Madhur (meaning sweet as honey) Jaffrey grew up in a large family compound by the Yamuna River in Delhi, where her grandfather often presided over dinners with 40 or more members of his extended family savoring together the wonderfully flavorful dishes that were forever imprinted on Madhur's palate. Whether climbing the mango trees in her grandparents' orchard, armed with a mixture of salt, pepper, ground red chilies, and roasted cumin, or picnicking in the Himalayan foothills on meatballs stuffed with raisins and mint, tucked into freshly baked spiced pooris, the tastes and textures of those childhood pleasures bring back memories of growing up. Independent-minded, sensitive, and ever curious, Madhur as a child explored the history of her family and was deeply affected by their personal trials. Despite obstacles that her schooling imposed and an insecure adolescence, she emerged well educated and gifted in the arts, ready to explore new territory as the world she had known crumbled around her. Climbing the Mango Trees is both an enormously appealing account of an unusual childhood and a testament to the power of food in our lives to evoke memory. Although by the time it ends, when Madhur leaves India, she had never cooked a meal, it was that longing to taste again the flavors of her childhood that drove her into the kitchen - to become eventually the internationally acclaimed food writer that she is today.
©2005, 2006 Madhur Jaffrey (P)2011 Audible, Inc.
"'So have you always been this hot-headed?' asked Yudi, continuing to smile. 'Well, I could ask you the same thing,' I retorted cheekily. 'Touche!' Yudi grinned. I don't deny the charge. But at least I make an effort to apologize at least to some people." All her life Megha has diligently done what was expected of her: the graduation in economics, the MBA in marketing, and now the strait-laced job in a high-profile FMCG company. But lately, she's been wondering if this unending routine of juggling late hours and unreasonable deadlines is really her life's calling. Her mother's desperate attempts to put her on the marriage market are not making life any easier. And to top it all, Megha's latest project has been bogged down by a complete dearth of creative ideas, giving her nasty boss the perfect excuse to disregard the blood, sweat, and tears she's poured into her job so far. The last thing she needs is having her suggestions trampled upon by the team's new creative consultant, Yudi: gorgeous, sardonic and only too eager to disagree with Megha. And so the stage is set for a quirky battle of wits and some unexpected romance.
©2011 Manasi Vaidya (P)2012 Audible, Inc.
Fifteen-year-old Vidya dreams of going to college - an unusual aspiration for a girl living in British occupied India during World War II. Then tragedy strikes, and Vidya and her brother are forced to move into a traditional household with their extended family, where women are meant to be married, not educated. Breaking the rules, Vidya finds refuge in her grandfathers library. But then her brother does something unthinkable, and Vidyas life becomes a whirlwind of political and personal complications. The question is, will she be strong enough to survive?
©Padma Venkatraman 2010 (P)Listening Library 2018