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Monday, 3 September 2012

"The Liberals" - with a cup of coffee

On a dark rainy Mumbai evening, dishevelled and dripping after a two hour commute, we were pushing open the doors to Kitaab Khana to attend the launch of “The Liberals” when suddenly - the question popped into my head.
What was I doing at the launch of a book on the post liberalisation era?
 I am numerically challenged! And since numbers make no sense to me I have never understood economics and do not relish politics.
Then what was I doing here?
The question had no answer and I sat cowering in the last row, anticipating a barrage of unfamiliar technical terms.
To my amazement however, the discussion emerged as a nostalgic trip into the past two decades, and excitement rapidly replaced trepidation.
 I started reading - on the commute home.  
I loved the book from the very first chapter.
It read like a heart to heart with an old friend who had led an exotic life in the world of fashion, television and politics.
 With his hilarious irreverence, candid admissions, insightful introspection and amazing ability to refrain from sounding condescending, Hindol Sengupta in his book, comes across as the boy next door.
In his story of growing up and finding his identity in a changing liberal India, he splits open middle class life in Calcutta, Delhi and Mumbai and lays bare desires and fears without sparking animosity or shame.
Objective, compassionate and most importantly relatable this is a fabulous book after reading which I found myself revelling once more in the joys of liberalisation with the brief look at the gloomy past that this book afforded me.
In the book, I found a confidant.
It made my weekend!
Choca Mocha
This recipe today is just like “The Liberals”. The name sounds intimidating – but the recipe is extremely simple.
1.     In a small bowl (katori)  mix together 1 heaped tablespoon of drinking chocolate with ½ a teaspoon of coffee powder and 1 tsp of sugar.
2.     Add a few drops of hot water to this and mix.
3.     Put the mixture in a glass and top it up with hot or cold milk mixing all the while.
4.     Taste it and add more sugar if you like.
5.     Sprinkle cinnamon powder before serving.
I always like to drink this cold and my husband likes it hot. It is easy enough to make both simultaneously. The hot milk dissolves the mixture instantly. Cold milk is sometimes problematic. If you think you may not be able to dissolve the mixture in cold milk – add a quarter glass of hot milk initially. Mix well to dissolve and then add chilled milk followed by ice.


  1. That was a surprising Choca Mocha of a review of The Liberals intermixed with your journey to the book launch, your reading experience and eventual cooking up of the brew. I feel encouraged enough to pick it up sometime.

    1. Dear Mr Umashankar,
      It is a pleasure to have you back. I was missing your comments on my blog. Yes I really recommend that book. It is worth a read.

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  3. Hi I didnt get your name but thank you for reading my blog and I'm so happy you enjoyed the story. It is encouragement from people like you that makes me write more and more. I do intend to tell a lot of stories in the future even though my friends and family are protesting that they have no privacy left anymore. So I hope youll join me on my blog so that we can laugh together. We can communicate on Twitter. My handle there is @shortcutmaster.