Photos: Antonio (Tex) and Kellie Teixeira; (from left) Kellie, Meera, TS Sreeni and Tex
By Shevlin Sebastian
In May, this year, Australian restaurant owners Antonio (Tex) and Kellie Teixeira came to Kerala with their family to enjoy the Thrissur Pooram. They stayed at the Neelambari resort at Arattupuzha (15 kms from Thrissur). The resort owner TS Sreeni was much taken up by the fact that the couple had adopted three children.
“The girl Mkhaya was from Ethiopia, the elder boy, Locklyn is of Philippines origin, while the younger boy Jun Yung is from Vietnam,” says Sreeni.
Soon, a friendship developed between the Teixeiras and Sreeni and his wife Meera. Says Tex, “Sreeni and Meera cared for us so much.” So, it was no surprise that when they heard that the resort had gone under six feet of water, following the Kerala floods, the Teixeiras offered to send some financial assistance.
“I replied that I could manage, but they could help many of the poor people whose houses had been washed away,” says Sreeni. But he did not hear from them for a while. Then on Thursday (October 11), he got a Whatsapp message from them.
Tex and Kellie are holding a fund-raising dinner on October 23 at their ‘Lemon and Thyme’ restaurant at Queensland for the villagers of Arattupuzha. It is titled, ‘From our village to yours charity dinner’. The meal is priced at 50 Australian dollars.
The menu is Indian. So, the entrée item consists of vegetable pakoras, beef and vegetable samosas, with spiced mango chutney. In the main meal, there is a choice of North Indian lamb and potato curry, butter chicken, and coconut pumpkin pie. All meals will be served with rice, chutney and naan.
“As for the dessert, it will be banana fritters with sweet yoghurt, saffron and pistachios,” says Kellie.
She pauses and says, “We are expecting a very good response.”
Sreeni smiles and says, “Their heart is in the right place.”
(The New Indian Express, Page 1, all Kerala editions)