Best of Weekender: From a candid chat with author Perumal Murugan to enjoying A Suitable Boy on Netflix this weekend

This week read all about author Perumal Murugan’s new book, Estuary, find out how to get ready for a healthy festival season and why you need to watch the TV series, A Suitable Boy this weekend

Author Perumal Murugan’s work has been steeped in greatness and controversy.

This year, his new release - Estuary, translated from Tamil by author-translator Nandini Krishnan, depicts a complicated relationship between a father and a son in an urban narrative, exploring both ambiguities and interruptions in a tale of isolation.

Perumal Murugan

When asked about the inspiration for this book, Perumal says it is hard to articulate where the seed of any creative work comes from, how it falls, how it grows and blossoms. The origin of a book is quite like the origin of a river.

Don’t miss our conversation with Perumal Murugan as he talks about Estuary, his influences and creative freedom and our interview with Nandini Krishnan, the translator of the book who tells us about the challenges of translation.

Look for healthy sweets and desserts during the festive season

The festive season is synonymous with rich and sugary foods, but it’s important that we don’t undo our health and fitness goals, especially amid the pandemic.

Chef Sunil Chauhan, Founder and MD, FabCafe, believes in the mantra “Eat well, feel good”. He is a graduate from the Institute of Hotel Management, Pusa, New Delhi, and started his career with Old World Hospitality at India Habitat Centre.

Chef Sunil Chauhan

Later, he joined Jiggs Kalra Food Services, where he honed his skills. He has represented Team India at multiple food festivals across the globe.

Read all about Sunil’s culinary journey and how to celebrate festivals with healthy sweets and desserts in an exclusive interaction with the chef.

A still from A Suitable Boy

Vikram Seth’s award-winning 1993 novel A Suitable Boy that spans across 1,350 pages, is one of the longest books ever written in the English language. Now, filmmaker Mira Nair, along with screenwriter Anthony Davies has adapted the expansive book to screen.

Set in 1951-52 India, A Suitable Boy is a commentary on modern India. The story involves four large families — the Mehras, Kapoors, Khans, and Chatterjis — that are intertwined by friendship or marriage.

Their paths cross in this saga of politics and prejudice, truth and falsehood, poverty and ambition, love and betrayal. To fully enjoy the six-part mini-series, one has to look at it independently and let go of comparisons with the book.

Don’t miss our writer’s views on this TV series and catch the show on Netflix this weekend.

Ginee Shah

Mumbai-based home chef Ginee Shah is all set for the holidays. The home chef, who set up her company, The Evolved Palate, five years ago, has a special festive menu planned for her customers this year. She is also offering gift hampers, unique sweet jars, and delicious mithais for the occasion.

Ever since Ginee launched her company in 2015, she has been known for her international dishes that are customised to the tastes of her clientele. From gnocchi to guacamole, blue rice sushi to truffles, this home chef has perfected the art of creating a gourmet meal.

Her marquee dishes have been served at leading Bollywood events and to children at renowned schools for special occasions.

Read our interview with Ginee as she talks about her plans for the festival and offers some cooking tips for home chefs.

Soups are ideal meals for colder days and nights

Soups and stews are the ultimate comfort foods. In traditional Chinese medicine, there is a belief that the body does not like or respond to raw and cold foods in the winter, as the adrenals require warmth.

As we move towards the winter months, soups and stews can replace summer salads. When they are made the right way, they can be nutrient-rich and delicious. They can also offer an aromatic blend of textures, flavours, colours, fibre, spices, vegetables, proteins and fats.

Don’t miss our simple recipes and health notes from our nutritionist on soups and why they should become a part of our winter diet.

Sanjana Shah

Are your favourite authors JK Rowling, Sarah Dunant, Michelle Moran, Alain De Botton, and Yuval Noah Harari? Are you a huge fan of Aragorn from The Lord of the Rings? Is your most treasured possession your memory box of souvenirs from over the years, comprising letters, small gifts and memoirs from people?

If so, meet Sanjana Shah, creative director of Tao Art Gallery, who feels the same way. She co-curates exhibitions, writes concept notes, ideates on new potential collaborations, and manages the gallery’s brand image and sales. She also works as an independent art curator and consultant both in India and internationally.

She believes her motto, “Creativity ends when calculation begins” is the best maxim to remember when it comes to pursuing your dreams and ambitions.

Check out Sanjana's responses to our Proust questionnaire where she talks about her greatest loves, hates, regrets, journeys and much more.

Edited by Megha Reddy