Padma Lakshmi

Asian Enough


I knew very very early on even when I was four that the reason we were leaving India is because it was very taboo for my mom to be a divorce. A divorce just didn't happen in Indian culture in growing up and going back to India I still don't know I know one person in India. WHO's divorced? You know, and so I knew that we were leaving to have a better life, you know. My mother left when I was two and I lived with my grandparents, and I didn't see my dad so I had no recollection of my real father I didn't even know what his face looks like. Because they had ripped up all the pictures so from two to four. I didn't see either of my parents so I literally was so excited to come to America, because America to me, meant being reunited with my mom. That's obviously a story that you. Write about beautifully. You know experiences that you write about beautifully and reflect upon in your memoir. Some much of what you also write about is. The role that food had to play in your connection with your family in even getting you through hard moments like you describe o'clock Chutney in the opening of your memoir that really got you through. That was a recipe from your grandmother. and I wonder how you feel that that your relationships were shaped or enabled through food, and what that has meant to you along the way if your journey. I think food was a conduit to. Keeping close ties with my family, you know once I came to America and my mom and I settled here. Occupied this third space that many Asian American kids do which is you know? I wasn't Indian enough and I didn't adhere to. In India for children. You know so I wasn't Indian enough there and certainly when I was in America, I wasn't American enough for my American peers were my teachers, or whatever and I occupied this. There's base that was basically made up of a little bit of this a little bit of that image culture, and and so food for me was a pure way that was also noncontroversial to have connection with my family like even during this quarantine. You know we have a family. What's up of all? My cousins and everything and I have been reaching out to my aunt to ask her some fact checking questions about recipes for my childhood. I really love my aunt Bunn she. She didn't like her very much growing up, but she's the only reason I can balance a checkbook you know because she was like a second mother to me when I was sent back to India and she helped me. Tutored me because Indian, schooling is so much harder than American schooling, and there were certain years that I was sent back to study at an Indian school and I found it incredibly difficult and I just felt always like the class dunce in those years I was like behind by like a great and a half. And so you know also Indian. Forms of learning are very different than American. School systems forms of learning so. I should say so, you know. I needed my aunt so badly and she performed for ROIC. Feet that now. In quarantine with home, schooling, appreciating like on Mother's Day I wrote her. This taxing like you've always been like a second mom to me and I can never repay you so. But the way that we'd today. Communicate is really through food and the exchange of recipes and stuff like

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