The Epicurean Encore

I vividly remember the first meeting with Jigyasa Giri & Pratibha Jain. It was a couple of years ago when they had invited me home for a wonderful spread of absolutely yummy home-cooked meal. The recipe for each of the food item was taken from their best selling, award winning book, ‘Cooking at Home with Pedatha’. The book went on to win the prestigious ‘Gourmand’ Award for the ‘The Best Vegetarian Book in the World’ in 2006.

The success of their first book encouraged them to publish their second book titled ‘Sukham Ayu’, a carefully researched book which is the quintessence of an ayuvedic diet. The book is a wonderful collection of recipes consisting of simple, vegetarian dishes with the goodness of Ayurvedic insights.

From left to right : Pratibha Jain (standing behind the podium) is a Ph.D in Languages and runs a language translation service. Jigyasa Giri (with the mic) is a Kathak dancer and choreographer. To her left is Latha Menon, documentary and adfilm maker and wife of Rajeev Menon, famed cinematographer and film maker. Next to her is Andrea Jeremiah, model, Jazz musician, singer, theatre personality and actress. Right most is me, singularly representing the male community, having been overpowered by a very eloquent, multi-talented, beautiful women.

When my turn came to speak, it was rather easy for me. I spoke from my heart. Not only was I impressed with Jigyasa’s and Pratibha’s passion for food and their ability to author books, I was quite impressed with their marketing ability. While writing a book is tough ( oh, just ask me!) , getting the book marketed is even tougher. I personally think that both of them did an outstanding work in using the Internet to get the word around.

They were also living my dream. I always wanted to document my grandmothers’ lives so that their rich experiences and fond memories can be passed on to my daughters and their kids. It always remained a wish list and when I meet someone who walked the talk, they instantly gain my respect.

The book is based on extensive research done at KARE, a health retreat in Pune. Dr.Prakash Kalmadi, Founder and Medical Director at KARE was so impressed with their first book, ‘Cooking at Home with Pedatha’, that he invited the authors to his retreat to start work on an Ayuvedic cookbook.

Just before the event was about to start at the Landmark bookstore in Nungambakkam, an old friend bumped into me. He happened to be there at the bookshop and when he learned that I was there for the book launch function, he asked me, “What’s the connection with you and cooking?”. He caught me off guard and I sheepishly replied, “Eating”!

  1. Srivalli Says: May 21, 2009 at 3:32 am

    Well I must say that if there isn’t anybody to appreciate the good food, there is no good food! …:)

  2. Vasanthan Says: May 21, 2009 at 3:32 am

    is this book available for purchase online?

  3. Prathiksha Kumar Says: May 21, 2009 at 3:32 am

    Love the simple way you write, Kiruba.

    The five you on the stage are so multi-talented and I would have loved to come to Landmark just to hear you all speak. Was this event recorded on video? Would you be able to share it with me?

  4. Friendly SearchCamper Says: May 21, 2009 at 3:33 am

    Ah! So this explains why you bunked the SearchCamp Beach House Party on Saturday evening! 🙂

  5. Kiruba Shankar Says: May 21, 2009 at 3:33 am

    @Friendly Searchcamper,

    Yup, that’s why I had to bunk the Beach House Party. I’m the last person to miss out on one of our own get-togethers but I had promised to be here for the book launch.

    Heard the beachhouse gig brightened up after the spirits arrived! 😉

  6. Kiruba Shankar Says: May 21, 2009 at 3:34 am


    Thanks for the kind words. Yes, the event was video taped. Will check with Jigyasa and Pratibha if the video can be put online. Will post a link if it goes up.

  7. Kiruba Shankar Says: May 21, 2009 at 3:34 am


    Yes, the book is available for purchase from .

  8. Kiruba Shankar Says: May 21, 2009 at 3:34 am


    Totally agree with you. Yayy for the folks who appreciate good food!

  9. Karthick Prabu Says: May 21, 2009 at 3:34 am

    Long hair eh.. cool. Very nice.

    Wish I could have there during the launching ceremony.

    How do public (like me) get to know about the dates for these events in advance?

    If I am not wrong, Andrea (on stage) is the heroine of pachai kili muthu charam right?

  10. Kiruba Shankar Says: May 21, 2009 at 3:35 am

    @Karthik Prabhu,

    You are right. Andrea was the heroine in Sarath Kumar starrer, Pachai Killi Muthu Charam.

    The first time I saw her was in Evam’s play, Bare Foot in the Park in which she was awesome.

    She now runs her own theatre company called, ‘The Show Must Go On’.

  11. ‘The Show Must Go On’ – does it have a website?

  12. Kiruba Shankar Says: May 21, 2009 at 3:38 am


    Hmmm…I don’t think there’s a website yet for her theatre company.

  13. Karthick Gopal Says: May 21, 2009 at 3:39 am

    How long are you going to grow your hair? Good writeup, who took the pictures?

  14. Anonymous Says: May 21, 2009 at 3:39 am

    you should never attend these type of events in a denim jeans….

  15. Kiruba Shankar Says: May 21, 2009 at 3:40 am

    @Karthik Gopal,

    How long am I going to grow my hair? Well, until my folks kick me out of my home! 🙂

    The pictures were taken by a professional photographer with a nice Canon pro-camera.

  16. Kiruba Shankar Says: May 21, 2009 at 3:40 am


    It’s perfectly ok to wear denim as long as it fits into the Business Causal tone.

  17. alexi.bén Says: May 21, 2009 at 3:40 am

    Hey Kribs!

    Your hairstyle is the Ubercool thingy around in the city… 🙂

    Man, You look pretty awesome!!!

  18. alexi.bén Says: May 21, 2009 at 3:41 am

    “The pictures were taken by a professional photographer with a nice Canon pro-camera.”

    Jeez! Camera and the Photographer *can* do tricks

    But you are what you are!!!! 😉

  19. Kiruba Shankar Says: May 21, 2009 at 3:41 am


    About the haircut, I’ll blame it on the recession! 🙂

  20. Srivalli Says: May 21, 2009 at 3:42 am

    Hello Kiruba, I had dropped in a mail, do get back when you find time

  21. dude!!! i thought ppl wud be commenting on the buk n all.. but man its u who takes the centre stage here… U r this famous jus among the guys or even wit the gals??? By the way i was thr at the launch n did not sleep even whn u wer on the mike.. (thts pretty cool of me!) And abt the buk… i knw how much hard wrk it was, how there were sleepless nites at both the authors places.. editing and correcting every little error… Its the fruit of their hard-work and determination.

  22. Happy holi by the way…. 🙂

  23. Eleanor Hoh Says: May 21, 2009 at 3:43 am

    Good to hear your support of the ladies’ cookbook. Growing up in Hong Kong, I had many Indian friends and LOVE Indian food, spices, curries. My mother is from Singapore so brought up eating curries etc. I learned to cook from her and now teach wok cooking and working on WokStar book to show the world it’s easy to be a WokStar.

  24. wow!! u have a awesome blog there!! good going!!

  25. […] HERE to read about this event on Kiruba’s blog. Cancel […]

  26. […] Meet the Authors – a launch of Sukham Ayu At Landmark, Chennai, February 28, 2009 Guest speakers – Ad-Film Maker Mrs. Latha Menon, Actor & Jazz Singer Ms. Andrea Jeremiah, and Internet Guru Mr. Kiruba Shankar Read a review of this event by Kiruba HERE […]

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