Feast – the mere word evokes images of tables laden with sumptuous, gorgeous and mouth watering food, of people bonding over the food, exchanging stories and sometimes even recipes. This is exactly what Bisma Tirmizi does in her debut novel Feast.
A love story combined with the greatest of all stories: the story of food and how some of the dishes that we absolutely love to gorge on, came into existence. This is the wonderful feast that Bisma Tirmizi has set out in her book.
Ayesha’s relationship with food is one with lots of ups and downs. From an overweight kid, she learns to maintain a healthy balance between her food and her weight. Her love for food leads her into a quest to know more about it and to examine why certain dishes touch the heart, withstanding the test of time and season. Her quest leaves no stone unturned, not even her own family history and she learns just how deep her relationship with food is.
To sum it up in a few sentences, “The same people come back to eat the same food and live out the same stories, every few decades.” Thus, nothing essentially changes.
Bisma weaves a story that transcends centuries and generations. It’s timeless and appeals to the senses. For the food portions of the novel, I could almost feel the sweetness of the zarda, the spiciness of the Bihari kebab and the absolutely satiating goodness and yumminess of the Biryani. That’s the kind of magic that feast evokes.
For lovers of food, history and stories, Feast is an absolute treasure and delight. The verses by Amir Khusro, add to the charm and beauty of this book. Khusro’s songs and poems lend a unique flavour to the book, taking it to a whole new level. Feast was a real treat and the recipes in the book should be on your Must-Try once list.
Pick up Feast, not only to enjoy a good story but also to learn more about some of your favourite foods. The next time you have a feast, regale your guests with these stories.
Reviewed by : Anusha D’souza
About the author:
Bisma Tirmizi has been a storyteller for twenty-seven years, first as an employee at The Herald Group of Publications for over six years in the capacity of a sub-editor and then as a freelance journalist. She has penned over five hundred articles and has been published in Dawn, The News, The Express Tribune and Buzzfeed, among many others. Her musings over a cup of tea almost always find their way to be the written word, either in the form of an article, story, commentary and now a book.
Tirmizi has been writing ‘Food Stories’ for Dawn for over four years and has been enjoying food forever. This is her debut novel, sketching an elemental love story between us and our unique, nurturing and, at times, obsessive relationship with food and the social relationships surrounding it.
She lives in Las Vegas, United States.
Author(s): Bisma Tirmizi
Publisher: Rupa Publications
Release: November 2017
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