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Updated: October 2, 2013 12:06 IST

Of Delhi charm and friendship

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BoomTown by Aditya Mukherjee.
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BoomTown by Aditya Mukherjee.

Aditya Mukherjee’s Boomtown shows you around old Delhi with the company of four youngsters on a mission to start their own food business…

What will attract you to Boomtown is the kitschy cover art and the art concept. However, the contents don’t fail to impress you either. Boomtown by Aditya Mukherjee is a refreshing take on business, passion and friendship. The story revolves around the lives of four people who come together to start a chain of Indian food restaurants.

Food for thought

Jacob Joseph James a.k.a JJ discovers a culinary genius in Jaaved, a chef from charming corner of Delhi. He somehow convinces his roommate from college, Karthik Roy and Sheetal Agarwal, an ex girlfriend, to join this venture. The story then takes you through the many alleys of Delhi, meandering through torn down buildings and restaurants from a different time.

What is most striking is the characterisation that the author invests in. Jaaved seems to be the most endearing of the group, who wants to do nothing more than just experiment in the kitchen. Karthik Roy on the other hand has just been pink-slipped while JJ works on sheer impulse. The only character that seems to have been focused a little more than necessary is that of Sheetal Agarwal, the single mother who fights her inner demons and marital problems every day. However, the kind of characters that blend in this book makes it a good read.

The challenge arises when Jaaved’s grandfather Khan Afzal Khan, the famous old Delhi chef disagrees with the idea. For Khan Afzal Khan, a man of strong traditional beliefs, the thought of making changes to age-old recipes seemed like an insult. The best part about Boomtown is that it’s for foodies. In a world where Masterchef, Top Chef and Hell’s Kitchen rule the TRP charts, reading about food is quite refreshing.

Reader’s pride

The book makes for a lazy read, with its food-entrepreneurship motif giving it a wholesome feel. At the end of it, you’re just happy that this isn’t another one of those B-school graduate sagas about college life and how dramatic their love life has been. With the foursome facing more obstacles, will the restaurant chain eventually kickstart? Do they all stick till the end? A pleasant read, Boomtown will answer your questions and more...

Title: Boomtown

Author: Aditya Mukherjee

Publisher: Rupa

Price: Rs. 295

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