Ladies Study Group proudly hosted two eminent speakers Ms. Sudha Menon, an author, columnist, and writing coach and Ms. Gunjan Goela, a philosopher, a chef, and a modern-traditionalist,amidst the serene setting of the plush lawns of the ITC Sonar, Kolkata.
In conversation with the guest speakers was an LSG member, Ms. Manjri Agarwal, a connoisseur, or a “foodprenuer” as she calls herself, running successful restaurants in Kolkata , and owner of the brand ‘Hitchki’ in Mumbai.
The session commenced with Ms. Manjari reading out an excerpt from Ms Menon’s latest published book, “Devi Diva or She-Devil.” Manjari quizzed Ms Menon about her motivation to get into the world of writing and attain the right mix of dedication and enthusiasm in her work! Ms Menon was at her candid best at the volley of questions, answering with humorous anecdotes. She stated, ‘women are at crossroads of society at this time of life.’ Therefore, it is all right to accept ones self and the individual choices one makes. In significance to her choice of the title of the book, she unabashedly said, “one can be a Devi, Diva or bring to surface the She-Devil once in a while.” Ms Menon expressed the book that initially started of as a journey of women, later canvassed to a survival guide and towards busting the ‘myth of the superwoman’. Her interactions with powerful women led her to reveal their stories to inspire other women in society. She admitted to being a feminist and endorsed all women to have the right to ‘life-choices’. She strongly voiced, “Ambition is a bad word for the person looking at you but not for the achieving individual.
Ms. Goela was then welcomed to share the dais with Ms. Manjri , who wanted her to succinctly describe her journey into her intended field of food. She reverberated her childhood memories of her parents experimenting with food and she was taught the finer nuances of food. Her parents encouraged her passion and talent. She was indeed fascinated by the diversity of Indian culture, distinct communal culinary tastes and family recipes, which were passed down from generation to generation. She strongly felt the importance of ‘Indian food exposure’ in various parts of India, which should be exposed to the younger generation to pass on the Indian legacy. She stated that Ayurveda has chronicled the significance of every spice and ingredient used in Indian cooking. She categorically criticized ‘fad diets’ and advised the forum to listen to their bodies and choose healthy lifestyles. Ms Menon further stated, “Tasty food is readily accepted by the body!
Ms Menon presented a demo on stage to the enthralled and eager to learn audience. The evening ended with the guest speakers and the members appreciating the sumptuous high tea and hors d oeuvres spread at ITC, while inter-mingling happily.