Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Beyond the Beautiful Forevers

Are you up to date on your Prozac, therapy and/or brownies? Because if you're not, don't even think about reading this book. Beyond the Beautiful Forevers is a non-fiction book about living in a Mumbai slum. More heroes die in this book than in a season of Game of Thrones.

Even before I read this book I sometimes wondered if a little Bangladeshi kid could survive on all the stuff I throw away. The water when I wash my garden stuff and all the food when I clean out the fridge.  I am trying to be more mindful of the food I waste but I still think a kid could live on what I toss.  He may not enjoy eating less than active yeast with a Worcestershire sauce chaser.

Beyond the Beautiful Forevers is written in a compelling narrative style.  It's less about explaining how and why these people are so poor but more about their own personal stories.  It's like a depressing Housewives of Beverly Hills.  Well, that's depressing too, actually. This is depressing in a different way. It's not a bad book but I think this would work better as a documentary. Even better would be a Werner Herzog documentary. We'd be sad, thrilled and scared in one weird emotion. Let us call that Herzoged.

If you interested in this kind of thing, I would recommend Peter Menzel's book Material World (you've probably seen it) where the families put out all of their possessions in front of their house.  It turns out people in poorer countries have a lot of bowls. I feel like Apple is developing an iBowl.  It holds, scoops, measures, stores and is both wireless and portable. (It's just a bowl with an Apple logo that costs $60).

Drinks: I picked this recipe up from a English language based Indian website which had metric measurements. I did the conversions for you... Green Leather: Muddle a slice of ginger and three sprigs of cilantro to release the juices. Then add 1.5 oz gin, 1/4 ounce of lime juice and 1/4 oz of simple syrup and fill the glass with crushed ice.  Add a dash of orange juice and Sprite (I say that is optional--I would use club soda).  Or read this with whiskey and brownies in hand...and keep 'em coming.

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