Адаптированная книга на английском языке
The Island of Spices by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni
I am a Mistress of Spices. I know everything that there is to know about spices and their magical powers. I know where each spice comes from, and what its color means, and what its smell means. I know its deepest secrets.
The most powerful spices come from India, the land where I was born. India is a land of passionate poetry and glowing colors. If you stand in the center of my store and turn around slowly, you can see every kind of spice that has ever grown in India, here together on the shelves.
I was born in a village during a terrible thunderstorm. I was born with a caul over my face, which caused the midwife to cry out in fear and surprise.
My parents’ faces were full of disappointment. They had been hoping for a boy, but I was a girl. A girl would bring them poverty, when they had to pay a dowry to a husband.
Perhaps it was because of the strange circumstances of my birth, but from my earliest years I had unusual powers. I knew many secrets about the people in my village. I knew who stole the water-carrier’s buffalo. I knew which servant girl was sleeping with her master. I knew where gold was buried in the earth, and where a lost ring could be found. I warned the village headman about a flood, days before the water covered the land.
As time passed, my name became well known in the cities on the other side of the mountains. People heard about my strange powers and they came to our small house to ask for my help. Often these people brought me gifts that were so expensive that the villagers talked about them for days.
I cured the sick daughter of a powerful man. I foretold the death of a wicked leader. I made good winds blow for sailors who were crossing the sea—I did this by drawing magical patterns on the ground. It was all so easy. I enjoyed the good things that my powers brought me, and I enjoyed the effects of my powers on the people around me.
Soon, I grew extremely proud and vain . I sat on cushions made with gold thread. I ate from silver plates and wore clothes of the finest materials. I looked at myself in mirrors decorated with jewels and I admired the way I looked. At mealtimes I ate the best pieces of food and threw the rest on the floor for my brothers and sisters. My mother and father didn’t show how angry they were because they were afraid of my powers and they loved the good life which my powers brought them.
When I saw the fear in my parents’ eyes, I felt a great happiness. I, who had been one of the least important members of the family, had now become the most important member—I was famous. But I also felt a deep sorrow. I had wanted to win my parents’ love, and I had only won their fear.
My fame continued to grow, but I was soon bored with my life. I longed» for something exciting to happen. And then something did happen—something more terrible than I could have imagined.
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