A HANDFUL OF SPICES
[Egy maréknyi fűszer]
The tale of Emmi is a tale of our times. It takes a field trip to Paris and the start of the struggles into adulthood as a result of it, for her to find herself and discover her own voice and goals. The bits of spice tossed into the fire present her the promise of a new life during the Indian ashram ritual. Will she be able to leave the past behind and look towards the future?
“Beyond the illusion and fooling the senses, every bit of spice showed another moment from the past. It may have been a karmic barrier that was preventing any progress, or fear, pain, sickness, an unlived moment, a repressed word, a stifled breath… And who knows what else. […]
Emmi’s gaze slowly drifted from everyone’s faces, towards the barely visible patterns on the rug, and a thousand swirling noises, scents and colors gushed forth, before the door the inner room would open, so she could once again face them. So, she can see where she had come from and what made her the person she is now. She sat in the twilight, surrounded by the lights of Budapest, Paris and Brussels. Witnesses to the dreams, desires, laughter and tears. A Hungarian girl meets the West in the distant East.”
Egy maréknyi fűszer [A Handful of Spices]. The book can be found in the catalog of Book24, Libri, Líra, Bookline and Álomgyár.
It is an interesting experience to read Emmi’s story, because after a while, it takes us by the hand and we are almost compelled, figuratively, but all the same, to confront the important stages of our lives through her. That stage may have happened or it may have been a similar experience, one we can feel a connection with, or it may only have happened in our thoughts, as a “what if” story. And so, we walk through purgatory, then embrace the catharsis alongside her, all the while partaking in a myriad of visual, cultural and culinary experiences, thanks to the writer’s style. I loved reading it and staying silent for a while, once it ended…
A HANDFUL OF SPICES
[Excerpt from my novel]
“Palaces, apartments, slums, over and over again, one after the other. Pitched tents by the side of the road, unfinished buildings everywhere. Dust, disarray and garbage. Western cars and pushcarts. A family-sized swarm of people on a motorcycle for two. Huge crowds, wherever they went. High-end brands on a billboards and depressing visions of the future upon peeking into a building or a tent. The thousand faces of India. And Emmi, full of memories of Europe, gazed out the bus window with the hope of a very different life, her features reflected from time to time in the glass. Her long, blonde hair and gray-blue eye seemed incredibly unreal all of a sudden, exactly like the world she had just left behind. Especially looking over the rough roads of Rishikesh. Food was boiling above the open fire before the tents, scrawny cows and dogs stumbling back and forth nearby, scores of children packed into a couple of personal rickshaws, a hunched-over old man carrying chopped twigs on his back, ridiculed by the poster of a several-hundred-dollar smartphone laughing in their faces. The promise of the forbidden fruit. Emmi could barely breathe. All of a sudden, she could not comprehend which world was real. The one she had been living in, or the one she had arrived in. Only one device assured her that the existence of the western world was a certainty, her camera. If the constant staple of her life hadn’t been by her side, to permit her a moment’s respite with the reality filtered through the lens, perhaps all the air would have truly escaped her lungs.”