The title of Love, Loss and What We Ate is what sparked my interest: what could be more relatable? I knew nothing about Padma Lakshmi and didn’t even recognize her name. But it doesn’t matter; anyone can find aspects of her story engaging. She writes with honesty and simplicity about the events of her life. Although she has been a model, actress, foodie, and was even married to the likes of Salman Rushdie, we can relate to her tales of cooking, childhood, career moves, relationships, and motherhood. She writes with a curious blend of candor and self-consciousness, which is both endearing and a
Director Ritesh Batra’s The Lunchbox is a must-see movie for food enthusiasts. Ila, played by the stunningly beautiful Nimrat Kaur, is a lonely housewife in Mumbai, India who desperately wants to please and attract her emotionally distant husband. Every day she takes great efforts to prepare his lunch in a unique (at least in our western culture) stacked tin lunchbox which is picked up by a local delivery system and brought to him at work. Our story opens with this lunchbox being delivered to the wrong person, a Mr. Saajan Fernandez, played by Irrfan Khan. Saajan is an equally lonesome man on
The year is 2054 and India has a ratio of 5 boys to 1 girl. Girls have now become valuable assets. To combat the selling of daughters to the highest bidder, a group of women have founded a closed country they named Koyanagar. In Koyanagar, young men are chosen to compete for a chance to marry a girl. It is now Sudasa's turn to witness the testing of five young men and then choose one to become her future husband. Sudasa does not want a husband, she does not want to marry and bear children. She wants the opportunity to decide her own future, but that's not an option for her at this time.
Veda lives in India and is a classical (Bharatanatyam) dancer. She lives and breathes dance, has for as long as she can remember. She plans to make dancing her career, despite her mother continually pushing her toward engineering. She is amazingly talented and has just won first place in a major competition. After the competition, the bus taking the competitors back home crashes. She wakes in the hospital with her right leg missing below the knee. Talk about a strong female protagonist! This girl simply will not give up! She is determined to dance again with her artificial leg, even when her
It's 1986 and five year old Saroo has made a last minute decision to accompany his older brother on a short train trip to a nearby town in rural India. Instructed to wait on the platform by his older brother, young Saroo is scared and confused when his older brother fails to return in the specified time. Not sure what to do next, he hops onto a waiting train, taking him far away from his family.
Saroo lives on the streets of Calcutta, just trying to survive, for several weeks before being rescued by a caring woman who runs a nearby orphanage. Although attempts are made to locate Saroo's
This fictional story takes us to an Indian Brahman household of the 1800s. The book tells a story of a Sivakami a woman who was married at 10 and widowed at 18 (just as her husband, the village healer, predicted).
Despite the rigid social structures of the cast system and strict confines of the white sari of her widowhood, Sivakami was able to continue her husband’s business and run the household via trusted servants for the next sixty years. She ventured out of her family house only on three occasions.
This fast read book tells us about the village life and customs of 19th century India.
A Fine Balance equals Slumdog Millionaire minus the joyful singing and dancing at the end.
Dina Dalal, a strong-willed widow, defies her bother by living in her dead husband’s flat and refusing to get married.
Omprakash and Ishvar, nephew and uncle, have broken the bounds of caste to become tailors and are in the city looking for work.
Maneck Kohlah, a boy from the country, has been sent to school by his parents as the success of their family store is threatened by larger, multi-national chains.
These four lives converge when Dina hires the two tailors to perform the sewing she can no
Abraham Verghese uses a fictional setting to explore medicine in a third-world country going through revolution and change. Twin boys are born to a resident doctor and Catholic nun. Cutting for Stone tells a very lyrical story covering a span of 60 years; it describes the lives of the twins, essentially abandoned at birth, the doctors who raised them, and the father who could not deal with their birth or the loss of their mother. This is a beautiful story that explores parental love, sibling love, and first love. It's also a must read for new and tenured doctors alike, reminding us of the
As India's independence from Britain nears, political tensions mount as Pakistan, in turn, seeks it's independence from India. Author Bapsi Sidhwa uses the growing awareness of a Lenny, a 5 yr old Parsee girl living in 1940's Lahore to illustrate the origins of prejudice. "Will the crack in India come through our house," she wonders. Lenny's friends, neighbors and extended family are a diverse mix of Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs. Lenny finds them curious and interesting. As she grows and her social awareness broadens, interesting differences begin to morph into distinctions between "us" and
When Amanda, an up and coming yogini and Idiot guide writer, is sent to India by her publisher to study enlightenment and how to get it, it’s like a dream come true. But after chasing enlightenment from Ashram to Ashram, guru to guru, Amanda wonders if “enlightenment [is] just the booby prize, the thing you went after when what you really wanted didn’t work out.”
Cushman paints a vivid picture of India, giving the story a rich sense of place. She juxtaposes Amanda’s search for enlightenment with the events of modern day American living making this an enjoyable, yet thoughtful novel. It’s a