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OCI Holders Can Fly Back to India

OCI Holders Can Fly Back to India

The Government of India has decided to also permit following categories of Overseas Citizens of India (OCI) cardholders who are stranded abroad including in the US to travel back to India by Special Flights:

  • Minor children born to Indian nationals abroad and holding OCI cards.
  • OCI cardholders who wish to come to India on account of family emergencies like a death in the family.
  • Couples where one spouse is an OCI cardholder and the other is an Indian national and they have a permanent residence in India.
  • University students who are OCI cardholders (not legally minors) but whose parents are Indian citizens living in India.
  1. All OCI cardholders who satisfy the above conditions are requested to register themselves. Those OCI cardholders who had registered earlier are also required to register online again.
  2. The OCI cardholders will not require any fresh emergency visas if they fall into one of the categories mentioned in para 1 above.
  3. In view of a limited number of seats and a large number of registrations, eligible OCI cardholders would be accommodated in the non-scheduled commercial flights on the basis of availability of seats.
  4. The cost of travel from designated airport in the USA to the designated airport in India will be borne by the passenger.
  5. The Embassy/Consulates will share the details of passengers identified with Air India Offices that will contact them directly regarding booking of tickets and mode of payment. Refund or adjustments, if any, for previously booked tickets may be processed separately with Air India.
  6. All passengers will be required to undergo medical screening before boarding the flight and only asymptomatic passengers will be allowed to travel.
  7. All passengers on arrival in India will be medically screened and would have to download and register on Arogya Setu app.
  8. All passengers will need to undergo a 14-day mandatory quarantine on arrival in India in institutional quarantine facilities on a payment basis as per the protocols framed by the Government of India. COVID test would be done after 14 days and further action would be taken according to applicable health protocols.
  9. All passengers will have to follow the protocols and procedures including Health Protocols issued by the Government of the USA on departure and by the Ministry of Health, Ministry of Civil Aviation and other concerned authorities of Government of India before, during the journey and on arrival in India.
  10. All passengers will be required to sign an Undertaking, which will be collected from them at the airport before boarding the flight.

Issued by the Embassy of India, Washington D.C.

America Runs on Diversity: GUAA Winner

America Runs on Diversity: GUAA Winner

Being the child of immigrants colors your experience in the Land of the Free. From navigating between different cultures to confronting whitewashing and racism, teenagers used the ‘Growing Up Asian in America‘ contest to pay tribute to their cultural roots. Read fourth grader Ella Dattamajumdar’s essay, America Runs On Diversity, where she discusses the inextricable relationship between America and its immigrant communities. This essay has been paired with, artwork contest winner, America Is Not Complete Without Us, created by sixth-grader An Ly. 

America runs on Dunkin’ is the punchline of one of my favorite foods, but I say that America runs on Diversity. It takes all sorts to make this world, whether it’s doughnuts, dal, dumplings or daikon! Cuisines of the world bring us together. Not just cuisines but diverse perspectives too. I believe that everybody should have a voice because one word can change the world. Everyone has their own opinion or unique perspective, if famous people didn’t speak up they would have never achieved great things and become who they are today.

For example, if Asian American, Jerry Yang did not put his ideas to action we would never have Yahoo. For my essay I am using Google and Microsoft Word which are headed by Sundar Pichai and Satya Nadella. I admire Senator Kamala Harris who was raised by an Indian American mother. They are so many successful Asian Americans who have made America proud. I find Nina Davuluri who is the first Asian American woman to win Miss America very inspiring. At the Miss America contest talent round she performed a Bollywood dance. A lot of people were upset and said hurtful comments when she won Miss America as she looked different compared to the past winners.

I feel that being American is a state of mind, it is based on a common set of values and beliefs and not based on how we look, the color of our skin, what we eat, how we speak or where our grandparents come from. Just look around the Silicon Valley — every time I drive around with my family we are always debating what to eat — Biryani, Pho Soup, Sushi, Pad Thai, Tacos, or Steak. We need all kinds of nutrients to nourish our brains whether it is food or diverse perspectives. I dream of being an Asian American leader who is proud of her heritage and can make America proud because America truly runs on diversity.


Image: The artwork, entitled, America Is Not Complete Without Us, was created by sixth-grader An Ly. 

Essay: American Runs on Diversity was written by fourth-grader Ella Dattamajumdar

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    30-Somethings Go Home To Mom & Dad

    30-Somethings Go Home To Mom & Dad

    It took three weeks, but Lawrence and Arlene Maze finally persuaded their younger son, Gregory, of Los Angeles, to get on a flight home to Austin.“He basically shut his business down to come here and has to restart his business when it’s safe,” his father said. “It was a very difficult decision.”

    Alex Rose, a 33-year-old event producer and recording artist, didn’t need much persuasion. She spent a couple of weeks alone in her 500-square-foot Hollywood apartment, taking long walks to break up the days. In mid-March, her event bookings and performances began to disappear. Then a neighbor showed her video of an arsonist setting trash can fires on their street and she saw the melted cans next to her building.

    “All of a sudden I didn’t feel safe anymore,” she said. “I didn’t feel safe, and frankly, I felt totally alone.”

    The next morning, she and her cat, Eloise, flew home to Austin to her mother and stepdad.

    As COVID-19 has ripped through densely populated communities, millennials have fled their own cramped quarters for less congested cities with more room in their parents’ homes. They are near family should someone get sick. The familiarity is comforting in an uncertain time. Overwhelmingly, parents and their adult children view the arrangement as temporary. Of course, no one knows how long “temporary” might last.

    Lawrence Maze said the thinking was that Gregory could help him or his wife if they got sick, and they could help him if he did. Also, they believed Austin’s health care system would be less stressed than L.A.’s.“He’s lived on his own now for a very long time,” Lawrence said. “It’s not like he moved back into his old house. He knows he’s living in a guest bedroom.”

    It’s a major disruption for young adults who have established their lives thousands of miles from home: They keep paying rent on empty places. They have left behind their routines and social lives. Some have lost their work. Others can work remotely alongside parents who are doing the same.

    The magnitude of the outbreak has, for a time, reordered American lives. It’s fostering unexpected togetherness.

    Rose’s mother, Elizabeth Christian, said her daughter hasn’t visited Austin this long since she was in college, and now “nobody is rushing off to do anything.”

    “We’re having meals together. And we’re watching movies at night,” she said.

    Christian and her husband, Bruce Todd, a former Austin mayor, wanted to make sure Rose got back before California wouldn’t allow her to leave or Texas wouldn’t let her in.

    Sarah and Ken Frankenfeld had barely moved into their downsized townhome when the coronavirus pandemic brought their 31-year-old son and his girlfriend from New York City to quarantine with them.

    “I was nervous about how this was going to work,” Sarah Frankenfeld said of their lack of furniture and readiness for houseguests. They’d met his girlfriend for one evening a few months earlier. “He hasn’t lived here in a while. But it’s worked and it’s been lovely.”

    Kevin Frankenfeld, who works in digital, social strategy and marketing, has lived in New York almost nine years. He and his girlfriend, Maddie Haller, wanted to quarantine together.

    “In Manhattan or Brooklyn, people are just on top of one another,” he said. “So we wanted to get out of town.”

    This shared feeling of lockdown with so much unknown can cause stress and make us feel lonely and anxious, even with others around, said Dr. Vivek Murthy, U.S. surgeon general from 2014 to 2017.

    “In this moment, we have no idea when the pandemic will end,” he said. “We don’t know when our lives will go back to normal.”

    Well before the stay-at-home orders, Murthy recognized Americans’ increased loneliness, prompting his new book, “Together: The Healing Power of Human Connection in a Sometimes Lonely World.” Now that many are isolated by themselves, he urges us to “step back and take stock of our lives.”

    “The silver lining of COVID-19 is that it’s given us the opportunity to reset our social lives and remember how essential relationships are to our well-being,” he said.

    Rose is doing her own reset. She’s among California’s estimated 2 million self-employed. But because of the pandemic, she’s applying for full-time jobs around the country in digital media and project management.

    “When I left L.A., I never expected that I would not go back to that apartment,” she said. With her lease up in June, she asked a friend to pack up her place and move everything into storage.

    Rose and her mother returned late Sunday from a quick turnaround to California to retrieve Rose’s tiny 2016 Fiat 500 that was stranded six weeks in long-term airport parking.

    Gregory Maze, 33, is a private chef, event caterer and part-owner of a coffee truck business. He moved to L.A. five years ago.

    “I’m fortunate to have a situation like this, but leaving L.A. was not on my terms,” he said. “It’s out of my hands. I really don’t know what the landscape is going to look like at the end of this.”

    While some younger adults mock baby boomers with the “OK boomer” meme, the pandemic seems to have shifted the tone — at least where parents are concerned.

    Suzanne and Stuart Newberg’s older son, Jared, 27, and his girlfriend, Melissa Asensio, both of Manhattan, arrived March 21 to quarantine together.

    “They bought one-way plane tickets and we said, ‘You’re welcome as long as you need to be here,’” Suzanne Newberg said.

    Jared and Melissa, who both worked full time in their New York City offices, now work remotely from Austin. His three roommates left for their hometowns about a week before Jared and Melissa. Her two roommates left New York around the same time.

    “It was a lot safer and more comfortable to come here,” Jared said. “We’re super-lucky and super-fortunate.”

    Back in New York, one of Kevin Frankenfeld’s roommates remains in their three-bedroom apartment. The other went home to Boston. Maddie lives in the same neighborhood. Her apartment is empty now. Both Kevin and Maddie work full time remotely and are glad they’re not in the city.

    “We didn’t want to be stuck in a small apartment to isolate in a hotbed,” Kevin said. “Here we’ve got a green area, dishwasher and laundry.”

    This story was produced by Kaiser Health News, an editorially independent program of the Kaiser Family Foundation.

    Social Distance Dancing for Mental Health

    Social Distance Dancing for Mental Health

    A group of Bay Area musicians and dancers have come together to spread joy during these challenging times with a Bollywood inspired version of “The Other Side” from the Trolls World Tour. The video features 27 dancers bringing various forms of dance to the feel-good song originally performed by Justin Timberlake and SZA

    Corte-Madera based dancer and choreographer Enakshi Vyas saw her dance life evolve as shelter-in-place started taking shape in March. “Our entire industry changed overnight. We were in a situation where what we needed the most – exercise, art, community – could not exist like they did before. But we had to find a way to keep the community together,” said Vyas. She quickly embraced technology and shifted everything online, hosting dance classes and rehearsals over video chat, and instantly found herself re-energized. 

    When it came time to consider making her next video, she turned to San-Francisco based Bollywood composer Vivek Agrawal with an idea: what if we choreographed a dance video to a feel-good song where everyone could record from their own homes? 

    Agrawal, intrigued by the thought, remembered that the new Trolls movie had a track that felt appropriate for the times called “The Other Side.” On why this song in particular, he said, “It is one of those songs that make you smile the first time you hear it. It reminds us that even when we may think things are tough for us, there’s always something to appreciate about the world. For us, even though we can’t be physically together, we can still create beautiful art together, even from our own homes.” 

    Agrawal recruited Aarti B to lend her vocals to the song. They recorded the entire cover over Zoom, and Vyas recruited dancers throughout the Bay Area and taught them the dance over a series of online tutorials. In less than a week, they had a video ready. 

    After piecing together video recordings from dancers of all different styles, the group released “The Other Side” on Instagram and Youtube on Friday, May 8th. “I never would have imagined that this cover song project, that we recorded over Zoom, would turn into a 27-dancer, donation-raising extravaganza! What a special moment for us all. I’m so proud to have my voice on this project.” said Aarti B after seeing the reactions on social media. 

    In addition to encouraging everyone to enjoy the video, the group is inviting viewers to make a donation to AACI (Asian Americans for Community Involvement) to help support essential workers providing behavioral counseling. 

    Founded in 1973, AACI is one of the largest community-based organizations advocating for and serving the marginalized and vulnerable ethnic communities in Santa Clara County. Our mission is to strengthen the hope and resilience of our community members by improving their health, mental health and well-being.

    AACI remains open during the shelter in place order, to care for the vulnerable, low-income, and limited English speaking families who need help.  We provide culturally appropriate behavioral health counseling to individuals and families of all ages and backgrounds which is more important than ever during this stressful and uncertain time.  Your gift to AACI during Mental Health Awareness month will make a huge difference in the lives of families who are struggling with anxiety and depression.

    Enakshi Vyas, a Marin county native, has trained and taught throughout the Bay Area in a variety of styles including but not limited to Jazz, Tap, Kathak, Bharata Natyam, West African Dance, Ballet, Contemporary, Hip Hop, Indian Folk styles, and Bollywood dance. As the director of Elite Naach Academy, Enakshi instructs a variety of stylistic backgrounds and cultures, providing her students with a more complex and diverse dance curriculum. She strives to create a safe space for dancers to explore their versatility, ignite their passion, and find their story. 

    Vivek is a composer based in San Francisco who previously worked with A.R. Rahman, just left his tech job to pursue music full-time, and is working on his debut album of original Hindi songs. He recently left the tech space to focus completely on music, and is currently working on two projects. One is an album of American pop covers with a Bollywood flare. The other is an original Hindi album of songs that he has written over the past two years. 

    Aarti is an SF-based professional singer, born and raised in the Bay Area. More recently, Aarti was asked to come to NYC to audition for Mira Nair’s Monsoon Wedding, the Broadway musical. She also was the lead singer in the house band for SF’s high-end Indian restaurant, Rooh. Aarti is currently working to record her first-ever original music and release new music this year.

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    Shashi Tharoor and Others Read You a Tagore Classic

    Shashi Tharoor and Others Read You a Tagore Classic

    The coronavirus pandemic is a story shared among so many different generations, nationalities, and ethnicities. Although this moment of crisis has physically separated us from our friends and family, it has also bound us all within a joint reality. And what better way to spend the extra time at home than by returning to an endearing glimpse into South Asian literature? To encourage solidarity despite self-isolation regulations, digital publishing house Juggernaut Books and the celebrated Hindustan Times have created the video project, One Story, One Nation. 

    India Currents’ very own writer, Raji Pillai, is featured in Part 10 of the readings, alongside South-Asian celebrities. Each has volunteered their time to read a section from Rabindranath Tagore’s classic, The Kabulliwallah

    One of Tagore’s most acclaimed literary works, the short story focuses on a young daughter’s love for an Afghan Kabulliwallah, a merchant who often made trips to Calcutta. Tagore’s heartwarming narrative, which demonstrates how love crosses all borders and circumstances, is fitting during these dividing times. Although I read Kabulliwallah amid a flight home from India a few years ago, I found that revisiting this short story made me appreciate the simplicities of self-isolation.

    A screen separates me from my friends and teachers, but I still have my parents beside me — just how protagonist Mini has the love of her father and the Kabulliwallah despite everything. And it certainly did not hurt to hear this tale narrated by the likes of Shashi Tharoor, Aditi Mittal, Chetan Bhagat, and Barkha Dutt. Each and every one of these narrators have poured their heart into bringing Tagore’s characters to life, from the charming naiveté of a young Mini to the devoted affection of the merchant. 

    “Read more books during this lockdown. Read more books on humanity, because they will inspire you to become a better version of yourself,” said Sabyasachi Mukherjee, as he opened up his own reading of the short story. Hopefully, we can all learn to celebrate a sense of belonging and unanimity by listening to Kabulliwallah.

    To find the entire series click here.

    Kanchan Naik is a junior at The Quarry Lane School in Dublin, CA. Aside from being the Youth Editor at India Currents, she is the Editor-in-Chief of her school’s news-zine The Roar. She is also the Teen Poet Laureate of Pleasanton and uses her role to spread a love of poetry in her community.

    When You Love Someone…

    When You Love Someone…

    It was a Valentines weekend but it was not jolly! My world was hurtling down a steep cliff, only it was worse than my hormone drenched teenage-ish mind imagined. My gut was in overdrive, signaling danger, and my cerebral cortex was out of orbit. 

    I have always been a late bloomer and although my limbs stretched in height, my brain failed to catch up to speed. So when I got married, my baby face and warm, almond milk palette did not know that I was hurdling head first into a sharp, glacial disaster. As I said, it was not jolly.

    Having fond memories of the ancient city of pink palaces – Jaipur – as a child was radically different than going as a bride into a family of three strangers and their even stranger acquaintances! 

    Their thought processes were radically different from mine. They were very conservative in terms of customs, food habits, and medical treatment. A daughter-in-law should wear a saree, cover her head and touch the feet of every stranger who stepped into the house. Food was extra spicy, difficult for me to digest, and if I fell sick,  I was only allowed two or three antibiotic capsules instead of the entire course.

    Most of these issues I could navigate. But there were times the home dynamics were rocked by temper tantrums and hysteria which defied human logic. I was absorbed in the quixotic chaos of my marital home with the eyes of an avid reader of mystery novels but not enough to prepare me for the harrowing hair-pin-bend-like Jumanji moments in my newly wedded life.  Help from home was a few thousand miles away. My parents lived in Bombay. There were no cell phones. The only landline phone was in the living room and was not private. There was not a single soul in the ramparts of my Piya-ka-Ghar who was sympatico. 

    On one such dire occasion when my cup of sorrow was spilling, I made a plan to make a phone call from an outside line. I stealthily crept out of the house in a sweltering mid afternoon down the dusty lane when the family folks were on their daily siesta. There were no public phones and neighbors had no connections. I walked into the office of a relative and I told him a white lie. “The phone at home is not working and I have to call my parents in Bombay.” He acquiesced and I dialed home. When dad came on the line I explained to him, “It’s bad!” I wailed and then rattled off the issue in code language. To my dismay, my brilliant dad was having difficulty cracking my code. Regardless, I told him it would be good if he came there urgently, choking over every wor…d…he was having difficulty understanding. My only hope was that he could grasp the gravity of the situation from the emotional current in my voice. Mr. Relative kept staring at me but did not ask questions. I hung up and ran back to my in-laws’ house sobbing silently. I was at my wits end.

    Monita Soni and Her Father

    Hours passed and my mom called on the landline but her message was not conveyed to me. Then at 3 AM on a very cold and foggy winter night, a very tired, bleak-eyes tall man in a tweed coat and muffler came over the threshold. My mother-in-law called out my name: “Monita… your dad is here”. I ran out in my nightgown, bare feet without bothering to throw a shawl on my shoulders. “Daddy!”, I cried out and clutched at the hand knit grey sweater on his chest and started bawling.

    He gently patted me on my back and said, “It’s good to see that you are okay my daughter.” I looked up at his face, he had not shaved and his lips were cracked from the cold. There was a worried look around his eyes.

    Later, I found out that he was flying from Bombay to Delhi for an urgent business matter when he took my “call” and then not knowing how to contact me for a better understanding of my duress on the phone, he took a night taxi from Delhi. He traveled all through the dark, bitter, cold night to check on my condition.

    He also said: “Daughter when you love someone, you don’t subject them to stress.” I forgot my troubles and felt guilt because I realized how much anguish I had caused my dad and how he must have suffered not knowing what was troubling me. I gave him a comfortable bed and said: “Dear dad, you rest now. We will talk in the morning”.

    But my dad’s words “ When you love someone…” are instilled in the staccato of my beating heart. I can never forget his worry-stricken face. I also became acutely aware of how many insurmountable struggles of his own he had kept hidden from me. Those gently spoken tough words from a very tender hearted man caused me to transform from a crying daddy’s girl into a woman of tremendous resolve like a koi fish swimming against the current.

    Because when someone loves you… you grow.

    Monita Soni grew up in Mumbai, India and works as a pathologist in Decatur Alabama. She is well known for her creative nonfiction and poetry pieces inspired by family, faith, food, home and art. She has written two books: My Light Reflections and Flow through my Heart. She is a regular contributor to NPR’s Sundial Writers Corner. She drew the featured image as a symbol of her love for her father.

    Edited by Assistant Editor, Srishti Prabha.

    Free, Easy COVID-19 Testing in Santa Clara County!

    Free, Easy COVID-19 Testing in Santa Clara County!

    Residents in Santa Clara County can now get free and easy COVID-19 testing in their neighborhoods.  The county just launched six new and expanded drive-through and pop-up locations at community centers, parking lots, and county health system in Milpitas, Morgan Hill, Mountain View and San Jose.

    People get who get tested at these sites pay nothing for the test.

    “It’s fast, free and you don’t need insurance,” said Cindy Chavez, President of the Board of Supervisors, urging residents to advantage of the opportunity to get tested in their neighborhood.

    “The County is bringing testing capacity to where it’s needed.”

    The locations were chosen based on data showing a higher rate of recent cases in these areas compared to nearby areas. By adding six new locations, the county now has at least 46 sites offering COVID-19 viral detection testing.

    Frontline Workers  Need Monthly Testing
    The county recommends that essential workers (grocery store clerks, food delivery workers, retail associates, first responders, and other frontline workers), who regularly interact with the public to get tested at least once a month going forward, even if they have no symptoms at all. Testing can identify the infection before a person feels unwell or before they spread it to another person with potentially deadly consequences.

    “I encourage everyone to protect themselves and their family by scheduling a test at one of our test sites throughout Santa Clara County,” said County Supervisor Joe Simitian. The tests offered are viral detection tests, which diagnose a person who currently has the infection.

    Mobile testing services will be available at Rengstorff Park in the City of Mountain View. “We need everyone – including cities, the County, and private healthcare providers and labs,’ noted Mayor Margaret Abe-Koga, “to do their part to help us get through this crisis.”

    WALK-UP TESTING SCHEDULE
    Walk-up testing at outdoor “pop-up” sites will be available available without an appointment, insurance or doctor’s note, at Mountain View (May 25 & May 27 and in San Jose (May 29).

    Monday, May 25, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
    Rengstorff Park Pool Area, 201 S Rengstorff Ave., Mountain View, CA 94040

    Wednesday, May 27, 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.
    Rengstorff Park Pool Area, 201 S Rengstorff Ave., Mountain View, CA 94040

    Friday, May 29, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
    La Placita Tropicana Shopping Center parking lot, 1630 Story Rd, San Jose, CA 95122

    DRIVE THRU TESTING SITES 
    Drive-thru testing will be available 7 days a week at four county health system locations in Milpitas, Morgan Hill and San Jose. These require appointments which can be made online at sccfreetest.org or by calling 888-334-1000.

    • 1325 East Calaveras Blvd., Milpitas, CA 95035 (location subject to change)
    • 18550 De Paul Dr., Morgan Hill, CA 95037
    • 777 E Santa Clara Street, San Jose, CA 95112
    • 1993 McKee Road, San Jose, CA 95116

    For more information on testing go to www.sccgov.org/sites/covid19/Pages/covid19-testing-learn-more.aspx#types.

    For information on test sites call 211 or go to sccfreetest.org. The site is available in English, Spanish, Vietnamese, Chinese and Tagalog.

     

     

    Tea for Two

    Tea for Two

    In Seeing Ceremony, Meera Ekkanath Klein’s sequel to her 2017 debut novel, My Mother’s Kitchen, the narrator, Meena, is now ready for college and continues to rebuff her mother’s need to subject her to seeing ceremonies in advance of formally arranging her marriage. The continuing obstacle is that Meena refuses to think about marriage until she returns home to Mahagiri, degree in hand, ready to begin her own life as an adult.

    Her confidante and neighbor Mac, an elderly Scotsman who owns a tea plantation, is always ready to lend an ear and offer sage advice. However, reality enters Meena’s life when he reveals a friend is interested in purchasing Meena’s late father’s spice plantation. With the express understanding that the transaction will honor Meena’s father’s legacy, the money exchanged is Meena’s ticket to a college in California where her uncle is a professor.

    During the brief pages devoted to Meena’s time at school, she studies agriculture, discovers Chinese tea, and embraces the calming concepts of the Japanese and Chinese tea ceremonies. It is then, in a flash of brilliance, that she understands creating a tearoom in which a variety of teas could be sampled and tea ceremonies would be held, maybe the answer to bolstering her mother’s remaining business.

    On her journey home following graduation, Meena meets Raj Kumar, a young Indian businessman. They take an immediate liking to each other, and while at the airport in Singapore, they spend their layover time dining and chatting. As expected, neither can get the other out of their minds after going their own ways. Later, in a convenient twist, Meena and Raj come face to face again.

    The bones of the story are good and hold promise, but much of the plot isn’t new. The seeing ceremony, arranged marriage, traditional vs. modern attitudes, and going to college in the U.S. are overused. Nevertheless, the elements of agriculture, introducing new crops, rotating crops, and bringing concepts from overseas are fresh enough to bring balance to the novel.

    That said, this book should be a massive celebration of the senses, yet the ubiquitous spices, the meals prepared, the visit to a tribal village, and the vistas Meena experiences both at home and at her father’s plantation exist with an assumption that the reader is familiar with all of those essentials when sensual imagery would have enhanced Meena’s narrative and assisted in building her world. Instead, that part of the storytelling was incomplete, like a coloring book with pages half colored and abandoned.

    On the plus side, Seeing Ceremony can be read as a standalone novel. It isn’t necessary to read My Mother’s Kitchen to enjoy this succeeding story. However, since the books are billed as novels with recipes, you may want to see what’s cooking in both. In “Kitchen,” the recipes are found at the end of chapters which, unfortunately, impede the reader’s flow. In “Ceremony,” the recipes are conveniently gathered at the end of the book.

    If you’re in the market for a quick read that may take you away, introduce you to some interesting characters, tell a story of finding one’s way back home, and offer some recipes to spice up your next meal, this may be the book for you.

    Jeanne E. Fredriksen lives in North and South Carolina where she is a Books for Youth reviewer for Booklist magazine/American Library Association and a member of WCPE-FM The Classical Station’s Music Education Fund committee. She is working on an assortment of fiction projects. 


    Seeing Ceremony: A Novel with Recipes by Meera Ekkanath Klein. Homebound Publications. 270 Pages.

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