The Book End

 

Sex & Samosas takes the reader

on a humorous high-spirited ride on that road

where Western liberal and South Asian cultures clash

Special to True North Perspective

I have worked in sales all my life. I have sold everything from Indian handicrafts in my family's business to showerheads and vibrators (they may sound related to some people, but for two different companies). As much as selling comes naturally to me, I have always had a passion for writing. During the course of four years doing home party presentations involving the sale of everything from skin products to lingerie and adult toys, I met a lot of incredible women and was inspired by them to write a novel that would help navigate the subtle complexities of the modern woman.

My novel Sex & Samosas examines the emotional journey of one woman who struggles not only with her personal sense of self worth but with her constant attempt to find balance between living in a liberal Western culture while being brought up by a traditional South Asian mother. 

 

The following is an excerpt

from the first chapter of Sex & Samosas

 

 
 
 
Sex & Samosas, August 15, 2011
Shubblie Publications
294 pages
ISBN-10: 0987735705
ISBN-13: 978-0987735706

It was a Saturday night sex party.

How could I turn it down?

Truth be told, in my infinite desire to get out of going, I could have come up with at least a dozen different reasons why I couldn’t, shouldn’t, didn’t want to go.

What exactly is a sex party? Does it involve naked people? Naked people on top of other naked people? Whips? Latex? What is latex? Okay, so maybe there was a small part of me that was actually more than a bit curious but how could it be better than the Saturday night I had planned at home with my husband in front of the television eating a bag of ghatia and wearing my fat pants?

I changed my outfit four times before I settled on a mocha turtleneck with beige pants. I clipped my mess of curly hair into a banana clip at the back of my head.

When my best friend Mahjong arrived at my house she blurted: “What are you wearing? You look like an overcooked spring roll. Change!

“No way!” I insisted. “It took me forever to pick this out! And besides I like it, what’s wrong with it?”

“Nothing if it was still 1981. Come on, let’s go. Sorry I’m a bit late. I had last minute customers in my store.”

On the car ride over, I refrained from commenting on what Mahjong had done to her hair. She had dyed the top of her head bright red and left the bottom black. Her almond-shaped eyes were outlined in heavy black liner. She had found red mascara, God only knows where, and had applied it so thickly that I wondered how she could see through her lashes. On the side of her right eye she had glued a small diamond trio.

“Like my bindis?” she asked.

“Those are bindis?”

“Yup. Funny eh, you’re the Indian and I’ve never seen you wear them. I wear them more than you ever have!”

“Screw you, Mahjong. I do wear them. I wear them when I go to functions.”

“Oh, functions,” she mocked. “Tonight’s a function. Why aren’t you wearing one now?”

Tonight was not a function. Born to two South Asian parents who were landed immigrants meant the only functions I ever went to were the ones where three-quarters of the guests were either related to me or married to someone that was related to me. They were almost all events designed to celebrate the engagement of a couple, the marriage of a couple or the birth of the couple’s first child. Though this was a celebration of my friend Jenny’s wedding, I had a suspicion it wasn’t going to be like a typical Indian function.

 

The truth is I had never been to an Outside the Box party. I had only heard stories about them from Mahjong who is notorious for exaggerating.

“Is this what happens to you when you get out of your comfort zone?” Mahjong cursed out loud as she cut off a van to get on the highway waving her middle finger over her head.

Out of my comfort zone?” I shrieked, “I’m so far out of my comfort zone that I’m in another time zone!”

Standing on the porch of Isabelle’s house waiting for her to open the door, I had the sudden strong premonition that everything was about to change.

I looked at Mahjong and just as I was about to fake an epileptic seizure, despite having no history of the disease whatsoever, the door I had willed to stay shut forever suddenly flung open.

“Hi!” Isabelle’s smile was almost as wide as her cleavage.

As joyfully as our hostess shouted her greeting, it was still hard to hear her over the loud rise and fall of women’s voices coming from just beyond where she stood.

Mahjong instinctively pulled me into the foyer of Isabelle’s house, immediately handed her coat to her and with only a casual greeting to our hostess, headed towards the cackling crowd, abandoning me. I slowly crept backwards towards the door. I contemplated becoming a permanent fixture in Isabelle’s entrance. I’m already brown, so what’s the big deal if I get mistaken for a bloated wooden coat rack, I thought. People could just hang their coats on my head; weather permitting I could hold umbrellas. No one would notice me.

“Hi Isabelle.” I reluctantly took off my jacket. I tried not to stare too openly at her heaving cleavage barely contained in her red and black leopard print bustier. I handed her a tin foil pan of fresh mini samosas I had picked up at a local Indian grocery store. My original plan to bring brownies backfired when I ended up eating more than half the batch in a hormonal fit the night before.

“Thanks, Leena! Oh samosas!” she said peering under the foil. “They look so good! Did you make them?”

“I made the chutney from scratch.” It was an old recipe of my paternal grandmother. My sweet Dadi would probably never guess I would introduce her secret coriander chutney to a bunch of drunken Westerners at a party to buy vibrators.

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