The Great Music Quiz Book – By Verus Ferreira, is published by Better Yourself Books, Bandra, Mumbai. Verus’ association with The Teenager magazine published by Better Yourself Books is two precious decades old. Precious, because this was the stepping stone to his career and marked the beginning for a brilliant start to writing for several other magazines and newspapers, including an illustrious position as content head for a music portal.
The book launch was held on 12th February 2013, at Title Waves, the world class 5,000 square feet book store in Bandra. The event was attended by friends, family and well-wishers of the modest and shy young author Verus Ferreira, who was flooded with genuine and honest congratulations and good wishes by the conglomerate of guests.
The evening began on a thrilling start as the décor of the store created an aura of mystery around the book, with neatly placed copies of the book making for a backdrop, celebrating the unique flavor of the cover of the book. Neeta Kapoor, the compere for the evening and who is an old friend of the author welcomed him on stage. Verus took to the podium with his typical smile and gentle nod. In conversation with Subhashini Jalalabadi (D/o poet and lyricist the late Qamar Jalalabadi who has written the song Mera naam Chin Chin Chu from the film Howrah Bridge which is mentioned on page no 111 of The Great Music Quiz Book – By Verus Ferreira) she asked him queries about the book. Verus answered each question with a self-assured confidence, which years and years of time spent in company of music and music related icons brings about. When asked why a Quiz book, he replied that whenever he visited book stores, he would browse around for Music quiz books, all he got was quiz books on History, Geography, Science and the like, but never a dedicated book on music. That’s when the idea struck him to fill the void and bring out the first music quiz book. “I felt that like me there might be thousands of music lovers who might also search for music quizzes and not be able to get them. I wanted to be the first to do this book.” Verus’ love for quizzes stems from his work of creating crosswords back way in 1992, when he created advertising crosswords for Adworld / Advertising Brief (Mid Day), Music crosswords for music magazines to general knowledge crosswords for newspapers and magazines.
After the question answer session through which a lot of interesting facts were divulged, Verus brought in Ryan D’souza of acapella group No Strings Attached who regaled the audience with acoustic versions of songs from John Mayer and James Taylor. It was a pleasant surprise to all. Dharmendra Narayan an up and coming independent artist, who has two albums to his credit, went down memory lane with his own compositions and a few Bollywood tracks. It was now time for the moment everyone was waiting for. Calling on stage to launch book, the young and upcoming singer - composer Gajendra Verma of the chart topping hit song Mann Mera from the film Table No 21, the stage was all set to unfurl the book Verus had worked so hard on. Gajendra Verma was joined by his mother Mrs. Louisa Ferreira to whom the book has been dedicated, Fr. Joe Eruppakkatt General Editor of Better Yourself Books, and Fr. Alfonso Elengikal who has been his guide and mentor all along.
The book launch took place amidst applause and fanfare. Moments after the launch, Gajendra Verma addressed the audience with a short speech about his meeting with Verus, and how he was impressed by Verus’ simplicity and intellect. Gajendra Verma then regaled one and all with a short rendition of his song Man Mera in his mellifluous voice.
The fact that Verus is a brilliant writer has been proved over the years, but a new fact unraveled that evening, in that Verus is an excellent orator as well. Inspite of his obvious shyness in social interaction, Verus was very much at home talking about his book. He spent a detailed amount of time, explaining each and every chapter (there are 17 chapters) giving examples and little known facts to a rapt audience. The pride and love for his work shone out in his demeanor which was the highlight of the day.
What is a quiz book, if you don’t play it? Verus Ferreira the author, turned quizmaster for a few moments when he took on the audience in a surprise round of questions from each chapter. Surprisingly enough, the answers were quick to come by, while some questions stumped the audience. Those who answered right were rewarded with CDs. This was an added grace to the well organized and thoroughly enjoyable event.
After note of thanks, Verus Ferreira encouraged his guests to pick a copy and regale in the wonderful world of quizzing. Many bought copies of the book, some even buying a few extra copies for their friends and relatives. And what’s more they got is signed by the author himself.
As the launch proceeded towards a conclusion, a spread of light refreshments awaited the guests outside the store. Many present were happy that Verus not only made a move from a journo or photojournalist, but graduated to being a full-fledged author of his first book, which we are sure, will not be his last.