speaking people came forward to buy the book and were happy that the rich cultural heritage of South Kanara is being explored extensively. The preface by Mr Shetty is very impressive," said the author, who was earlier a medical representative.

Inspired by Shradha Dwedi's History of Bombay, the cover with a picture of Kambala, the traditional buffalo race, is an indicator of what's inside. The 10 chapters in the book give a vivid account of the lifestyle of the people of Tulunadu. The photographs of Kunjaragiri Temple, Sultan Battery Port, St Lawrence Festival, Gommareshwara paintings of St Aloysius College Chapel, ritual art of Boothkola (tribal lifestyle) - all vie for attention. The credit for the rich pictorial depiction goes to lens man Mendonca who works for American Image News Service.

Printed on imported art paper, the 300-page book is prized at Rs2,295 in India and $79 internationally and would serve as a cultural reference resource for the younger generation.

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