KOLKATA: Veteran author Sankar is currently working on a book on Swami Vivekananda. The subject of his latest work titled "Ahare Anahare Maharaj Vivekananda" will take a peek into the culinary interests of the monk. Speaking to TOI, Sankar said, "If I can write all through the night, by Thursday I should be able to complete the book." Thursday also happens to the 154th birth anniversary of Vivekananda.
On being asked what kind of subjects he will be dealing with in this book, Sankar said, "I am looking into various anecdotes related to Swamiji's interest in food. There is one anecdote about Swamiji asking for steak after attending the Parliament of World's Religions in Chicago. I found that in the writings of Dr John Barrows."
Incidentally, Rev. Dr John Henry Barrows was an American clergy who was the president of the Parliament of the World's Religions (1893). In his book, Barrows had written about how after the conclusion of the first session of the Parliament of the World's Religion, he had taken Vivekananda and some other participants to a restaurant in the basement of the Art Institute. "When Barrows had asked Swamiji 'what shall I give you to eat?', he had answered saying: 'Give me beef'. I don't know if it is indeed the truth or a damn lie. But fact is that Barrows had written about this incident and nobody has contested it till today."
Sankar believes that Vivekananda was the only Indian who had promoted both the Vedanta and biryani simultaneously in the West. In his earlier book titled "An Unfamiliar Vivekananda: The Monk As Man", the author had written about how Vivekananda was as good a cook as he was a connoisseur of delicacies. As a youngster, Vivekananda had even set up a cookery club called "The Greedy Club". "Tea of course was one of his favourites. He had introduced tea at Belur Math," Sankar reminded.
If all goes well, the book should be released at the Kolkata Book Fair.
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