Mama Tandoori by Ernest van der Kwast Review

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What is the most beautiful declaration of love that can dedicate a son of his mother? The Dutchman Ernest van der Kwast knows. He has written a book about it. It is extremely entertaining, because Veena Ahluwalia is not only an incredibly energetic personality, but through her marriage to the Netherlands Theodorus Henricus van der Kwast collision of two cultures, even worlds to each other that the sparks fly. In ten fun chapters raises the son spotlights on mother, father, brothers, uncles and aunts.

It is based on personal experiences and observations as well as on what it has come from the relationship ears.

For Life Veenas exceptional beings through their childhood and youth. She was born just before India’s independence later in Pakistan, escalated as the hatred between Hindus and Muslims on both sides of persecution and slaughter. The Hindu family fled with her infant over Kashmir to India, where they hoped to find peace in a small village.

But “poverty, war and nine siblings have left more than just a scratch in the character of my mother”: “something elemental that was unstoppable, a force of nature like an erupting geyser”

In. 1969 Veena Ahluwalia comes to the Netherlands. She wants to become a nurse and moving into a room in the nurses’ home. A medical student falls in love with the distinctive young Exotin, a few years later they married, buy a house in the Bloemstraat and get three sons (the first in 1977, the youngest, Ernest, 1981 in Bombay, where the pregnant woman just bored visiting relatives ).

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The father is a doctor, the guys have “a good childhood,” van der Kwasts be a normal family, as it seems from the outside.

The inner life is turbulent. The author joins episode to episode, which disclose the true state of affairs. Several red threads, running gags and related phrases run through the chapters, such as certain odors, Mamas exaggerated to absurd economy, the dry spells and wet sneezing Ashirwads, the mentally disabled firstborn, all sorts of cross-cultural differences and the rolling pin that serves actually here for purposes that are otherwise known only from cartoons. In addition to his energetic wife’s father is condemned at home to insignificance, giving him time and again “If I were just a rat in Delhi …” elicits the sigh.

The undisputed central star of this universe is “Mama Tandoori” as called Veena since she prepared for father on traditional Indian sage hen, “Tandoori Chicken”. In the family she holds all the strings in their hands, especially when important decisions are pending and already equal when it comes to money. “In another life she had been a dictator. In this life, it was just my Indian mother.” Even outsiders taught the matriarch to fear. Long before her portrait painter was born, the roommate of an apartment building to the common life under the same roof could not stand and saying “she’s a devil” were looking into the distance.

Unbeatable is the action and Replace , Hard to drives all costs in the basement or in atmospheric heights until disarmed their counterparts and are speechless beaten. Until then does Father “forbidden to speak” and should “just breathe and nod” to signal his support. So they steadily increased the prosperity of the family by repeatedly shimmering pieces of its material basis – two suitcases full of jewelry, which she had brought with him to Europe – eintauscht, in this way the first house acquires and against increasingly valuable einhandelt the flip side of “Mama tandooris” business acumen is the extreme parsimony with which it strains the nerves of her family. To thwart the water meter, the members of the young family are required to smuggle out of school, the sports club and from work water home. Later the house is overflowing with pallets heimgekarrten promotions and objects for profitable barter.

A strong woman like Veena never leaves hope. With Ashirwad, her elders, she moves from specialist to specialist and travels, it is established as the medical finding, to Lourdes, assuming that there done a miracle. That it fails, they must accept a heavy heart. Unfortunately, her youngest not met, what she has set for him in the head. Although successful in athletics from – “Jaldi, Jaldi” ( “! Faster, faster”), it fires him – but after graduation he gives economic studies on to become a writer. Such an “evil spirit” can not even shoo with a plugged-in fire garbage bag.

Just funny are the creative comparisons, which gives “Mama Tandoori” their arguments irresistible spice (though no additional persuasion, so inordinately they are exaggerated). Most relating to the living conditions in their distant home whose basic designs it varies flowery and flexible. “Your father was as poor as a rat in Delhi.” As a junior doctor he deserves just as much “like a rickshaw runner in Bangalore”. No matter how little is expected to cost a lot, white Veena van der Kwast: “In India, it gets a hundred bunk beds!” No matter how high an offer already, the iron saleswoman smashes it contemptuously: “For this price you get in India not even a shack!”


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Mama Tandoori by Ernest van der Kwast Review. (2019, Nov 18). Retrieved from

Mama Tandoori by Ernest van der Kwast Review
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