Wednesday, January 29, 2014


What makes us the cooks we are?

That was the question that set off the book that is A Pinch of This, A Handful of That, what seems an eon ago. And over time I as I obsessed over it I started waking up to things; with all niggling ideas, you start writing things down, committing bits of memories to paper.  And it grows, just like a foetus. And before you know it, your baby is born and your manuscript goes to print.

Showing my Nani the first copy!
My Book!
Then one almost too far away to believe day finally dawns and a carton arrives. Your hands shake as you cut the take and open it. And then you laugh because you need to let go of pent up emotion, but that does not quite work so you cry, cos you miss those who should have ben with you at that moment, then you hug everyone that IS there, dance a happy dance, call your mother, husband, best friend, English teacher and everyone that is important. Then you pose for the first photograph. Yes you are FINALLY a published writer!

Signing Copies!
But by no means does that mean that I’ve come to terms with this new tag. Promotional copies have gone out, celebrations have happened, I’ve signed hundreds of copies, been inundated with calls/emails/messages of delight and congratulation but it simply had not sunk in.

That in a gist is what I've been through with the publishing of ‘A Pinch of This, A Handful of That’. 
My Nani, my celebrity!
Untill that evening, at the official launch party my mother and husband threw for friends and family. That’s when something imperceptibly shifted. I remember the flowers glowing on the tables, the proud smiles of my family and friends. Nobody will celebrate the person you are more than your mother. And my Mother, Heena Munshaw had worked tirelessly with my husband and family to put together a perfect Launch Party. As I watched a retrospective montage of pictures of Ullas, my childhood, the family and my life, got teary at video messages family and friends had sent in from around the world. I realised something…

My beautiful Family!
Someone famously said no one is an island. And it is so true, I mean think about it, even the loneliest person on earth is measure of the people that influenced him (or didn’t). And by that measure, that terrace that night was proof that I was rich in the caring for friends and family. 

Nani unviels my book.
And as I stood on a stage, with my Nani, whose frail hands shook as I helped her unveil the book I had my defining moment, when my Nani, reached up and kissed me and said 'Thank you' with my Mom smiling on. I realised, I HAD achieved something here. And I stood up straighter, smiled wider – cried (just a bit) and felt the energy of all the people that loved me. I had brought together a life time of people that were connected to each other that were celebrating that relationship. And then I spoke about the legacy I wanted to preserve for my kids, the tradition I refused to let fade away, the memories that a certain dish would evoke and the tenuous/mysterious/intangible connection between heart and stomach that makes us the people we are. 

My book is out there, in the market, on the shelves, for sale. I hope that as you read my stories in it, you will be inspired to capture your own. That it will inspire you to recognise the people that have nurtured you into the people you are. And that those memories will flavour your kitchen and bind your family closer…

My friends !


Anonymous said...

Hey congrats..where can I buy ur book there a e book version available

Anonymous said...

Where can I get the book from..