A young headstrong Jewish woman battles the opposing views of her birth family, packs up her backpack, and sets off to join what they call a cult. An old-school surgical supply salesman—an outrageous, stubborn, and passionate lover of life—sings, dances, and storytells his way through pancreatic cancer to the grave. Meanwhile, the lifelong rocky road between father and daughter is smoothed over in the remaining months of his life by the power of love.
The author writes in the book’s introduction, “Sometimes we learn about love in ways that test us greatly—that we think are beyond our ability to endure but ultimately bring us to a glorious place within our own heart’s vastness. Such was the glad resolution I found with my father.”
From Bagels to Curry: is both a personal and a universal journey. Perhaps it is yours as well.
When Lila asked her workout buddies what she needed to do to look more like them, they advised: "Start eating red meat and get lots of tatoos."
Morticia Magicia, the world's most authentic fake palm reader at Halloween, as mentioned in the book's author bio.
Testimonials from the book’s front pages:
“I highly recommend From Bagels to Curry. It weaves together two different worlds by showing the underlying unity. In the process, the reader gains a deeper understanding of the human heart. In From Bagels to Curry, Ms. Devi’s Jewish family and yogic community are blended together in a delightful way. It is a little like wandering into a slightly bizarre delicatessen with bagels and lox interspersed with curries and samosas.” – Nayaswami Jyotish Novak, author, including Meditation Therapy, and spiritual director of Ananda Village
“From Bagels to Curry is a gem of a book that is destined to help this weird and wonderful world we live in. A story of love and acceptance of others’ faiths and cultures of which there is such a dearth in our society. In a week where we have planes being shot out of the sky and revolution and terrorism, we need simple stories like this of trust and love between all people worldwide.” – J Michael Fields, author of Nature Feels and Nature Heals and CEO of Inspirations International
“If you’ve ever experienced the joy and sorrow, the laughter and tears brought about through the enduring love of family, this book is for you. Though it tells the true story of a particular family, it is an experi- ence that we all share. Beautifully written, sensitive, and perceptive, this book was a joy to read. Don’t miss it!”– Nayaswami Devi Novak, author, including Faith Is My Armor, and spiritual director of Ananda Village
“Drop by drop, Lila distills the essence of her relationship with her fa- ther and her path to find her place between tradition and her life’s call. A story of care, differences, doubts, but above all, love.” – Charlotte Dufour, author of Land of Eternal Hope
“A heartfelt tribute by a devoted but independent daughter to her remarkable father, From Bagels to Curry is at the same time a story of how alternative spiritual paths have affected families of traditional religions—in this case, Judaism. In the end, the old adage proves true: love conquers all.” – Richard Salva, author, including Walking with William of Normandy
“The power of Yogananda’s teaching shines through Ms. Devi’s personal story, gently expanding our horizons. Most of all, an undercurrent of love is felt throughout her book, which is the highest teaching life has to offer. As she writes: ‘When all is said and done, what endures is the love.’”– Jayadev Jaerschky; author, including Respira Che Ti Passa, and yoga and meditation teacher
“Approaching death, as described in this book, is always a time when superficialities are stripped away and shared humanity comes forward. The story of the passing of a dynamic and much loved father of five children is uplifting, instructive, and entertaining as we get to know the father and the family through the eyes of his only daughter.” – Asha Praver, author, including Loved and Protected, and spiritual director of Ananda, Palo Alto
“Funny and sweet, poignant and profound. As the lives of a father and daughter entwine in the final chapters of his life, the author illumines a story of love’s redeeming power. Traversing the territory of the Soul in its quest for freedom, From Bagels to Curry shines with inspiration that will touch us all.” – Dana Lynn Andersen, Founder of Awakening Arts Academy
“Lila Devi has done a masterful job with a very tricky subject. How does an author reveal the process of stepping out of her regular life into the role of primary caregiver during her father’s last months, especially giv- en his larger-than-life Jewish influence on everyone around him? Yet she does it beautifully, gracefully, and never with self-pity or sadness. This book is impactful and triumphant–a loving tribute to a man, who no one (and you, the reader) will soon forget.” – Savitri Simpson, lecturer and author, including Through Many Lives and Chakras for Starters
“Ms. Devi weaves spiritual insights into her relationships with her father and family. This read is filled with wisdom, humor and compassion.” – Diksha McCord, author, including Global Kitchen
“This is a wonderful inspiring book! Spiritually uplifting, and not lacking humour, Lila Devi has interestingly covered ‘the mystery of life, death, family, and freedom’ in this simple and fascinating tale of her father and her own spiritual awakening and journey to finding true joy and freedom.” – Stephen Sturgess, author, including The Yoga Book
“An honest-to-God account of the beginnings of the author’s spiritual quest, reminiscent of a Socratic apology and equally convincing and moving. She refreshingly flouts normal literary conventions, making her varied and pacey narrative a joy to read.” – David Connolly, Professor of Literary Translation and author, including Deadline In Athens
From the author’s brothers:
“In this totally insightful book, my sister uncovers the essence of our father’s zest for life and the unwavering strength with which he struggled through to the end of his life here on earth.” – Phillip Zaret, Physician
“Our sister writes with an unprecedented and infectiously inspiring view- point about our loving though sometimes chaotic upbringing. With a Jewish-flavored secularism, our father osmotically taught us to make others feel welcome; that life is beautiful; that time is not meant to be wasted; and above all that nothing is more important than family. He had a dancer’s passion for life! This book will take you on just such a dance.” – Jack Zaret, Consultant
“From Bagels to Curry captures the struggles for purpose and meaning in life as my father approached his passing. His challenge in maintaining his dignity when confronted with inevitable death became an amazing legacy handed to the children he loved so much.” – Moshe Dovid Zaret, Rabbi
“From Bagels to Curry is a truly inspirational story of our father’s handling of his impending death from the time of his diagnosis of pancreatic cancer through the end of his days. He lived with an unwavering positive attitude and zest for life. In his deep hazel eyes, the glass was ALWAYS half full. This special outlook on life never wavered from the time of his fatal diagnosis through his last breath. Thanks, Sis, for writing such a wonderful story!” – Thomas C. Zaret, Attorney at Law