I picked up ‘Alphabet Soup for Lovers’ by Anita Nair, with a lot of skepticism. I don’t particularly enjoy her style of writing and therefore the skepticism. But boy, did this book prove me wrong or what.
This book will now go into my list of favourites. I haven’t enjoyed and relished reading a book as much as I did this in a long long time. Nair has so beautifully merged two of my favourite things; food and romance. The story is partially told by the cook who is learning the English alphabets. She uses ingredients to learn the alphabets and so effortlessly leaves the reader with very valuable life lessons with each alphabet she learns.
One alphabet that stood out for me was ‘U’. Nair has used this alphabet to describe a lentil we call Uzunthu in Tamizh and Urad in Hindi. She describes it as the prince among the lentils. She talks of how there would be no idli or dosa without Uzunthu and a South Indian household would never function without these two essential breakfast items.
‘Sometimes I think Uzunthu is a lot like hope. When the days stretch pointlessly ahead. The only thing that can give it some meaning is hope rising to the surface. But I have also heard that too much of Uzunthu causes deafness. I am not surprised. One needs to even hope in moderation. Otherwise, like an appalam into which too much Uzunthu has gone, it will puff out and shatter into shards.’
This book leaves you with hope, it leaves you with a wonderful aftertaste.
Do read this one, it is full of soul.
Buy your copy here.