Saturday, February 18, 2017

Book Review # 17: The Great Indian Diet: Busting the big FAT MYTH

My rating: ●●●●○
Luke Coutinho and Shilpa Shetty Kundra 
The Great Indian Diet: Busting the Big FAT Myth 
India: Ebury, Penguin Books India; 2015
288 pp.; INR 299
ISBN: 9788184007480

Summary: A recent surge in the number of books being published on health, fitness and diet proves that this trend is here to stay and flourish. However, there has been a serious confusion in terms of ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ when it comes to the eating habits and, therefore, any book which promises to guide on the right eating practices is always welcome. This book is a wake-up call for all those who’ve been blindly following the fad diets or the Western trends and is a wonderful eye opener to the immense power contained within the Indian food. Luke and Shilpa have rightly partnered to bundle up the information which can be banked on and used for life. 

What really clicked? The topic – I could go on reading anything and everything ever written on this line.

My take: There’s been an increase in the general health consciousness of the people of India and for this reason, the book, The Great Indian Diet: Busting the Big FAT Myth, has come out at the right time to answer the questions of the millions of Indians who lack a bankable fitness Guru to follow. The title of the book promises to stick to the food Indians eat daily and not the ones they wouldn’t have ever heard of and it does keep its promise. Therefore, this one is pretty easy to bring into practice in the real life as most of the food items it talks about are already present in almost every kitchen in India.

The title of the book perfectly marries the content it contains, for the jingoism for Indian food goes to another level through the book. Talking about the cover, the book showcases exactly the thing required to sell it – a star factor. Though I think the book would have sold like hotcakes had it included the Shilpa-Shetty bikini pic from the Shut-up-and-Dance song. Going off-topic, I was reminded of The Kapil Sharma Show from the chilly-and-lime evil eye warded used on the cover. The TOC is self-explanative and divides the book into five parts covering five broad topics related to busting the myths surrounding the Indian food – Indian food, what is going wrong, understand what you eat, lose weight while you eat right and cook healthy to stay healthy. 

Using an extremely easy to understand language, simple construction of sentences and colloquial tone, the authors have mostly stuck with the conversational style of writing to address the readers directly. The book not only busts the common myths related to Indian food like they are oily, spicy, hot, rich, fatty, difficult and time-consuming to cook, have curry powder and sugar and involve deep frying, but also tries to restore their faith in the traditional Indian meals. 

Talking about its setbacks, the Kindle/Kobo edition of the book lacks images which have been referred to in the text, which is a blunder. Further, since more than one author has written the book, it is extremely confusing to make out who is saying what. There have been quite a few contradictions in the content, like the one related to whether or not milk should be had. Lastly, even though the book bundles up a few sample diet plans for the people trying to lose weight, it does not mention anything for the people who are into some sort of workouts or sports. 

To sum it all, this book is a refresher from the fad diet books setting up a trend and making people give up their traditional eating habits. Apart from carrying diet plans for beginners and intermediates, it also takes along a few interesting recipes which will keep you hooked to the book for a little longer. In the end, the book should make all its readers proud of following Indian food and Indian eating habits.   

Final word: What do technical know-how books do to you – they dunk you in a pool of information; yet, you come out drenched in whatever you are able to retain on yourself. This is precisely what The Great Indian Diet does to you. This book is filled with a lot of information which basically all boils down to say that our Indian diet is akin to ambrosia and we just need the right information and technique to use it. Ending with a few, relatable recipes and fancy pictures of the authors, this book is sure to motivate you to adopt Indian food over Western fads and take your health rather more seriously. 

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Chronicles from the Corner Office - II

It’s heartwarming to see people who we follow speak, pouring their brains out on things that actually matter to us or to the world. Does this change the situation in any manner? No. Yet, we feel that we have been pacified now that we know how that super-human feels.
Shahrukh Khan recently came out of the closet speaking how he feels about the Indian media being tad too judgmental, manipulative or meddlesome about the stars keeping shut on topics that matter to the rest of the world. Well, there he is finally saying, “there are a lot of idiots who will also start speaking up since you are asking them to. Believe me, you don’t want to hear them”. True that! The standard of Indian journalism seems to be plummeting at a speed unimaginable, as is obvious from what we are being fed via various media. Shows like Saas, Bahu aur Saazish or Sansani have been airing on media for plain entertainment. Moreover, sensationalism has been coming handy as a tool for the media to attract more and more eyeballs to let out fancy and commercial yet empty and unworthy news. We see random people being approached for their opinions on matters that least matter to them. Further, social media has extended its reach to every amateur who has ever wanted to speak. This way, celebrities have been blathering on topics ranging from security of the nation to state elections.   
Reaching home after work, seldom I find interest or energy to endure news out of all the options I can possibly find on the television. The reason is plain and simple: private media is trying to create point of views by utilizing snippets, bytes, pieces and words to somehow bolster their points.  
News readers are no more the people telling us the 5 Ws/1H and are in turn basking in the stardom they have gained by indulging in fashion or creativity while presenting the news. Instead of facts, I find myself drowning in varied point of views. Result: I do not know what happened, but I know what everyone felt or said about it. The media world is going bonkers manipulating news as per their interests, no matter monetary or competitive and is no more the first source of information about anything happening anywhere. Therefore, it’s easy for me to quickly dodge the news channels on TV as soon as I accidentally surf them and, instead, watch travel channels just for the heck of the visual appeal they extend. :)

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