There is at least one story in Curry Is Thicker Than Water by Toronto writer Anita Yvette D’Costa, with which readers’ will identify and every tale in this collection is superb. An elephant that gets tired of begging on the streets of Bombay lays down in the middle of the road and goes on strike. A young boy copes with his loneliness and pain by raising eagles in Goa and gets his revenge on his mother who, out of necessity, has them removed. In the story Two Wives and a Doormat, contrasts of brutality and compassion are underlined with newfound hope and a brighter future. In Mangalore, a tale of religious bigotry and intolerance unfolds and brilliantly displays the ignorance and misunderstandings that spark hatred and create violent extremes. Another story, that takes place in the community of Mohan Nagar, has a woman marrying a pumpkin. The book concludes with The Guest At My Grandfather’s House and begins with these inviting lines, “We stand on the edge of grandfather’s property in Mangalore, watching the villa on the hill, waiting for something to happen. The villa has captured our imagination ever since we were banned from going anywhere near it.”
If the About the Author page didn’t tell you that Bombay born Ms.D’Costa had been an international banker for 25 years, before moving to Toronto, you would have sworn she’d been writing since was a babe. She is an excellent storyteller, who has the ability to grab one’s imagination and write characters that are real and sympathetic. Her understanding and ability to convey the comic and tragic aspects of the human condition are commendable and rare. It is difficult to write a good work of fiction and in many respects, short stories are more difficult than an extensive novel. The writer has to have every word count and draw the reader in from the opening line. Ms. D’Costa has fulfilled every short story writers and readers dream with each of her exquisite tales. Curry Is Thicker Than Water is a book I will be re-reading and sharing with others, for many years to come.
Reviewed by Gabriel Constans Author of the novel Buddha’s Wife