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Ambrosia For Afters

Ambrosia For Afters

Swaminathan Kalpana
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Fifteen-year-old Tenral leads two lives.There is the one she leads with her family and her friends at school-‘a skin-of-milk life, easy and forgiving, like five o’clock sunshine’. Into her other, difficult life, move her English teacher, Mrs Alfie, and her dead lover. Tenral recreates their romance, taking her clues from Mrs Alfie’s dramatic rendering of poetry, and tries to reconcile the past with the present through her own fairy tales. Even as her friends look on, disapproving of her flights of fancy, Tenral’s complex imaginary world widens to include the dour maths teacher, Mr Tilak, and Mrs Alfie’s mad mother, who spills the secret about Mrs Alfie’s navy blue baby. Events hurtle towards a frightening climax as Mrs Alfie emerges from Tenral’s world of make-believe to reveal the truth. Tenral can reject this truth, and escape into her world of fantasy. Or she can embrace real life with its hardships and disappointments, in the hope that, in the end, it is all worthwhile, for there is always ambrosia for afters.

Imprint: India Penguin

Published: Jun/2003

ISBN: 9780143028796

Length : 280 Pages

MRP : ₹250.00

Ambrosia For Afters

Swaminathan Kalpana

Fifteen-year-old Tenral leads two lives.There is the one she leads with her family and her friends at school-‘a skin-of-milk life, easy and forgiving, like five o’clock sunshine’. Into her other, difficult life, move her English teacher, Mrs Alfie, and her dead lover. Tenral recreates their romance, taking her clues from Mrs Alfie’s dramatic rendering of poetry, and tries to reconcile the past with the present through her own fairy tales. Even as her friends look on, disapproving of her flights of fancy, Tenral’s complex imaginary world widens to include the dour maths teacher, Mr Tilak, and Mrs Alfie’s mad mother, who spills the secret about Mrs Alfie’s navy blue baby. Events hurtle towards a frightening climax as Mrs Alfie emerges from Tenral’s world of make-believe to reveal the truth. Tenral can reject this truth, and escape into her world of fantasy. Or she can embrace real life with its hardships and disappointments, in the hope that, in the end, it is all worthwhile, for there is always ambrosia for afters.

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Swaminathan Kalpana

Kalpana Swaminathan lives in Mumbai, a few streets away from her detective Lalli. Since Cryptic Death (1997), Lalli has appeared in six novels, the most recent being Greenlight (2017). Her other novels include Ambrosia for Afters, Bougainvillea House and Venus Crossing, which won the Crossword Fiction Award in 2009.
Kalpana also writes with Ishrat Syed as Kalpish Ratna. Their most recent work of non-fiction is The Secret Life of Zika Virus (2017).

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