To those customers who visit her Indian spice shop in Oakland, California, Tilo dispenses wisdom and the appropriate spice: coriander for sight, tumeric for wrinkles, and fenugreek to make a rejected wife desirable. However Tilo's powers are conditional - they vanish the moment she falls in love.
Born in the big, old Calcutta house on the same tragic night that both their fathers were mysteriously lost, Sudha and Anju are cousins who share everything. But when Sudha discovers a terrible secret about the past, their mutual loyalty is tested.
Rakhi, a young artist living in Berkeley, California, finds herself caught between the turmoil of life in America in the wake of September 11th and the India of her mother, a woman with the ability to share and interpret the dreams of others.
Tilo, an immigrant from India, runs an Indian spice shop in Oakland, California. While she dispenses the classic ingredients for curries and kormas, she also helps her customers to gain a more precious commodity: whatever they most desire. For Tilo is a Mistress of Spices, a priestess of the secret, magical powers of spices.
Through those who visit and revisit her shop - Ahuja's wife, caught in an unhappy, abusive marriage; Jagjit, the victim of racist attacks at school; the noisy bougainvillaea girls, rejecting the strict upbringing of their tradition-bound Indian parents; Haroun who drives a taxi and dreams the American dream - we get a glimpse into the life of the local Indian expatriate community. To each Tilo dispenses wisdom and the appropriate spice: coriander for sight; turmeric to erase wrinkles; cinnamon for finding friends; fenugreek to make a rejected wife desirable again; chillies for the cleansing of evil. But when a lonely American comes into the store, a troubled Tilo cannot find the right spice, for he arouses in her a forbidden desire, and following her own desires will destroy her magical powers.
Compelling and lyrical, full of heady scents and with more than a touch of humour, this novel explores the clash between East and West even as it unveils the universal mysteries of the human heart.
When nine disparate characters are trapped together after an earthquake, each of them takes a turn telling "one amazing thing" about his or her life.
Takes us back to a time that is half-history, half-myth, and wholly magical. Narrated by Panchaali, the wife of the five Pandava brothers, this book gives a woman's take on the timeless tale that is the Mahabharata.
Anju and Sudha are two young women far from Calcutta, the city of their childhood. After a year of living separate lives are rekindling their friendship in America, the unlikely relationships they form in the world outside the immigrant Indian community profoundly transforming them.