The story behind SERVING CRAZY WITH CURRY
I have always wondered about people who try to kill themselves and/or fail. What happens to these people if they survive and what happens to their families whether they survive or not?
I was curious, so I started to write a story. When I first started to write it, Devi died and the story was about Shobha picking up the pieces. I wrote almost half that story and realized that something, everything, was missing. So started again, from scratch.
Different writers write differently. I need a title. I always need the title before I can write a story. The title of the story helps me tell the story; decide its tone and its texture. I titled the earlier version Thicker than Blood, but the story I was itching to write didn’t seem to fit that rather dark title. In the new version, Devi survives and her family heals along with her. In the new version I had a mute in the kitchen cooking gourmet food. In the new version I had a lot of crazy things happen and the old title just didn’t fit.
My husband, my son and I had just moved to Denmark from the United States. We were staying with my husband’s parents while we looked for a place to live. And one day we were driving back from the grocery store; I was cooking Indian food that night and then it came to me and I said to my husband, “I got it, what do you think of Serving Crazy With Curry?”
So I started writing a story about four Indian women spanning three generations and two cultures. I had Vasu, the indomitable grandmother who was an ex-Army officer and couldn’t even imagine dying in some other country but India. I had Saroj, the housewife, who always wanted to be the perfect wife and mother, and was still reconciling with living away from her homeland in the “white pit” she called the United States. And then I had Devi and Shobha, more American than Indian, seamlessly moving between two cultures, but knowing in their hearts that it didn’t matter which culture was theirs because they belonged to both.
I didn’t want tell the story about immigrants and how they adjust to life in a foreign country. Neither is this the story of the Indian Diaspora and their travails. This is just the story of four women, spanning three generations and two cultures. This is the story of Devi, who tries to kill herself and fails and how as her wounds heal, everyone in her family steps closer to happiness.