Friday, March 21, 2014

Book Review: The Hundred Foot Journey by Richard C. Morais

Good day PPL !



I can't remember how I came upon this book. Guess reading something and got a copy of it. It remained unnoticed until 2 weeks ago. From the name, was expecting it to be similar to The  Pilgrimage by Paulo Coelho.
It turned out to be totally different.

Food, Travel, Culture, Cuisines, Different Characters, Funny incidents,... all rolled into one.

I am a Foodie, though a strict Eggetarian, love trying/knowing different delicacies with people who know the cuisine or dish. The last time I was soo tempted to COOK was after watching Ratatouille with its slogan-Anybody can cook. This book actually makes you go to kitchen and stir up something. I have been everyday describing scenes from this book to my family, it is so vividly written.

Story:
Hassan Haji, is the grandson of a muslim family, whose grandfather is an immigrant struggling to start a life in Mumbai. He starts with delivering dabbas & ends with a Hotel on Napean Sea Road and a respected reputation. Hassan is always around the kitchen with his grandma and the cooks. His childhood are memories with smell of curries, bay leaf, cardamom, fish soup, machli ka salan, ... going around Crawford Market to buy fresh produce for the Hotels his boisterous father expanded the business into. An unfortunate accident made the entire family fled out of Mumbai to London and then to Lumière. In Lumière, his father coming out of his loong depression, decides to start a Mumbai Hotel there. They are not aware they are competing against the best chef of France who is right opposite their street, Madam Mallory. Madam Mallory has become a snout after years of having her own way. She is religiously and diligently working so that she becomes an honoured Three-star Chef. She discovers much to her chagrin and as she describes later:
"That skinny Indian teenager has that mysterious something that comes along once a generation. He is one of those rare chefs who is simply born. He is an artist." 

So she decides to train him to be a top-notch Chef in French cuisine.  From there on Hassan works and works hard to go from Lumière to Paris and become a Three-star Parisian Chef in Paris and that too one from exotic backgrounds ;)

What I liked:
Flavours ! Flavours not just of food, characters, incidents, people, places,.... It felt you were sitting on Hassan's shoulder as he went through his entire life, feeling, engaging, responding to each moment. Beautifully written. I kept thinking it is a real life story but strangely and hard to believe it is a Fiction :(.

What I want more:
The story ends after Hassan receives his long-awaited 3rd star. What after that? I want to know more about Hassan.

So like at the end of Acknowledgments, Richard writes, I too wish for all of you that:
"May you, when times are hard, always find a moment for a restorative meal in the company of true friends and a loving family."
And May you start your own 100foot journey soon,
“A hundred-foot journey begins in that moment when you bravely drop what is familiar and cross over into a new realm that is far out of your comfort zone. It is a profound journey, however small in physical distance, that materially changes the course of your life for the better.”



Read the book soon for a varied style of writing.


So loong everyone. Have a great weekend ahead !
Bye. Take care. Enjoy !

1 comment:

  1. Superb review Nilima. You make me want to read the book. I think I will and soon at that :)

    ReplyDelete

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