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Serving Crazy with Curry
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Serving Crazy with Curry

3.48 of 5 stars 3.48  ·  rating details  ·  1,232 ratings  ·  137 reviews
Between the pressures to marry and become a traditional Indian wife and the humiliation of losing her job in Silicon Valley, Devi is on the edge–where the only way out seems to be to jump. . . .

Yet Devi’s plans to “end it all” fall short when she is saved by the last person she wants to see: her mother. Forced to move in with her parents until she recovers, Devi refuses to
ebook, 272 pages
Published November 26th 2008 by Ballantine Books (first published 2004)
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The best things about this book are the title and that it's short (234 pgs.)

I don’t know that I’ve ever read a book with so many unappealing, self-serving, spiteful, uninteresting characters. I definitely wouldn’t wish any of them as members of my family or friends because I’d be bound to get stabbed in the back and then get blamed for it.

The problem I had with this story was not the shitty characters – the world is full of nasty people, after all – but the way the conflict was resolved. The boo
I really enjoyed the first two-thirds of this book, and then the last third was more than disappointing! I liked the whole idea of the old culture meeting the new in this Indian family. The added cooking theme was interesting and fun. I knew I was reading a book about a dysfunctional family and was eager to see how some issues would be resolved and some wouldn't. The "whys" of the characters issues were explained but not resolved in a realistic way at all. I was just sooooooo disappointed with t ...more
This was the first work by this author I read, and it started my fascination with American ethnic subculture literature (e.g. the new explosion of Indian literature written for American audiences, exploring themes such as family, change, love, and social acceptance). I think Jane found it at duty free in Canada on the way to Morocco. The story is about a South-Indian family living in the San Francisco Bay Area, which is something I immediately could relate to. A great storyteller once said "stor ...more
This book begins with Devi, 27 year old, American-born Indian daughter of Avi and Soraj, writing a list of the pros and cons of committing suicide. The pros win and, with careful consideration and planning, she fills her bath tub, climbs in and equally carefully slits her wrists. All the planning in the world is ruined by her mother, who comes calling, lets herself in with the key Devi has long wished she hadn't given her, and finds her daughter in time to save her life.

On her release from the
This book. I just can't even formulate a response.

Something about this was just the perfect mix of everything. Maybe it's because I'm Indian, too, but really, all the problems, all the characters, even the dialogue resonated with me.
This somehow answered a lot of the questions I formulated myself, and the characters' ambition, hopes, attitudes were like putting a mirror up to myself.

The story starts with a young Indian girl who attempts to suicide but fails upon her mother finding her and 'sav
Devi feels like a failure. She has no husband, no children, and now she’s lost her job too. She compares herself to her older sister Shobha, who appears on the surface to be the ideal traditional Indian wife, and finds herself wanting. She decides that life is no longer worth living, and carefully plans her suicide, an event that she wishes to proceed as painlessly and neatly as possible. But something goes awry:

“Death was supposed to have happened. She had chosen to die, but now she was alive,
Devi lost her job, was having an affair with a married man, and had a miscarriage and wanted to end her life. Feeling like she had failed at life, she was ready to die, only she could not even do that right. Her mother comes to her rescue and soon Devi finds herself living with her parents and visiting grandmother with her family all around her offering their support and yet struggling through their own emotions and personal issues. Devi, refusing to speak, turns to cooking to soothe her pain, f ...more
Once I start a book, I have to finish it and this one was so painful to get through. To my surprise my husband who is an avid reader thought this book was entertaining - mind you he skimmed through the book. He liked the idea that the story line took place in the bay area.

I found it to be as cheezy and as poorly written as a TV serial/soap opera. The characters are one dimensional, the plot is predictable. The book is made of stereotypes that would make non-Indians cringe. Just plain awful!!!
After an unsuccessful suicide attempt, Devi, is discharged from hospital and goes to recuperate with her parents. She deals with her unhappiness by becoming a mute, and she refuses to talk to anyone, even her beloved grandmother, Vasu, who is on an extended visit from India.
Devi’s psychologist suggests that, instead of talking, she keep a journal, and in her old bedroom at her parents’ house Devi discovers a notebook in which her mother, Saroj, has copied just one recipe, leaving the rest of th

Pros: very readable, kept me interested, Indian family drama

Cons: I didn't like that a miscarriage was a major plot point and that the idea of having kids would have saved Shobha's marriage and Devi's life. The food (one of the things that drew me to this book) didn't sound so great to me even though I like Indian food. Devi seemed to recover way too fast from a suicidal mindset, not sure if that is realistic.

Setting: Bay Area and some flashbacks in India. The setting was not very well done. The
Claire S
First read: (9/1/08)
Really loved this. The initial portions of the book were intense and fascinating, and then there kept being more layers. Really enjoyed it and would like to read sequels if they existed and so on. The idea of cooking to wellness had a serious impact on my as well, I'm feeling, now that time has passed, subconsciously. Thanks, Amulya!

Second read: (2/5/10)
Needed something absorbing that was smaller than Sacred Games, this rose to the surface. I had been thinking about it genera
5.0 out of 5 stars Serving up a great read!!, December 3, 2004

This review is from: Serving Crazy with Curry (Paperback)
Amulya Malladi is a master storyteller. This book, the third novel focusing on the lives and times of Indian women in crisis, is a fabulous study of family dynamics. Relationships are at the center of a Malladi novel -- between mothers and daughters, husbands and wives, fathers and daughters, sisters and sisters -- and this one is a powerful discussion of a family reacting to a
Kerry Hennigan
Having loved The Mango Season when I read it many years ago, I looked forward to Serving Crazy with Curry, expecting some of the humor I remembered from that earlier novel by author Amulya Malladi.

There is not a lot of humor here, though, but plenty of realistic irony. Serving Crazy with Curry begins when out of work Devi attempts suicide, and is discovered in a bath of her own blood by her frantic mother.

Saroj is not about to let her daughter forget what she has done - such a thing is unthinkab
Yuska Vonita

This book is about Devi and her dysfunctional family. Unlike any other Indian Lit that I read, this one is blunt and digs about the taboo subjects among Indians: pre-marital sex, divorce, suicide, and atheism.

It started with Devi who tried to kill herself, but failed. Then The narrator told about Devi's grandfather who committed suicide. It touches the psychological aspect. I read somewhere that suicidal tendencies run in the family. Britney Spears, who was in turbulance (we don't know what she
A semi psychological delve into why relationships fail and how we can rebuild those. This is the story of 3 generations of women, each who has failed to find or sustain the love of her life. A grandmother who divorced her abusive husband and got blamed for his suicide to boot, but who later found love with another man. Her daughter who is the typical affluent house wife, and no one seems to care about her and her emotions as she has almost become a 'door mat' - her two daughters, who are intelli ...more
Kae Cheatham
Found this at my Public Library.

Popular East Indian writer Amulya Malladi depicts an upwardly-mobile family in the San Francisco Bay area, with a twist.
Devi Veturi, late twenties, IT professional, decides her life is in shambles and the only solution is to commit suicide. She's thought it all out quite well, but her mother happens to visit that day and finds Devi before it's too late.

Devi recovers from her suicide attempt, completely stops talking and starts nonstop cooking. Somehow this spurs
Devi has decided. Her life just seems to hold no more meaning and she cannot see a future for herself. Her parents want her to become a traditional Indian wife. She can't seem to hold a job. She will never be like her sister, Shiobba, with a great job, a great husband and a wonderful life. And so, she makes detailed plans to end her life.

If she had remembered that her mother had a set of keys to her apartment, she might have actually succeeded. But her overbearing mother walks in to find Devi in
This book has been on my TBR list for the longest time. I'm happy to say that it has finally been read.

Devi has lost all hope for herself. She's lost another job at another start up company. In the past few months or so she's lost a baby. What's the point in living?

Her mother, nosy woman that she is, is the one to come in and save Devi when she least expects it. Now Devi and her entire family must live with this decision, and failure in suicide.

This family, immigrants from India some thirty y
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Amanda B.
I actually picked up this book in Mr. Nourok’s advisory as a temporary book, but actually liked it so I continued to read it. The title of the book intrigued me because it seemed to not only speak of Indian culture (because of the curry) but it added something unexpected with the “crazy”. There was also a quote on the cover of the book which states “If life gets you down, spice it up with the unexpected…” which to me meant something interesting was brewing in the pages of this novel. It started ...more
Raman K
This is my third book from this author and I loved it. This was a very interesting book for me because it dealt with many real issues such as suicide, marital problems, and relationships but it was mixed in with cooking.

The book actually inspired me to do more cooking! It also tells a very dramatic story with humour and honesty. I always get pulled into indian chick lit because of the interesting way an author will describe eastern and western lifestyles. There is a lot that I can relate to.
A great light read. I enjoyed the setting of the familiar places in the Bay Area. An original story with the added benefit of learning something about Indian culture and Indian food along the way. The dishes Devi makes sound marvelous. I especially enjoyed reading the conversation the author has with her characters after the completion of the novel.

Favorite quotes: "Let love be love, let's not accuse it with a name." p. 220

A reference to the love the grand daughter has for her grandmother reflec
In this book; Serving Crazy with Curry by Amulya Malladi, we meet Devi and her...dysfunctional family. Devi is harboring many secrets which lead to her almost suicide. I say almost, because she is saved (found) by her mother just in time. After she gets out of the hospital she stops talking and starts cooking. Each family member's story begins to unfold as we see Devi cooking up a storm and take those important steps towards recovery.
I was not wowed by this book, though I didn't hate it either.
I picked this up at a local used bookstore, mainly because of the enticing cover art and the interesting, off-the-wall recipes sprinkled throughout the book. I don't know a lot about Indian American culture and so I thought I would read this as a short introduction. I ended up finding a lot of similarities in this story with my own life as a second-generation Asian American female in the Bay Area from a family with only girls.

I would recommend this book for all the mothers, daughters and sisters
This story has an interesting plot, beginning with an Indian American girl who has just been saved from committing suicide by her overbearing mother. The book explores the girl's recovery from depression through her discovery of the joys of cooking, or, more specifically, changing traditional Indian recipes into something new and exotic. The story delves into cultural identity, traditional roles, marriage, suicide, and depression. I liked the premise, but sometimes I felt that recipes Malladi th ...more
I thought the plot was interesting enough but felt the storyline itself was a bit choppy. I think the relationships between the characters could have been fleshed out a bit more giving the reader a better understanding of the family dynamics. I felt Vasu's character could have definitely been given more time since it seemed like she had such an interesting history and a very complex relationship with Saroj. I also would have liked to see more attention given to the relationship between the siste ...more
Read this book while on vacation and was very much fascinated - although the topics covered were rather serious and disturbing in nature / the underlying themes were gripping. Family relationships are very complicated and there is no doubt that there is mo formula that can fix issues. Appearances are also very deceptive and lives become entangled and it takes more than time to unravel and find acceptable resolutions that include forgiveness, moving forward and letting things from the past go to ...more
Mary Charlotte
I was attracted to this book initially because of the focus on Indian cooking and interesting recipes (blueberry curry, anyone?). It started out with a very real, well-written attempted suicide scene and a promising chance of redemption. Unfortunately, the book goes downhill from there.

The characters are flawed to the point of utter absurdity, and I was left with an intense feeling of gratitude to not have been born into that family.

It's not a book I would choose to read unless perhaps I was t
Amy Skretta
This book is one that I re-read every few years. Something about it is comforting.
I had a difficult time getting into this book but about halfway into it, I could not put it down. I especially like that the reader eventually gains each character's perspective on the family situation. Also, incorporating cooking into the novel really hit home with me as I too find comfort in cooking and eating. Overall, good book about a South Asian family living in the U.S. and the struggles family members, particularly mothers, daughters, and sisters, face. Hats off to the author for includi ...more
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I am the author of five novels published by The Random House Publishing Group. Born and raised in India, I have a bachelor’s degree in engineering, a master’s degree in journalism – and now write books and in my free time, work as a marketer at a medical device company. I have lived in four countries, 10 cities, about 14 different houses since I left India seventeen years ago and met my husband. C ...more
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“But sometimes when you wore a mask for a very long time, it became your face.” 9 likes
“If they were not Indian, Devi was sure they’d be divorced.” 2 likes
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