“Thinking of birds with upside down taste buds, they moved to the kitchen. A large pot was already on the stove. Malvika waited for the oil to smoke, then poured vinegar and broke in chunks of gudh. A thick sludge of pureed tamarind followed. Naina stirred the mixture till the jaggery formed a smooth slurry. It was funny, how the stirring came naturally to her arm. She hadn’t made achaar before, she could hardly avoid burning a cheese toast. But today her wrist knew how to move while keeping her forearm steady. Professional, efficient stirring. Ma’s stirring. The jaggery broke down slowly, the tangy scent of tamarind rose up, and the pot turned the colour of a dark caramel. The heady, sweet smell was warm, like a memory. It hugged them. Naina needed the hug.”
Sundays at Tolstoy
Sundays at Tolstoy is a multi-point of view psychological thriller. It explores the unravelling of a family in New Delhi after the death of Meera, mother and grandmother to Naina and Malvika. In their own meandering ways, both women search for answers in the death. Was the accident really murder?
Arunima is a filmmaker and cook from New Delhi, India. Her work explores themes of crime, domesticity, dignity and food. She has studied History and Filmmaking and trained as a chef at a fine-dining restaurant in New Delhi.
Her first film, For Susan, is available online on Mubi. She is currently working on a podcast about recipes and food history as an alumna of Spotify’s Sound Up Program.