It is with sadness that I give the news that came to me by email tonight from Jigyasa Giri and Pratibha Jain, the authors of the beautiful and lyrically written southern Indian vegetarian cookbook, Cooking At Home With Pedatha.
Their email was simple and poignant: “Barbara, our world is empty…”
Down below this simple statement of grief was the image of Pedatha’s lovely face you see above.
Tears came instantly to my eyes, because even though I never met Pedatha, through reading Jigyasa and Pratibha’s book, I felt as if I knew Pedatha as well as any of my beloved elder Aunties. I felt the keen pang of loss, because not only had I never met this remarkable woman and inspirational cook, I never would.
I will only say now, what I wrote back to Jigyasa and Pratibha: “You two, and Pedatha herself, gave a piece of her heart and soul to the world through your book, and for that I am very, very grateful.”
Through their book, Pedatha’s images, words, admonitions, kitchen philosophy and recipes will live on forever, not to be lost by the hands of time. For as long as one copy of this book exists and there is a human being to touch it, hold it, open it, read it, and I hope, cook from it, the spirit of Pedatha will live on. So long as we can taste the flavors of Pedatha’s dishes, her spirit will be with us, a part of us.
Because, the truth is, even in death, there is no parting. Separation is an illusion–we are all, each of us, part of the unity that is the Universe.
Thank you both Jigyasa and Pratibha for giving part of Pedatha to the world. We are grateful, and will not forget her, even as we sorrow with you.
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