People expected her memoir to be scurrilous chick lit that milked her relationship with ex-husband Salman Rushdie. But anyone who reads Love, Loss and What We Ate realises that there is so much more to Padma Lakshmi than a couple of years spent with a famous man. She is a woman who has known tragedy—racism, abuse, ill-health—and overcome it. She has known success but hasn’t allowed it to define her. And she has used her position of power to raise awareness of endometriosis, a painful gynaecological disease that goes untreated in millions of women. While Lakshmi has always carved out her own space, first on the ramp and later on television cookery shows, her memoir tells us just how far this Madras-born girl has come. Aware that ‘beauty is not an accomplishment’, she has gone from model to author and ambassador, proving all her doubters wrong.