Friday, November 14, 2008

Bombay Gourmet

An interesting article by math professor and skilled fiction witer
Manil Suri in the New York Times titled "Bombay Gourmet" begins thus
"Growing up in India, I lived with my parents in a single room, part
of a flat shared with three other families. Although we were middle
class, there were times when our finances dipped to the change I
collected in the slotted metal box by my bed. Still, my parents
managed to scrimp enough to put me through an elite private school —
my ticket to a better future, they said. It was a bittersweet parting
when I received a scholarship to study mathematics in America; my
parents knew I was leaving behind everything in the life I shared so
closely with them. For the next eight years, I industriously
assimilated myself into America. Then in 1988, a seven-month research
sabbatical took me to Paris.

Now that I had made it to this third continent, a whole new culture
awaited exploration. I sat at cafes sipping Pernod and speaking
French. I splurged on a nice apartment. (Look, Mom and Dad, my own
place in Paris!) I started putting mousse in my hair, then styling
foam as well. With Europe on my résumé, my promotion from Immigrant to
World Citizen seemed within reach.

What truly drew me in was the food. I explored every marché I could
find and ate at starred restaurants I could ill afford. I learned to
tell the difference between Bordeaux and Burgundy, Brie and Chaource.
Watching the just-released "Babette's Feast" near the end of my stay,
I had an idea: Wouldn't it be great to prepare a multicourse French
meal for my parents in Bombay to give them a taste of the new world I

Continue reading this entertaining essay at --

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