Saturday, 19 April 2008


A very disoriented Penpricks is desperately looking for one Ashwin Tombat, a journalist we once knew.
In fact this post is about this journo who once made a newspaper in the ruins look up, during his first stint at The Gomantak Times. Maybe it was the recent journey some miles up road to a very capitalist Bombay where a few PR write ups for firms like the TATAs among others, that probably washed him out?
The only problem is that he is supposed to be editing a newspaper in Goa, but we still haven't found him all this time. And the paper he is rumoured to be editing not only smells like carcass, but also reads like one.
The Tomcat signature is certainly missing. But what is very very obvious is the clumsy footprint of furniture storekeeper, who runs the newspaper like a badly managed stud farm. You know the sort where thoroughbreds are put to plough and crowbaits mistaken for seed stallions.

And that's why we have contacted you readers to see if you guys could help us find this journalist long lost. Ashwin should be in his late 40s or early 50s now.
From what we knew of him, he was tall, broad chested, dark, with an unruly shock of hair (although Ashwin leaned towards the left in his early, his hair wasn't weighed down by any one particular ideology...)
Hey we even have a photograph (courtesy harinair's blog) for you guys to help narrow the search down.
If any reader recognises Ashwin in the photograph and/or knows anything about him contact any of us pricks at penpricks
Good old journalism wants to renew ties with Ashwin again.

British author Annette Allen is looking for her classmates from her schooldays in Ethiopia. In fact, the search is the subject of her first non-fiction memoir: ‘An Ethiopian Odyssey’, that is helping to raise funds for WaterAid Ethiopia. It details her 25,000 mile journey to find nine former classmates from Nazareth School for Girls, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, where she studied from 1962 to 1964.
Among the girls Annette hopes to find – and write a second book about their lives – is a Goan, Celina Fernandes. She would be around 56 now, says Annette, and had a sister Elizabeth and brother David. She would like, if possible, to include Celina’s story and what happened to her in the intervening years in the book (but only if Celina agrees). Half of the royalties from the new book will go to peace projects across the world. The only problem is, she hasn’t found Celina as yet. That’s why she contacted Herald, to see if we could help her find a long-lost classmate. Celina is mentioned in her first book as well; she remembers Celina fondly as “a tall, graceful Indo-Portuguese girl from Goa”. “Celina Fernandes,” she continues, “was the tallest among us. I imagined that she must have taken after her father in height. She often appeared anxious, her brows knitted in bewilderment. She had a lilting accent, so typical of the Goan people and, unlike Sumitra Goyal — another classmate she’s in search of — she always let her long hair fall free like a curtain, with just a bow at the back.” An Ethiopian classmate, Fanaye Saifou, told Annette while she was on her Ethiopian odyssey that out of the class of 38 in that Annette left in 1964, only 10 graduated in 1969; one of whom was Celina. Fanaye said she has preserved the graduation photo. Annette heard during her travels that Celina had returned to Goa. Now she’s determined to find her if she can. Annette was inspired to take up this mission by a dream she had in April 2000 – that she had returned to Addis Ababa to help provide water for the very poor. She was then asked to give a talk about the quest at the United Nations last year, to talk about this journey of deep faith. There is now a major international publisher interested. She has set up a company to channel half of the royalties from every book to help the poor. She says that she believes in hands-up, not hand-outs, and her journey has helped her discover that dreams still touch hearts across the world. She is now looking for her remaining classmates, and hopes to include their lives in her second book. Annette is half-English, half-Norwegian and spent much of her childhood living out of suitcases, as the family travelled from city to city, country to country, following her father’s aeronautical career. Most of her childhood was in Africa: Ethiopia and South Africa. When she witnessed the endemic poverty in these countries, she developed a strong sense of justice for these people, who had so little, and yet were often happier than Europeans, even though the latter had so many material possessions. Her simple, Christian faith grew from such encounters. After returning to Britain in 1972, she moved into corporate communications, working for major international companies. She won awards for some of her work, but as she approached 40, life began to seem increasingly meaningless, despite a BMW in the driveway, the birth of her son James in 1989, and a lovely house. Everything changed after her mother’s death in 1993. She stopped work for a while to care for her and began to question what life was really all about. In particular, she was puzzled by the still, clear dreams she had, messages which had no connection whatsoever to the previous day’s events. She began to wonder if these could, perhaps, foretell her future. She set off on her journey to find her former classmates in March 2004, guided by dreams and the old black and white school photo, with just their Christian names on the reverse. Little did she anticipate that she would cross three continents to track them down, helped by men and women around the world. The dream spread everywhere, on the internet, radio programmes and TV news and ended at St Paul’s Chapel in New York, a little church next to Ground Zero. The city is home to two of her former classmates. The book has received many accolades. British Prime Minister Gordon Brown has written: “I very much admire your determination and commitment to the cause of poverty reduction. I hope... that others are inspired by reading about your experiences.” Cape Town Archbishop Emeritus Desmon Tutu said: “Thank you for sharing your dream with me. I read about it with great interest.” President of Ethiopia Girma Wolde-Giorgis wrote: “I am happy to know that you were in Nazareth School with my daughter, Hiruth. I am sure your book will be a success.” If any reader recognises Celina in the photograph and/or knows anything about her, please contact me at Herald (Tel: 2433373, 6658502, 2224202, 2224460, 2228083). A school friend wants to renew ties with her.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Where is robin??

19 April 2008 at 11:45  
Anonymous Ashwin Tombat said...

Here I am, pricks. Yes, I do look at your site from time to time. You may not be able to find me, but I can find you.

As for that smell of rotting carcasses, you need to take a bath.

19 April 2008 at 12:59  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

More 'vinatge' stuff from penpricks:

"And the paper he is rumoured to be editing not only 'smells like carcass', but also reads like one.
The Tomcat signature is certainly missing. But what is very very obvious is the clumsy footprint 'of furniture storekeeper'..." (emphasis mine)

The only thing that 'smells like carcass' is your English.

Steinbeck-ian literary flourishes like 'of furniture storekeeper' notwithstanding, you repeatedly forget little trifles like the indefinite article 'a'.

As the great sculptor Michelangelo once pointed out, it is trifles that make for the perfection that you so insistently demand from your victims, the local journalists, but are so badly wanting in it yourself.

What was that Jesus said about throwing the first stone...?

19 April 2008 at 13:24  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

offense is the best defence

19 April 2008 at 17:28  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sakaal Publications is launching new English editions soon is looking for freelance writers from all over
the country.

They are also in urgent need of a feature editor based out of Pune.
Interested persons can contact Dhananjay Sardeshpande

22 April 2008 at 12:07  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Penpricks, garmi mein AC laga ke so gaya kya? Why are you people not updating the post on a daily basis? If required, we are ready to provide you with more dope on GT. But, will you dare to criticise your 'DARLING MEHBOOBA JAANEMAN' GT?

22 April 2008 at 14:12  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey, people, give Ashwin a break! He has just joined Herald and has already resurrected it from the grave to which Robin had consigned it. It's actually become readable again.

In the midst of the Goan media mess, we should give credit to Ashwin, Derek, Sandesh, and Prabhakar Dhage, four editors who manage to steer a reasonable course amidst the tricky conflicts of interests between media proprietors' conflicts of interest between their media empires and other business and political interests, and the demands of responsible journalism. Theirs is not a position I would like to be in, and to their credit they manage quite well. So they run aground sometimes, but which of us can really say that we are true to our consciences all the time in this harsh world?

23 April 2008 at 05:59  
Anonymous Tomcats PA said...

Ashwin Tombat has enrolled in a Seamen's course in Mumbai and is learning how to captain a boat down a crowded river. This is part of the Herald Induction training course. Soon he will be sent to Philippines to learn carpentry and woodwork. Raul insists that his first line of reports have multiple interesting skills. As for Tomcat, he may be headed to Vegas soon if he can get past the boat driving and carpentry.

23 April 2008 at 07:31  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

just saw robin's byline in Business India plugging some corporate

26 April 2008 at 10:28  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey guys Ashwin can be traced in Herald, in an underwear along with a swimmer about two week ago. Was it part of seaman's course.

26 April 2008 at 18:26  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes and he was back in Herald to pick some of his underwear that he stores in his third drawer in his desk

26 April 2008 at 23:24  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

To annon April 26
It is a good idea to store some of his underwear in his drawer in his desk after the bad experience the former Herald editor Rajan Narayan had when his underwear were stolen from his flat.

27 April 2008 at 00:07  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Rajans XXXXXL sized undies? who would steal that? I doubt it would fit anyone anyway... besides Mayor Tony and the Alemao brothers.

29 April 2008 at 06:58  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

To annon. Ask Tara Narayan about Rajans underwear. She wrote in the Herald giving the details including colours of the underwears stolen.

29 April 2008 at 17:10  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

To last anon...

Kashti anyone?

1 May 2008 at 21:07  

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