Climbing the Mango Trees: A Memoir of a Childhood in India - Madhur Jaffrey
Madhur Jaffrey, the actress, cook, and cookbook writer, gives us a pleasant but not briliant memoir of her childhood growing up in a wealthy, aristocratic, and enormous family in Delhi. There is some mention of the tensions caused by relations between family members, and some evocation of her emotional uncertainties as she grew, competently written enough. There is description of the luxury of the life they lived and of course, food is a recurring theme. Social and political conditions get a look in; one thing that struck me was how easy it had been for her ancestors to switch from being chief administrators for the Moghul emperors to filling the same roles for the British. The departure of the British was much more of a disaster than their arrival; Jaffrey gives a picture of just how much of a catastrophe Partition was, how much it changed Delhi, and how torn she was as a cosmopolitan Hindu with many Muslim friends.