Curry Night

My brother lives in a suburb of Manchester in England and I live at just about the opposite side of the world. Maui, Hawaii is my home. Thousands of miles separate us but we are forever connected by more than our shared bloodline. It's a curry thing. 

Raised on curry, this dish takes me back home to wet Manchester even as I stand barefoot on floor tiles cooled by air conditioning. Tonight, I'm in a curry trance. Indian spices on the counter, chicken on the chopping board, my hands automatically slice, dice, and stir. Measurements were never given. My mother and father, both of whom are experts in their own right at their versions of curry, always encouraged us to use our intuition when spooning out the rainbow of spices. My husband and two young boys have grown to expect a very spicy curry; anything less disappoints them now.

Occasionally, I'll take a photo of my dish and send it to my brother. It will be his morning. A little tweet sounds from my phone and there it is. A photo of his curry from the night before brings a smile to my face. He added tomatoes to his creation. I didn't. And yoghurt. I had run out. My curry has way more cilantro and I added green beans. I'm a one-pot chef. He forwards my photo to our mother. A few seconds later, I do the same. Our two curries show up in her home in London. I know more than a smile spreads on her face...

Food, it is said, is memories. For me, it's more. It nourishes my soul, connects me to my family and ancestors, and runs through my veins as a life saver. 

Thank you Pa and Mum for showing me how to cook curry!



Read and Be

Something struck me last year about the way our family reads books. This only came to light when I was reading Kwame Alexander's "The Crossover." I borrowed the book from my local library on Maui after hearing great reviews. 

Very little catch-up housework was done that weekend. Swept along the dramas of life on and off the basketball court, the story grabbed me by the heart and refused to let go. I consumed the words like a starved maniac. Sometimes laughing, sometimes crying. It was a roller coaster ride of emotions and I was fully committed. I sped through the book like my life depended on it. 

Breathless, I passed the book on to my husband.

In his slow, considered way my husband started reading the book showing little emotion. "Which part are you at?" I'd ask intermittently, desperate to relive a moment of the story. When he'd described the passage, I would have to think really hard. Hmmm. I don't remember reading that. Maybe I had skipped a page? Slowly, a vague memory would emerge. Stripped of its details, only the bare bones showing, I no longer felt the intensity of that part of the story. I had to ask for the book to be passed back for a moment. Oh yes! There's the part in its entirety. I never doubted Alexander's brilliance. It was more like my speed reading was not serving me well. While my husband was reading he was able to take breaks. Long breaks. Over night breaks. After he had finished reading it, much to my annoyance, he could recall small details and episodes.

Calmly, he passed the book on to our son.

Aged ten and not a basketball player, our son instinctively read the book out loud in rap style. He danced it, he clicked his tongue to it, he "was it." 

This was the moment I realized we all have our own way of reading books. 

My way - a little too fast maybe, but fun, open to the ride. My husband - cool, deliberate, attentive. My son - embracing every moment and tuning into the rhythm intuitively. These diverse reading styles somehow reflect how and who we are in the world.

Thank you Kwame Alexander for an amazing book! Our own copy sits on our bookshelf.

Thank you to my family for being exactly who you are!