He’s an excellent cook. His overheated house is alwayssmelling of something delicious. His spice rack looks like anapothecary’s shop. When he opens his refrigerator or hiscupboards, there are many brand names I don’t
recognize;in fact, I can’t even tell what language they’re in. We arein India. But he handles Western dishes equally well. Hemakes me the most zestyyet subtle macaroni and cheese I’veever had. And his vegetarian tacos would be the
envy of allMexico.
I notice something else: his cupboards are jam-packed.
Behind every door, on every shelf, stand mountains ofneatly stacked cans and packages. A reserve of food to lastthe siege of Leningrad.
Chapter 7It was my luck to have a few good teachers in my youth,men and women who came into my dark head and lit amatch. One of these was Mr.
Satish Kumar, my biology teacherat Petit Seminaire and an active Communist who was alwayshoping Tamil Nadu would stop electing movie stars and go
theway of Kerala. He had a most peculiar appearance. The top ofhis head was bald and pointy, yet he had the most impressivejowls I have ever seen, and
his narrow shoulders gave way toa massive stomach that looked like the base of a mountain,except that the mountain stood in thin air, for it
stoppedabruptly and disappeared horizontally into his pants. It’s amystery to me how his stick-like legs supported the weightabove them, but they did,
though they moved in surprisingways at times, as if his knees could bend in any direction. Hisconstruction was geometric: he looked like two triangles, a smallone and a larger one, balanced on two parallel lines. Butorganic, quite
warty actually, and with sprigs of black hairsticking out of his ears. And friendly. His smile seemed to takeup the whole base of his triangular head.
The white wolf raced through a black wood, beneath a pale cliff as tall as the sky. The moon ran with him, slipping through a tangle of bare branches overhead, across the starry sky.
“Snow,” the moon murmured. The wolf made no answer. Snow crunched beneath his paws. The wind sighed through the trees.
Far off, he could hear his packmates calling to him, like to like. They were hunting too. A wild rain lashed down upon his black brother as he tore at the
flesh of an enormous goat, washing the blood from his side where the goat’s long horn had raked him. In another place, his little sister lifted her head to sing to the moon, and a hundred small grey cousins broke off their hunt to
sing with her. The hills were warmer where they were, and full of food. Many a night his sister’s pack gorged on the flesh of sheep and cows and horses,