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Lessons From My Mother’s Kitchen

Author Name: Ranjini Rao | Format: Paperback | Genre : Families & Relationships | Other Details

When I lost my mother to a long and painful battle with cancer, four years ago, I was thousands of miles away, alone and thick with grief. At first, everything seemed distant and pale, and I went through my days like a robot, lead-footed and sandy-eyed, trying to make sense of each moment. It took a while, but I came to understand that the only way out was through. At some point, I submitted to the dagger of sorrow, as it carved out a hollow in my heart, turning me into some sort of an unself-conscious, sculpted form. I re-lived all the memories of my mother, and gleaned new lessons from them. Through the eighteen essays in this book, I recount how her food, music, and stories -- all the things that she birthed in her spacious, sun-dappled kitchen -- helped me cope with long-distance grief, and taught me to look at life with renewed hope. 

I also present some special recipes, straight from Amma’s kitchen, and a bunch of kitchen poems in her honour, finding her in such things as the sizzling of spices, the bubbling of flavourful broths, or a melodious Raga swirled into my cup of coffee. My wish is that this book will come to stand for all this and more: a celebration of life and a quiet acceptance of death. I hope that it will inspire and touch many, those who are going through rough times, or those who are simply living the ordinary life, for often we forget that there’s so much magic in it.

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Ranjini Rao

Ranjini is a communications professor and writer, based in Bangalore, India, where she lives with her husband and daughter. She has studied and lived in New Zealand and the United States, before relocating to India a few years ago. She runs the food and travel blog, Tadka Pasta, with a friend, and they have published two cookbooks together. Her interests range from Carnatic music, multiculturalism, food history, epigenetics, sustainable living, to open education.