In Books, Speaking

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”!