Of Bookworms and Jelly Bellies

Malgudi Days by RK Narayan

Counted as one of RK Narayan’s finest works, Malgudi Days is a marvellous collection of short stories, set in the fictional town of Malgudi. All the stories in the book bring alive the scenic beauty of Malgudi, and because some of the elements and characters are common to many of them, it’s easy to imagine the town and its inhabitants as being real. For instance, the Sarayu river, on whose banks the town of Malgudi stands, is a flowing undercurrent in many stories, providing ground for meetings and fasting stints. The restaurant without a name, The Boardless, is a place not to be missed, especially considering it is a hub for men who gather to discuss current events in Malgudi. Then there’s the cobra, making an appearance in ‘Naga’ and ‘The Snake Song’. There are the trees — the massive margosa, planted and cared for by Velan, and the tamarind tree, providing shade to significant characters, and sturdy boughs and ripe fruits for gambolling monkeys — standing tall and firm on the path leading up to the Town Hall. As an ode to all these motifs in Malgudi Days, we have these tasty Tamarind Pops that can be put together in a trice. They’d quite possibly have won the approval of Swami and his friends too!

Alice In Wonderland by Lewis Carroll

A rabbit hole would be a fun place to visit, smaller or bigger than our own worlds, depending on how we see ourselves fit in there. Not that we’ve ever been in one. Have you?! We’ve only ‘been’ in the rabbit hole that Alice went down, and enjoyed being there with her, through her many adventures and encounters. The ‘wonderland’ that is described in this book has many spectacular things, enough to fascinate a child (or adult). Some things are so strange that it makes us wonder what would happen if we tried to do similar things in real life. For instance, the drink that made Alice shrink, had a combination of weird flavours. Let’s say we try to make something like that at home, by stirring up some tart berries and plum pudding, burnt toast and buttered clams in a big pitcher filled with ice and neem leaves. What would be the word to describe it — yum, or yuck? Haha, got you! All through her visit to wonderland, Alice grows smaller and bigger until she finally comes back to her normal size, meets animals who are rude and polite, and sees the difference between what’s imagined and what’s real. While we can’t recreate Alice’s wonder world, we can balance the up and the down, the black and the white, and roll out a special recipe. These Psychedelic Pesto Pinwheels are not just awesome to look at, but also delicious to eat. They’re fancy enough for a Merrymakers’ Tea Party (whether or not you wear Mad Hats) with your friends, too!

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Printable version | Jun 14, 2021 4:51:01 AM |

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