A book review section on the food blog is one that has been in the pipeline for some time. There are a whole lot of plans to give the blog a whole new look and also add some new and good content. I was looking for some food fiction and landed with Amulya Malladi’s “Serving Crazy with Curry”. This is a not a new book and has been around for some time now, yet decided that yes, I make a start with it.
The author’s official website describes her as “Amulya Malladi is the author of five novels published by The Random House Publishing Group. She was born and raised in India and graduated with a bachelor's degree in engineering from Osmania University, Hyderabad, India. She received a master's degree in journalism from The University of Memphis, Tennessee, USA. After living in the United States for several years, Amulya now lives in Copenhagen, Denmark with her husband and two sons”.
Coming to her book “Serving Crazy with Curry”, it is a story about Devi, the protagonist and her family. Relationships, food, human behavior and lie in general have been dealt with very weel in the book. The right blend of emotions, practicality and story are the strong points of the book.
The book has a very unusual beginning with Devi’s mother Saroj discovering Devi lying in her bath tub in a pool of blood. With a failed suicide attempt and a life full of problems behind her, Devi is left with no option but to move back into her parents home.
Avi, her Dad is a successful businessman who after a tenure in the army (where he meets his love and now wife Saroj) has to leave with an arm having been amputated. Saroj is the caring mother but her nagging tendencies alienate her from the rest of her family. She is the dutiful wife and mother who yearns to bring back those golden years when her home was filled with love, happiness and the smiles of her family members.
Shobha, Devi’s sister is a successful business woman and young Vice-President of a leading firm and is married to Girish, a professor. Her personal life is in complete shambles and the inability to conceive Shobha leaves her frustrated, angry, depressed and devastated. She, however, being the strong woman that she is perceived to be, continues to wear the mask of success and happiness and goes on with the business of life. Vasu, Shobha and Devi’s grandmother, is yet another important and influential character who is a retired doctor from the armed forces.
Back home from the hospital, the family comes together to make Devi comfortable and bring her back to life. Devi however, stops talking completely after the incident and to her own surprise finds that cooking is the only activity that lets her relax and enjoy. She dishes out wonders at every meal adding a new twist to the regular dishes and creating delicious treats with simple everyday ingredients from Saroj’s pantry. Blueberry curry chicken, spicy rasam with pastry and Cajun Prawn biriyani are some of the delights that she churns out for her family. A visitor to the house who is an old friend of Devi’s lets out a dark secret from Devi’s past which probably was the most important reason for the suicide attempt. What was it? Will the family be able to pardon Devi for not disclosing such an important part of her life? What does life have in store for Devi and her family?
The book is a nice read and the author like Devi, the protagonist, throws up a new twist every time you get the feeling that things are starting to get a little monotonous. A simple story told in a nice way, this is according to me a very woman-oriented story with four women with very different personality traits coming together under one roof to support one another. A story set in the west it has a nice Indian feel and is a good pick for some light reading.