Picks and Pans Review: Cartwheels in a Sari
by Jayanti Tamm |
REVIEWED BY BETH PERRY
The story of Tamm’s birth—that she pressed her hands together in prayer at barely an hour old—was as festooned with mythology as the spiritual leader Sri Chinmoy, who deemed her his “Chosen One.” Tamm recounts how the title meant little; as a member of the controversial religious group, she was subjected to constant manipulation. She says he held “ugly girl” contests and sought to control their private lives, even telling a member to have an abortion. Tamm, who left the group at age 24 after having a psychological breakdown, writes with wit, but her hurt is obvious. Yet as she did after performing cartwheels for Chinmoy (who died in ’07), the now happily married mother lands on her feet—and her effort is worthy of applause.