She Reads South Asia


Monday, December 03, 2012

Indian Recipes and Other Great Curry Dishes From Around The World (Curry Recipes): Allen Jesson: Kindle Store

Indian Recipes and Other Great Curry Dishes From Around The World (Curry Recipes): Allen Jesson: Kindle Store

This is a Kindle version, but you DO NOT need to have a Kindle. You can download Kindle books to your PC, smart phone, iPad, or MAC.   

Remember, Amazon pricing can change at any time, so make sure it says $0.00 before you hit “buy”.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Interview with Diepak Paul, Author of A Tale of Two Slaves and Free Men: Who Never Saw Home Again

Can you tell us about your family background and where you were born and brought up?

I was born from Punjabi parents who were living in South India at the time of my birth in the industrial township of Blarshah. My mother was a teacher and my father was an administrator. I had a head injury as an infant and was paralyzed on my left side. My parents moved to Pilani in Rajasthan in north western India to a university township now known for housing the BITS (Birla institute of Technology and Science). I partially recovered and did my school there then I moved to Delhi. After completing my B.A. in tourism, I started to work in textiles as there weren’t many opportunities that field. I left India in 1988 to work in a garment factory in Jamaica, and have since worked in Hong Kong, Mauritius, Sri Lanka, and the British Virgin Islands. This is where I had my last near fatal accident before migrating to Canada.

Why did you choose to write a tale about slavery?

I learned about it from my mother, and while studying economics in school. I saw the face of it when I came away from India, and felt strongly about the past of the West Indies. Also my visit to the port in Kingston Jamaica after Hurricane Gilbert on September 12, 1988, where I saw this Rastafarian man looking at the sea was part of it. On asking he said, “Many ships go from here but none take us home.” The Rastafarian believe that their homeland to be Ethiopia.

Lastly while I was recovering from my operation my services were terminated by my employer and wanting to do some work I wrote it.

Was it a conscious decision not to add more graphic details about slavery, such as was portrayed in novels like Alex Hailey's Roots?

No, this was a spontaneous work, after my accident it was written in less than eleven days. It just came out of my gut.

With all that Abdul and Moses went through, what do you think was their driving force which helped them to survive rather than give up?

I believe it was their inherent strengths, patience, and ability to look at everything until they understood it. They were taught and remembered well from their childhood.

What inward connection do you have to the characters in your book?

My feelings are for immigrants who come with a lot of learning, and capacity to learn with them, but have to wait for their turn some times. Often, this only comes either by chance or waiting a long time and mentors who are kind.

As a first time author, what were the most difficult challenges in writing your book and what were the easiest or most enjoyable?

The challenge was my own inertia of not doing it. The pleasure was doing it while nature allowed it to be done.

How long did the process of writing your book take you from start to finish? 

It started with the last paragraph written in 1988, which stayed in my note book until I wrote the rest in November of 2011, while I was incapacitated by an accident.

What advice would you give someone who wants to be an author?

Preparation is the key to the result. I think I would have done better if I had prepared more. Musa was prepared by his mentor for him to be what he became in the end.

Can you give us any details about the other novels which you are working on?

There are three that I am writing. The first one is about this man in the city of Delhi, who was a street sweeper, and supported his family to become successful. He was not born a shudra (untouchable) but accepted to work as that and completed his mission of settling his family.
The second is about this boy in the Caribbean, who has grown up without his parents to support him.
The third is about this informally trained scientist and engineer in the future.

Is there anything you would like to add?

If doing this will give me my livelihood I will write more. Even the ones I am writing will only be published if I can support the process.

(ISBN: 978-1-61897-864-6) is now available for $12 and can be ordered through the publisher's website: Diepak Paul or at Amazon or Barnes and Noble.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Vegetables and Spices: Balaram Acharya: Kindle Store

Vegetables and Spices: Balaram Acharya: Kindle Store

This is a Kindle version, but you DO NOT need to have a Kindle. You can download Kindle books to your PC, smart phone, iPad, or MAC.    

Remember, Amazon pricing can change at any time, so make sure it says $0.00 before you hit “buy”.

Thursday, August 02, 2012

The Distance Between Us (2012)

Starring Rahul Rai, Leah Kavita, Akshay Reddy, Ariane Mallon and Jonah Ehrenreich. Written & Directed by Chandu Yarram
Short Synopsis: Megha, a young ambitious software engineer has just graduated from university in India. She wants to break the cycle of poverty that she was born into and may just have a business idea that will win her success. But success doesn’t come without sacrifice and the plot weaves through a set of choices of love and ambition where each decision leads to unexpected consequences.
Longer Synopsis: At a time when outsourcing to India is a hot topic for political debate, here is a fresh look at the Knowledge Worker seen from the perspective of a fresh graduate full of ambition but also harboring her first feelings of true love. Megha is a young ambitious software engineer and has just graduated from university in India. With her school fees paid by a rich benefactor and mounting hospital bills for her father's illness she wants to break the cycle of poverty that she was born into and may just have a business idea that will win her success.
Megha sets out on her journey to the USA where she is promised a top executive role at an emerging technology company – the job offers a luxury apartment, a company car, and perhaps most importantly – a fast track to get her Green Card. But success doesn’t come without sacrifice and tough choices. Megha has a lot to learn about the life of an Indian immigrant in the USA. Living standards are barely a step above illegal farm workers and employers with business practices that draw a lot from the sex trade. All the while the draw of that elusive Green Card will come between Megha and her true love. A story of broken ambitions but the triumph of the human spirit.
Production Details
Actors Rahul Rai, Leah Kavita, Akshay Reddy, Ariane Mallon, Jonah Ehrenreich
Director & Writer Chandu Yarram
Genre Romantic Comedy/Drama
Production Movie locations in PA/DE/NJ with shooting August 4, 2012 - August 23, 2012
Executive Producer Sanjay Currie
Assist Executive Producers Conor Donnelly, Narendra Akula
Assist Dialogue writer Jacqueline Escolme
Director Of Photography Evan Goldman
Assistant Director Leah Teplin
Sound Designer Alberto Vincent

Wednesday, August 01, 2012

Press Release - A Tale of Two Slaves and Free Men: Who Never Saw Home Again

Contact: Ellen Green, Press Manager, Strategic Book Group -

In the Days of Slavery, 2 Men Seek to Be Free

Stunning Novel Tells ‘A Tale of Two Slaves’

Martin Luther King Jr. once said, “As long as the mind is enslaved, the body can never be free.”

In the powerful novel A Tale of Two Slaves and Free Men: Who Never Saw Home Again, both the horrors of slavery and its benevolence are lived out in a bittersweet story. When a Masai boy is captured by slavers, he sees his parents killed. Renamed Abdul, the child grows up as a slave serving a kindly Arab doctor. His love for the doctor’s granddaughter is not permitted for a slave. To protect them, the doctor takes them far away where Abdul can become a medicine man.

But then his love and his master die. In his sorrow, Abdul takes in a boy who was also captured by slavers. He names the child Moses. Once slaves, both Abdul and Moses are now free, though they will never see their homeland again. This unforgettable tale shows how even the worst in life can be eased by love and friendship.

(ISBN: 978-1-61897-864-6) is now available for $12 and can be ordered through the publisher’s
website: or at or
WHOLESALERS: This book is distributed by Ingram Books and other wholesale distributors. Contact
your representative with the ISBN for purchase. Wholesale purchase for retailers, universities, libraries,
and other organizations is also available through the publisher; please email bookorder@aeg-onlinestore.

About the Author: First-time author Diepak Paul was born in India, has lived on three continents and presently lives in Canada. His inspiration for this story came from living in Jamaica and from hearing stories about slavery from a friend in Ethiopia and from his mother, who was a teacher. He is penning his next two novels.

Strategic Book Publishing and Rights Co, LLC
ABOUT: Strategic Book Publishing and Rights Co, LLC provides book publishing, book marketing, and e-Book services to over 10,000 writers around the world, employing 150 people who live throughout the US and work virtually through telecommunication. Strategic Book Publishing and Rights Co, LLC is experiencing over 30% growth per year, having published approximately 3000 authors with almost 100 new releases per month. Our books are available through Ingram, the largest book distributor in the world, as well as in bookstores, through Amazon, Barnes & Noble and all online channels. Strategic Book
Publishing and Rights Co, LLC attends and exhibits at the major book expositions in London, New York, China, and Germany each year.

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Saturday, May 19, 2012 Super Indian Snack and Street food recipes eBook: Anita Patel: Kindle Store

This is a Kindle version, but you DO NOT need to have a Kindle. You can download Kindle books to your PC, smart phone, iPad, or MAC.    

Remember, Amazon pricing can change at any time, so make sure it says $0.00 before you hit “buy”. Super Indian Snack and Street food recipes eBook: Anita Patel: Kindle Store

Wednesday, May 09, 2012

FREE Kindle Book Parathas of India - Stuffed Flat Breads from India eBook: Jagi Egnell: Kindle Store

This is a Kindle version, but you DO NOT need to have a Kindle. You can download Kindle books to your PC, smart phone, iPad, or MAC. Parathas of India - Stuffed Flat Breads from India eBook: Jagi Egnell: Kindle Store

Remember, Amazon pricing can change at any time, so make sure it says $0.00 before you hit “buy”. 

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Longitude Presents: Apaar Bangla @ Firehouse 13 - 04/28

Longitude Presents: Apaar Bangla @ Firehouse 13 - 04/28

Apaar Bangla is an original Bangla band based in Boston. Our aim is to break the boundaries of music and we draw inspiration from genres as diverse as rock and roll, urban pop and Bangla folk music. We are also a multi-ethnic band with members from Bangladesh, India, Vietnam and the U.S. We compose our own music as well as play popular contemporary songs.
7pm: Dinner and Pre-Concert entertainment. 
8pm: Show, 18+
Dinner and show - $25.00 
Dinner, show, and a signed CD from the band - $50.00
Celebrate a night of Indian music and cuisine to benefit non-profit organization, Longitude,  and the association of relief volunteers in India.  

Gluten Free Authentic Indian Food at Kabob and Curry, East Side of Providence, RI | Celiac Disease and Gluten Free Diet | Celiac Corner

Gluten Free Authentic Indian Food at Kabob and Curry, East Side of Providence, RI | Celiac Disease and Gluten Free Diet | Celiac Corner

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Gluten-free Naan Bread — Gluten-Free on a Shoestring

Gluten-free Naan Bread — Gluten-Free on a Shoestring

My Interview with Corban Addison - Author of A Walk Across the Sun

After reading A Walk Across the Sun, I had to interview the author Corban Addison and get into his thinking on the whys and wherefores about this amazing novel. Hope you enjoy it.

        Where did you get the idea for A Walk Across the Sun? Why did you choose to write about human trafficking?

I am an attorney by training, and I have always had an interest in international human rights. I became familiar with the issue of human trafficking in law school, and it disturbed me deeply to learn that slavery, which I thought had died in the 19th century, was not only alive and well but the fastest growing criminal industry on the globe, an industry that no only involved exploitative labor but also (and quite voluminously) the forced prostitution of women and children in almost every country. The idea for the book itself was my wife's. Three and a half years ago, she came to me and said that I should write a novel on human trafficking. I gave it some thought and realized the project was a perfect fit for me. So I ran with it.

2.       Much of the novel is set in India. How did you go about learning about the land and its culture?

I've told people before that the hardest part of writing A Walk Across the Sun was getting India and its people right. Before I wrote the first word, I immersed myself in the literature of the subcontinent. An Indian-American friend gave me an excellent reading list. At his suggestion, I read theMahabharata, the Ramayana and the Upanishads. I also read more modern Indian literature such as Jhumpa Lahiri's Interpreter of Maladies and Suketu Mehta's masterful biopic of MumbaiMaximum City. My friend also shared with me a great deal of his personal experience in the desicommunity of the United States. After that, I went to India and spent over a month on the ground, first in Chennai and the Coromandel Coast, learning about the 2004 tsunami, and then in Mumbai, learning about the city and the sex trade. In that time, I listened to people, took extensive notes, and absorbed the sounds, smells and feel of the place. When I started writing, I had 250 pages of notes, more than half the length of a book. But taking note and bringing a place and its people alive in a story are two different things. I worked very hard to make India real for the reader, to show its great beauty as well as its regrettable undersides, and to honor the real-life experiences of Indians in my characters. It has been a great joy to hear Indian readers say that they identify with my characters and that I did justice to their remarkable land.

3.       You traveled to India to conduct research for the novel. What were your impressions of the country?

India is a fascinating place. It is a land of profound contrasts and contradictions. It is a land in which the ancient and the modern collide every day and struggle to live side by side. It is a place of extraordinary beauty and riches, and a place of abject squalor. Two experiences highlight this: The first was visiting the hanging garden atop Malabar Hill in Mumbai. At the overlook, you can see across the blue expanse of Back Bay to the fabled stretch of seafront property called the Queen's Necklace. On the day I was there, the sky was clear and a soft wind rustled the branches of the trees in the garden. It was one of the most idyllic places I've seen anywhere in the world. But just a few miles away on the streets of the Fort, I met a woman wearing rags and keeping watch over three dirt-covered children. They weren't even begging. They were just sitting there, occupying a small patch of land in a city that had no other place for them. There are scenes like this in many parts of the world, but the sheer human density of Mumbai made it unforgettable. It was hard to know what to do, but I gave them a little money and said a prayer for them. I don't know what will happen to the children, but I'd like to think they will someday find a place in the India rising on the tide of innovation and economic freedom.

4.       While in India, you visited brothels undercover. How would you describe that experience?

Visiting a brothel in Kamathipura, the oldest red light area in Mumbai, was a nerve-wracking and eye-opening experience. I had a guide, an Indian man who had the trust of the pimps and brothel owners. He knew the area very well and showed me around. One night after dark, we went to M.R. Road, the main thoroughfare in Kamathipura, and my guide struck up a conversation with a brothel owner. The street was crowded with pimps, taxis, and customers, and I was the only white face in sight. The brothel owner was suspicious of me, but my guide convinced him that I was just looking for a little fun, and the owner let me in. He led us up two flights of steps to the brothel lobby, locked the door, closed the blinds, and brought out eight girls. They stood under the lights and waited for me to make my selection. Some of them looked at me, some of them looked at the floor. All of them were young, and all of them looked scared. I declined to make a purchase, but my guide asked the brothel owner to show me the sex rooms. He led me back into a hallway of rooms, all of which had a small bed with a pillow and a sink and toilet. The brothel almost certainly had an attic room with much younger girls, but I didn't get to see them. My guide told me that brothel owners only show the minor girls to their most trusted customers.

5.       In researching modern day slavery, were you surprised by what you learned? Is human trafficking a “third-world” problem?

I think I was most surprised by how pervasive trafficking is in every region of the globe. A lot of people, particularly in the West, think of trafficking in Cambodia, Thailand and India. Sometimes people think of Eastern Europe. When I tell them that it's happening in Israel, Italy, Brazil, Japan, Canada and the United States, I get strange looks. When I get more specific and start naming cities in our own country (Atlanta, Toledo, Portland, Las Vegas, Dallas, Kansas City, Miami, San Diego, take your pick), people have a hard time believing me. But it's true. Even now as I write, there are American kids, thousands of them, being sold for sex by pimps on the streets and in sex clubs and underground brothels in the Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave. Trafficking is all around us. We may not see it with our eyes, but it is quite real. Law enforcement from the FBI and ICE down to local cops are rescuing girls and taking down pimps and trafficking rings all the time. A simple Google search will confirm this.

6.       Why did you choose to tackle this issue through fiction instead of writing a journalistic or true-life account?

There are many great non-fiction exposes out there on human trafficking. I cite many of them in the Afterward of my book. There is also a substantial volume of reportage available in government, academic, and journalistic channels on the subject. All of this was critical to my researching, but the more I read and talked to people, the more I realized that non-fiction, particularly high-brow academic research, has a limited audience. Most people won't read a non-fiction book on human trafficking unless they have a prior interest in the subject. But a novel that stands on its own as a compelling human story can reach readers across the spectrum, from people interested in the subject matter to people who have never heard it before. No less an authority than Moises Naim of Foreign Policy Magazine recognized this in his groundbreaking book, Illicit. He said that while journalists like him do a great deal to shed light on subjects like human trafficking, it may well be that fiction in film and books stands the best chance of educating the public about illicit trade. I read that book early in my research and it gave me great inspiration for the task at hand.

7.       Were the central characters—teenaged sisters Ahalya and Sita—based on anyone? How did you get into their minds?

I developed Ahalya and Sita Ghai through much research and through the imaginative projection that happens when you sit down to write a story. I met girls in India who had survived the tsunami and other girls who had been trafficked for sex and rescued from the brothels. All of these interactions deeply influenced my characterization of Ahalya and Sita. However, my characters are not doppelgängers of children I met. The sisters are composites of teenagers, real and imagined, who have a bond powerful enough to sustain them through the horrors of exploitation and to give them a hope of a future.

8.       What do you hope the reader will take away from A Walk Across the Sun?

Two things: First, as my novel makes clear, the trade in human beings is not only happening in the developing world, it is happening here, in the West, in our own cities and on our own streets at an alarming (and growing) rate. Second, the horror is not without hope. We have seen slavery before, and we have defeated it. But as history attests, vanquishing such an economically lucrative trade ($32 billion in annual profits from sex trafficking alone) cannot happen on a shoestring budget. We need a massive, society-wide mobilization that adds a monetary imperative to our moral imperative. We need to turn millions into billions, as we have done with AIDS in Africa. We need to put pimps, traffickers, and--critically--customers, in jail and provide exploited women support, rehabilitation, and a path into the future. Only then will we begin to turn the tide.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Book Review - A Walk Across the Sun By Corban Addison

"A novel that is beautiful in its story as also important in its message." ~ John Grisham

Deserving to receive the title of #1 on the New York Best Seller List, A Walk Across the Sun not only addresses but also attacks a subject that most people cringe at when mentioned - Human Trafficking, Sex Trade and Slavery.

Hopefully progress on this attack will prevent even another child to be stripped of her/his childhood innocence. Realistically, we know we are a long ways off before this is accomplished legally, but we mustn’t give up in working towards that end.

While many turn a blind eye or bury their head in the sand and wish it away, author Corban Addison delves right in and challenges the subject head-on by penning this brilliant, page-turning read. (I was up until 3:30 am reading it, not able to put it down.) Although the story in and of itself is fictitious, the devastating tragedies it portrays certainly is not. It is very real in the world we live in today.

The author of suspense himself, Mr. John Grisham is singing praises for this priceless piece of literary artwork.

Peppered with intrigue and suspense, this cat-and-mouse game will keep you on the edge of your seat. The plot is not all clear cut as you may think as you read it. The many twists and turns will grab you, as just when you think you see the light at the end of the darkest tunnel, you realize it is just the train coming in the other direction toward you. You are taken through the gamete of emotions from sadness and fear to anger and joy. Profoundly touched to my very core, I cried and then sobbed for not only the characters in the novel, but for all the women and children across the globe who find themselves robbed of their dignity to be treated as a human beings versus something comparable to caged animals. The vivid descriptions help you to envision those whose eyes have become lifeless and their souls hollow as they desperately seek a way out of their tortured existence. Yet by the last page, I was left with an energetic feeling to stand up and join the cause against these heinous crimes and the demons who commit them!

Written in such a way as to make you well aware of what is taking place without all the graphic details being spelled out, A Walk Across the Sun is a masterpiece. It tells the story of two innocent young sisters Ahalya and Sita Ghai, who after being left homeless and orphaned are through no fault of their own pitched headlong into a world they could never have imagined in their worse nightmares - the debauched underworld of slave labor, human trafficking, sex trade and drugs. Following their plight across the globe along with the lawyer who works tirelessly to rescue them as he works out his own personal demons and heartbreaking circumstances; Addison weaves a tale of the stark reality of this sheer depravity that exists not only in South Asia for certain but that which spans across the entire globe. At the same time he succeeds in depicting the beauty of India and her people which also exists. It is a story of "love's transforming power, even in the face of unimaginable obstacles." 

If there is one book we all need to read, be moved by and share with others, A Walk Across the Sun is that book! It will take you on an unforgettable journey into the "darkest and most resilient corners of the human heart", but it will hopefully also leave you a changed person in the sense that there is something each and every one of us can do in helping to eradicate this global pandemic. 

Please visit Corban Addison at:

A Walk Across the Sun, published by SilverOak, an imprint of Sterling Publishing, can be found in major bookstores and online (978-1-4027-9280-9). It is also published as an Ebook (978-1-4027-9281-6).