Desai, about nostalgic memories from India.
An excerpt from this piece--
"In the afternoons, as the rest of the family slept the sodden sleep
of a hot climate, I would tiptoe into the kitchen. Saratbhai would be
napping on the even hotter rooftop, among the rows of earthenware pots
he placed there to cool the concrete.
My mother was amused by this interest of mine. She preferred to spend
her time among her books, a collection that traveled all the way from
floor to ceiling. For an Indian woman, her lack of meddling in the
kitchen was remarkable and weird. Saratbhai boasted about it to the
others in the community of harassed, bullied cooks. It gave him
status. He was our kitchen deity.
But now his artistry was being snubbed by a child, by tastes from
abroad that he could not gauge or understand, gleaned from a book he
could not read. An uncertain world where Western was better than
Indian, where the young ridiculed the old — a world for which he
didn't have skills to cope might pour into his kitchen and undo our
home and his dignity within it."