The House at 43, Hill Road | Reading and Discussion|6 Assagao, 10th December, 7.30 pm onwards

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“The House at 43 Hill Road” tells of the aristocratic Braz Rodrigues, who built his house in the mid-1800s, on the plot where it all happened, with family vignettes, and how his grand daughter-in-law Lydia made the address known worldwide for the exquisite wedding gowns she designed. It goes on to provide a meticulously documented account of how government authorities (Police, Bombay Municipal Corporation, Electricity Department, Fire Brigade, Cooperative Society officials) actively assisted land-grabbers who were out to take over that property in Bandra’s prime commercial area. For six years, the author, Brenda and her husband, Joe, great grandson of Braz, single-handedly fought over 70 court cases, faced assaults, threats to their lives, and even had to hide their children in a distant place. The book is a charming family saga and also a scathing indictment of an all-too-common social scenario in Mumbai. The tale ends with an unexpected denouement.

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