Few days ago, Taj Coromandel announced a contest on their social media channels, and wham bam I jumped at it. It had just two questions, easy ones -
1. Name Padmalakshmi's latest book title
2. List the spices that were shown in the photograph...
Well, well well, what do you know, I ended up being one of the two winners.. :-))
So, last evening was the Book reading event. I was at the venue around 6.40pm , found myself an empty seat and got down to it. A friend of mine joined me in a few minutes.
It was an evening spent listening to Padma share tales from her childhood, her parents divorce, how they moved to USA when she was just 2, growing up as a brown girl in a country that was quite harsh to other races , her teen years, entering the world of fashion, stumbling onto the food arena, her marriage [ with Salman Rushdie, her daughter with Dell] and her life today. She also shared snippets from her days spent at her grandparents home in Chennai- Besant Nagar to be precise.
She then moved on to read from her book Love, Loss and What we ate - A Memoir ... The section she chose was about the joy of the humble Curd rice. Well, looks like she is quite fond of it, cos the section had quite a vivid description of how the curd rice is made, the tempering, the sounds, sights and variations from across her family. I found it quite entertaining, probably because in our households the curd rice is the last thing on our minds when we talk about food. :-)
And I like mine plain or with a simple tempering, no ginger or fruits for me please.
I actually thought the event would be about her latest book - The Encyclopedia of Spices and Herbs [An Essential Guide to the Flavors of the World] .. The book, the cover and contents were quite interesting.
The one statement she made that resonated with me was “You cannot control what happens to you, but you can control how you react to what happens to you".. I so agree to this and intact live by this policy..
Moving on, the floor was open to questions, and then came the moment when I got to meet her. The two of us who had won also got to take our photograph taken with Padma.. I did ask her something on my cousin's behalf, for which she gave answers patiently... And well, that was the end of an eventful evening.
After I got done, I shared updates online and I had friends asking me a barrage of questions. One question that all of them asked was "How was she?".
My answer to this was "She is exactly as we see her on TV.. not just looks, but the way she talks and carries herself... "
Another friend asked "Was she warm?'
My reply to this was "well, she was sweet enough to patiently answer my queries..."