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Landscapes of Writing

Collected Essays of Bapsi Sidhwa


Bapsi Sidhwa

Edited By Teresa Russo

This book is a collection of essays by international writer Bapsi Sidhwa gathered for the first time in one edition by Teresa Russo, with a foreword written by Oscar-nominated filmmaker Deepa Mehta. Landscapes of Writing: Collected Essays of Bapsi Sidhwa provides a writer’s perspective on issues of South Asian literature, linguistics, poetry, and views of political events and globalization. In the first part of the book, Bapsi Sidhwa discusses her childhood, family life, and how she became a writer. There is also a revised essay detailing how her book Cracking India became a film by Deepa Mehta. The second part of the book focuses on her thoughts concerning war, terrorism, and how to achieve peace. This collection includes two letters, demonstrating her local and nationalistic perspectives to a larger view of an interconnected world.

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Chapter 10. Manna of the Angels: Parsi Cuisine


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· 10 ·


June 8, 20171

When the Karachi Zarthosti Banu Mandal, headed by the kindly Perviz Daroga, invited me to launch their recipe book, Manna of the Angels, with a few felicitous words, my initial reaction was: What on earth can I find to say about a recipe book? And, even if I do find something to say, am I qualified to comment? I know mainly, only how to eat.

And to write about food puts me in mind of my fiction writer friend Lorrie Colwin. She wrote joyful fiction—with titles like Happy All the Time—and wrote feature articles and books on food that were known and coveted even in Pakistan.2 She not only collected recipes from all over the world, but actually cooked and sampled them with contagious gusto. Ironically it was Laurie who introduced me to the delicacies in the seediest Pakistani restaurants on Lexington and Third Avenue in New York, where most dishes cost a dollar fifty, and we had some rare karahi lamb and kebab feasts. She died tragically young of a sudden heart attack in her mid-forties.

Once the idea germinated, scores of memories crowded into my mind. I find I do have a lot to say after all. If the love of eating is a qualification, I will ← 69 | 70 → present my culinary credentials in the shape of a question, and since I...

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