Monisha Bastikar is twenty-seven years old and has just finished medical school in Vermont. She has three shining goals: to become a wife, a mother and a board-certified Physician. But time is running out, the men in her community are taken and residency at the prestigious St Anthony’s is just around the corner.
Monisha’s over-ambitious mother Leela tells her all is not lost, for in India there
are millions of men. Monisha opts for an arranged marriage, leaving her best friend Tina completely bewildered. Mrs Bastikar and her feisty younger sister Aunt Romila trawl through the Mumbai Matrimonials and shortlist Shailesh Kulkarni, a dashing surgeon, with glittering career prospects. On paper he appears to be the perfect match and Monisha can’t believe her luck.
But all is not what it seems and Monisha is faced with some difficult choices. Should she break with cultural traditions and find love the American way, or should she compromise and keep her family happy?
The search for love takes Monisha on an eventful journey tinged with heartbreak and loss, from Vermont to Mumbai and back again. Eventually she abandons all hope and throws herself into her career. But will she sit back and wait for a prince to rescue her or will she find the courage to rescue herself?
Maple and Spice is a light-hearted, tragi-comic romp through love and relationships in the twenty-first, century. It also explores the themes of cultural identity, female empowerment and self- fulfilment.