Gypsy Masala


A story about following your dreams and going to wherever it may want to take you. I wrote it in my twenties and was asked to rewrite parts of it when it was bought by HarperCollins. The page that remains untouched which is still my favourite page is P121 and is narrated by Sheila, a woman in her late forties who is looking back on her life and is telling you what she has learnt about hopes and dreams. For the purpose of this passage you'll just need to know that the African dancer is a symbol of the dream.

"It is only now, with the luxury of the missing pieces of a jumbled head, that I have come to realise that all these years we have all shared the same fear and solitude.

I can also tell you the exact time that the courage and passion that I have so longed for blew into me. It was the day, I let go, let go of my daughter, of my husband, let go of what people thought and what was going to happen. I just sat there alone and from somewhere amongst the quiet whispers of stillness that comes from forgiving and accepting, I let go.

Sitting here, thinking of that moment and writing about the past and the events that led to the eruption of my heart-which is no longer anchored to a person, a place, a time or fear, but is now filled with new life - I would like to save you twenty years and tell you what I have learned about hopes and dreams: if you suppress them, you pollute a clean river with fear, regret and disappointment, and that makes it very difficult to swim and find the place which is home.

I will also tell you another thing about the magic of hopes and dreams: at any point along a journey, the day you decide to take back responsibility for your actions and put your trust and faith not in fear but back in yourself, those hopes and dreams will come flooding back and the belief and the energy that charges them will take them forward to a place that is home.

I want to end by saying, sometimes in life, even if it is just once, you have to take a risk; take everything you believe in, and jump. If your vision is obscured in the loudness of uncertainty, just be still and listen and when you see the African dancer who has finally managed to escape from somewhere deep inside, follow him, follow him with fearless courage and go to wherever he may want to take you."

"A little gem of fiction ... a mystic and beautifully lyrical book." New Woman

"This is a book that makes you want to follow your dreams, yet in the next chapter you realise why you haven't. Preethi Nair combines elements of the surreal and who the prosaic as she details the intricate family dynamics and stomach - wrenching losses experienced by those who leap into a new world. Her idea of a gypsy masala - toss your dreams into the pan and savour the result is a fatalistic yet exhilarating view which leaves a spicy, yet sweet aftertaste."

"A gem of a book which you will read in one sitting" Books etc.

"A book that wakes the child in us all - spiritually complex yet so simplistically written" Borders

Buy it from here.