I wanted a story that would be a great adventure for readers, but also one that would introduce readers to the Indian landscape, Indian ways of life, and Indian philosophy and values. I wanted a magical object out of Indian myth. I wanted a reverse quest tale (returning a magical object to its original home) . . .
India can harden hearts or fill them with the ripe, sweet fruit of compassion. If the pilgrim is sincere, and attentive, and lucky, then India might deign to reveal partially glimpsed hints of the truths that lay hidden beneath the surface and beyond the cloaking veil of maya woven out of dust and traffic diesel fumes and smoke from wood-fires in rusted upright oil drums . . .
Being from Vancouver, I’ve tried South Asian cuisine in fusion form, because Vancouver is the First Lady of fusion food cities. However I don’t recall ever having a traditionally prepared South Asian dish, let alone preparing one myself. I hoped with the available resources I would be able to meet the challenge. So, to Google . . .