Review: Skin by Margaret Mascarenhas

The domain investor had read the book “Skin” a few years ago, when NTRO employees were ruthless in ensuring that she got no paid work in Goa at all as part of their identity theft racket.

The death of Margaret Mascarenhas in July 2019 reminded the domain investor of the well written book, and the fact that though indian intelligence and security agencies are ruthless in stealing the identity of indian women professionals because they do not have flawless skin, the skin is largely hereditary
The book “Skin” traces the family history like many other books, with Roots being the most famous
Yet the book is closely linked to the history of goa
Unlike most other parts of india, which mainly had local rulers with some British, goa like kerala had a very strong European influence and was ruled by the Portuguese for about 500 years. There are also a large number of people in goa of African origin, with dark skin.
Though legal relationships like marriages are well documented, the skin, features, height and other hereditary aspects of a person depend to a large extent on their biological mother and father, who may be different from their legal mother and father
Skin is an interesting book, because it exposes the biological parents of many of the characters, for example, a green eyed Spanish priest has an affair with a married woman and has a daughter, and the legal father never realizes it.
His green eyes and skin periodically appear in different generations of his biological family
Poskem by Wendell Rodricks is another book which traces the mixed heritage of many people in goa, that though their name, religion may change, their genetic history will remain the same.
For example the kolhapur born school dropout gujju housewife cbi employee naina chandan, who looks like actress sneha wagh, is very similar in appearance to a politician in mumbai. They probably share some biological parent or grandparent. Hence observing different people in goa is interesting, guessing their biological parents and family history is good time pass.

Though Margaret Mascarenhas died at a fairly young age due to cancer, her book is highly recommended for those who are interested in family histories, since they are often complicated.