The April/May issue of Ruminator magazine is now up, and features contributions by writer-cum-gubernatorial-candidate Kinky Friedman, Jon Fasman, Harvey Pekar, Steve Almond, and Jhumpa Lahiri, among others. Lahiri’s piece is a reminiscence of her travels to India as a child, where her parents collected items for what she calls the “Food Suitcase.”
I am the daughter of former pirates, of a kind. Our loot included gold, silver, even a few precious gems. Mainly though, it was food, so much that throughout my childhood I was convinced my parents were running the equivalent of the ancient spice trade. They didn’t exactly plunder this food; they bought it in the bazaars of Calcutta, where my mother was born and to which we returned as a family every couple of years. The destination was Rhode Island, where we lived, and where, back in the Seventies, Indian groceries were next to impossible to come by.