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I originally bought this book, because I am always interested in books on the topic of life in India during the British Raj. Unfortunately, it was not exactly what I expected.

The book is set in 1925, and Devora, a British woman in her late twenties, has left England to join her British husband, Gerald, who is a civil servant in colonial India. Gerald sees the British as superior in every way to the native population of India and is not at all interested in learning about India's culture or its people, other than satisfying his sexual urges with those who native women who work in his household as servants.

Devora, on the other hand, is very interested in Indian culture and its people. She loathes the British society that is in place, as she finds it dull and hypocritical. Unfortunately, Gerald is frequently away on business, and Devora is left to her own devices. She finds herself intrigued by India in all respects, including its erotica, and raises eyebrows among the colonial community, when she lunches several times, sans her husband, with the local Maharaja, a man with a notorious reputation. Of course, the inevitable occurs, during those long, languid lunches.

Even her husband's trusted head servant, Rohan, is of interest to her, as she finds herself exploring her own sensuality. A steamy affair ensues between Devora and Rohan, a native who, with his patrician bearing, seems to have more class than any of the British colonials. When their affair becomes common knowledge, Devora refuses to do what her husband demands in order to clear her reputation. Consequently, the marriage heads south, and Devora finds herself living a life that she never imagined.

This is an easy reading novel that has explicit sexual content, which is probably why the book is marked erotica on the back cover. Unfortunately, I did not find it to be at all erotic. Nor did I find the book to be particularly interesting, except for the Anglo-Indian, historical fiction angle. Over all, it was mediocre reading fare, at best, predictable and uninspired. Still, those who gravitate towards romance novels with a dose of spicy, sexually explicit content may enjoy this book.
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on 30 June 2002
The colonial British and the native Indians in the pre-independence era of India hated each other. In this backdrop, is it possible to think of any love relations between a British living in India and a native Indian ?
To find out an answer, we may take a look at Nina Roy's fiction "Tea and Spices". A young British woman Devora comes to the colonial India, where her husband, Gerald is posted. After coming to India, Devora soon finds out that the Britishers in India were living in a closed community, isolated from the Indians, whom they all hated. She doesn't find any interests with the bridge playing of the ladies, their club get togethers and the least, their gossips. She is in love with the beautiful land and is eager to learn about its arts, sculptures and the historical past. Her fellow countrymen and also her husband cautions her against the "uncivilised" folks of India, but that could hardly dampen her interests. She is highly sensuous in nature. Herself an artist, she is a lover of art.The descriptions of India's ancient erotic scrpt Kama Sutra and the erotic sculptures of Khajuraho, which her countrymen brands as something disgusting and works of uncivilsed people, appeals to her inner senses.
Her journey of search begins. Not that everything was smooth, not her encounters with outrageous perversions. She finds a new companion in her journey - Rohan, the loyal head-servant of the household, who was educated, could play pianos but became a servant by misfortune. Her journey continues. She loves the land more and more. The reader will find it thrilling to discover her erotic adventures in every stage, how the desires defied all protocols. The novel is thoroughly erotic, its every chapter is erotic, right from the word goes. But I am the last person to appreciate erotic writings unless it is supported by a well-founded story, In this case, I did because everything was so well-founded, as if to say the ultimate intimacies were symbolic of her intimacies with the diverse, mystique land, everything so artistically depicted. Illicitness may bring in questions of morality, rightfully it would, but then ask yourself, was Gerald faithful or were the gossip mongering women faithful in their private lives ?
If you are only looking for a cheap pornographic book from the market, this is not the one for you. If you feel uncomfortable with explicit erotic descriptions, then also this book is not for you. It's surely for you, if you have a mind to explore, along with Devora. I personally loved the book upto the last chapter, holding my breath throughout.
0Comment| 2 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 5 July 2002
British and the native Indians in the colonial era of India had hated each other. In this backdrop, is it possible to think of any love relations between a British living in India and a native Indian ?
To find out an answer, we may take a look at Nina Roy's fiction "Tea and Spices". A young British woman, Devora comes to the colonial India, where her husband, Gerald was posted. After coming to India, Devora soon finds out that the Britishers in India were living in a closed community, isolated from the Indians, whom they all hated. She doesn't find any interests with the bridge playing of the ladies, their club get togethers and the least, their gossips. She is in love with the beautiful land and is eager to learn about its arts, sculptures and the historical past. Her fellow countrymen and also her husband cautions her against the "uncivilised" folks of India, but that could hardly dampen her interests. She is highly sensuous in nature. Herself an artist, she is a lover of art.The descriptions of India's ancient erotic scrpt Kama Sutra and the erotic sculptures of Khajuraho, which her countrymen brands as something disgusting and works of uncivilsed people, appeals to her inner senses.
Her journey of search begins. Not that everything was smooth, not her encounters with outrageous perversions. She finds a new companion in her journey - Rohan, the loyal head-servant of the household, who was educated, could play pianos but became a servant by misfortune. Her journey continues. She loves the land more and more. The reader will find it thrilling to discover her erotic adventures in every stage. The novel is thoroughly erotic, its every chapter is erotic, right from the word goes. But I am the last person to appreciate erotic writings unless it is supported by a well-founded story, In this case, I did because everything was so well-founded, as if to say the ultimate intimacies were symbolic of her intimacies with the diverse, mystique land, everything so artistically depicted. Everything that happens transcends the barriers of religion, colour and social norms. Illicitness may bring in questions of morality, rightfully it would, but then ask yourself, was Gerald faithful or were the gossip mongering women faithful in their private lives ?
If you are only looking for a cheap pornographic book from the market, this is not the one for you. If you feel uncomfortable with explicit erotic descriptions, then also this book is not for you. It's surely for you, if you have a mind to explore, along with Devora. I personally loved the book upto the last chapter, holding my breath throughout.
0Comment| 3 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse


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