Friday, September 9, 2011

Practical gourmet guide

Karen Anand may not know this but she owes a debt of gratitude to a learned Telugu Brahmin and a Sikh economist. Had P V Narasimha Rao and Manmohan Singh not courageously demolished the licence-permit raj and liberalised the economy 20 years ago, her career and this book would not have found a market, for a variety of reasons. First, a book on lifestyle and one so blatantly titled would have been considered mildly politically incorrect in those pseudo-socialist times when to be poor was glorious (at least from the politician’s point of view). Second, there would have been few takers for this book since the Indian middle class (a) couldn’t have afforded many of the good things she writes about and (b) wouldn’t have had access to them even if they could. Third, the rich would access these things overseas and wouldn’t have needed Anand’s advice to do so.

So it is no surprise that the earliest of these essays, a compilation of her newspaper articles, date from 1993. It would be easy to dismiss this book as warmed-up leftovers but the publishers clearly hope to catch the rising tide of sophisticated consumerism “at the flood,” so to speak.

Full report here Business Standard

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