Something Black in the Lentil Soup is a comical and irreverent portrayal of three parallel cultures-British, Indian and British-Indian-with penetrating insights into social mores and conventions.
Kavi Naidu arrives in England, a contender for the prestigious Commonwealth literary prize. A pompous, sentimental and not terribly attractive figure, he is suddenly catapulted from the sleepy humdrum routine of Delhi, into the heady distractions of London.
‘If you took the second road to the right of Minto Bridge, past the washerwomen’s bustee and Balwant Rai’s teashop, stopping just before the Delhi branch of the Church of Scientology, you would reach our house. The household, consisting of my parents, my wife Kamala and Feroze, my son occupied the ground floor of number twenty-three Rouse Avenue. These were a modest set of flats built for Ministry babus with modest official means. It was a colony of bicycles and two-wheeler Vespas and housewives who grumbled over the price of sugar. Only Mr Basu, our upstairs neighbour, boasted a car, a Fiat Padmini that coughed into life during the Pooja holidays, when Mr Basu visited his relatives in Chitteranjan Park. ‘
“Reshma Ruia’s warm, sly humour and sharp eye for human failings brings Kavi and all those around him vividly to life in this entertaining tale of an innocent abroad.” Rosemary Hudson
“Ironic humour and a fierce wit combine in his haunting Tale of East meets West.” Gary Pulsifer, Arcadia