‘My Father’s House’ By Mathew Daniel

My book is a fictionalized memoir of my first seventeen years. It is the story of a Mar Thoma
(St. Thomas) Orthodox Syrian Christian kid growing up in Bombay.
The title page now reads:

My Father’s House
from tenement to bungalow and back
a fictionalized memoir
Mathew Daniel

In My Father’s House was the original title.

My father and mother were exceptional in the way they helped others. Without being too
religious, they practiced the essence of Christianity. Along the way, through many difficulties,
they had three kids who became professionals, a feat somewhat unheard of for someone from the
tenements. I was the youngest, the unplanned one, ten years younger than the oldest. The
difficulties I mentioned earlier were mind-boggling, almost unbelievable, and death-defying.
Dad’s accident falls smack in the middle of the book and defines it. The second half is more
about Dad, now back to work, bravely coping with his handicap, our move to the railway
quarters bungalow, Ma and I doing our best caring for him, and my own brush with death, and
finally, his passing when I needed him most. Lost at the crossroads, confronted by circumstances
at home, I go back to my roots – the tenements, to save my father’s house. Stepping inadvertently
into the mansions Dad had built for me per Edgar Cayce’s comments on the noted biblical verse
in John 14, from which my title emanates, saved me.

I want my book to make a difference to others. I say this in the book –  I had humbly dared to put
my feet in his shoes and tell people my story, excuse me, his story. Knowing my inner self
through my Dad’s struggles could only come through a creative process such as writing about it.
Maybe someday, it would all be worthwhile if it saved another dumbass like me. 
The story setting takes place in the background of India, simmering with all its vicissitudes.
The book is complete. It is approximately 87000 words.

Finally, a note about a wise little girl. I had read chapters of my book to Ella, my granddaughter –
an avid reader herself, from when she was four. One day, clear out of the blue, she told me the
book reminded her of the film Lion, adapted from A Long Way Home by Saroo Brierly. It’s
about a boy who gets lost in India when he is five and is adopted by an Australian couple. He
finally goes on a page-turning journey to track his way back home. The common thread, of
course, is the young lost boy, and I think that is what she latched onto. I liked what she said
because it was all so spontaneous.

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