Napoleão Mira launches a book of views and stories that make us travel through India

The book presents the chronicles of two trips to India, outside the most touristic circuits

“The worst thing that can happen to you when reading my book is that you end up in India, even without leaving the couch”, said Napoleão Mira, at the presentation of “Olhares – Stories from India”, in the municipal library of his adopted land, Lagoon.

This, which is the most recent «literary offspring» of the writer, poet, performer and tourist man, was presented by his friend and editor Helder Encarnação.

“This is no longer a travel book with the indications of what we can find on site A and site B”, but rather it shows “India as you've never read it”, began by saying Helder Encarnação.

“As you read this book, you are transported to the places” in India that Napoleon Mira describes. Not least because, underlined Helder, the work “calls all our senses, from the outset to vision, as can be seen in the title”.

The book tells the adventures of the two trips that the author, with his wife Natália, made to India, deep and true, in trains and buses crowded with people, among intense smells, breathtaking landscapes, smiles and frights. And according to Helder Encarnação, imagine, the Alentejo, where Napoleão was born and “is very present” in the work.

This happens, for example, when the author speaks of Indian kids with their hands outstretched, which reminds him of “the gypsy people of my land”, or when he describes the brooming of a villager in India, which he compares to that of the ladies of his village in Alentejo.

Looks and reports. This is what Napoleon Mira's fifth book is all about. It's his look at a country where “everything happens”, until he finds, among the crowd visiting the fort of Agra, an important Indian monument, “a childhood friend I haven't seen since primary school”. «We hadn't seen each other for fifty and I don't know how many years…and we went to meet there, in the middle of the crowd, thousands of kilometers from home…», says the author.

Napoleão Mira says that his motto is “traveling is taking the eye for a walk”. "At 62, I'm still a restless guy, dissatisfaction is part of me." And it's this restlessness that led him to start writing books, at the age of 50, and, above all, to edit what he wrote... then with a push from friends, like Helder Encarnação. And that also led him, however, to record an album, to make 80 shows, alone or with others.

He confesses, in relation to this «Looks – Stories from India», that «much of what I wrote, I wrote with the words instants, in the places where I was, in front of the thing», namely when he was waiting for the woman sitting on the steps of the temples.

The book, released last October, has even had the power to take some of its readers to travel to India, after getting enthused by the author's accounts and vivid looks. One of these travelers was guitarist Ricardo Martins, who now integrates, with Napoleão, musician Luís Galrito ​​and visual artist João Espada, the Flying Grafonola project.

Present at the presentation of the book, in the crowded room of the Municipal Library of Lagoa, Ricardo Martins revealed that «I ended up making contact with the Embassy of Portugal in New Delhi and was invited to a festival in Calcutta, where I played and gave master classes of Portuguese guitar, probably the first that happened there. And all thanks to the book “Olhares”, by my friend Napoleão».

And because Napoleão Mira really is a man of many talents, the presentation of the book, in front of the crowded room of the Municipal Library of Lagoa, began with a short performance by the Grafonola Voadora project. Among the video images imagined by João Espada, the guitar chords of Luís Galrito ​​and the Portuguese guitar of Ricardo Martins, the writer interpreted the song «Santiago Maior», composed with and for his son Sam The Kid, but also his « version of the best Portuguese poem ever». tobacco shop, by Álvaro de Campos, that «character invented by the Algarve». There was also a tribute to José Afonso, by the voices of Napoleão and Luís Galrito.

The travel chronicles book «Olhares – Stories from India» costs 15 euros and can be purchased directly from the author, on your website by clicking here.


Photos: Elisabete Rodrigues | Sul Informação