The English translation of “Swami Vivekananda: The Feasting, Fasting Monk”, a Bengali book by best-selling author Sankar about the spiritual philosopher-guru’s experiences with food and cooking, hits newsstands on January 17. The book, translated by writer-translator Malati Mukherjee, is published by Penguin Random House India (PRHI). The original Bengali edition, titled “Ahare Anahare Vivekananda”, was released in 2017. Apart from the “foodie” aspects of Swami Vivekananda, the book claims to focus on his love for cooking and feeding people, such as feeding his disciples , “who could not complain about the scorching spice and had to quietly eat it and others he encountered in his life and decided, impulsively, to cook”. The country celebrated the 159th birthday of the social reformer and philosopher on Wednesday. “I’m glad that Penguin has taken the initiative to publish the amazing story of a cook who had the courage to introduce Vedanta and Biryani to the West, without hiding his personal preference for hot peppers and then launched the historic famine relief program of the RK Mission.is it just a story of the past?or is it a new chapter for India as it prepares to step through the doors of the world’s cuisine after the remarkable IT achievements new India?” said Sankar. The Kolkata-based novelist’s early works include a biography of Swami Vivekananda as well as two best-selling novels – ‘Seemabaddha’ (Company Limited) and ‘Jana Aranya’ (The Middleman) – which were made into films by legendary filmmaker Satyajit Ray.” Back to Recommendation Stories Sankar said he often wondered why we know so little about ‘ahaar and anahaar’ about a ‘great man of our time and his inq incessant study about hunger”. “…What about the feasting and fasting monk who loved to cook and thought intensely about the starvation and eating habits of men and women throughout the world?” This was the beginning of my interest in the monk who created a ‘gourmet club’ a boy and bought an encyclopedia of French cuisine in installments long before buying a copy of Bhagwat Geeta,” he added. While the first part of the book gives an interesting insight into the history of food and cuisine in Bengal, the second part of the book touches on the deep relationship that developed between Thakur Ramakrishna Paramhansa and his main disciple Vivekananda. “The last part talks about Swamiji’s advice to all of Bengal. Having traveled the world and tasted the food and culture of various countries first hand, he was determined to share knowledge and advice with the people of his beloved Bengal – on what to eat, how to live and what to practice” writes translator Mukherjee in her note in the book. The book, priced at Rs 300, is currently available for pre-order online.