28 October, 2020

Just Muffin' n' Wafflin'

Madhu Jain dines Ismail Merchant

Tribhuvan Tiwari
Just Muffin' n' Wafflin'
Breakfast at the American Diner? Sure. I accept Ismail Merchant’s invitation with alacrity. Visions of waffles drenched in maple syrup, bagels with cream cheese and strips of salmon, hmmm and warm blueberry muffins swim before my eyes as I make my way to the India Habitat Centre. Surely the Houdini of the kitchen who charms his way into the hearts of his actors and financiers through their stomachs (and makes a permanent home there) would be a hearty breakfast companion. There is nothing quite as satisfying as a meal with a gourmet who talks food, between bites of it. Ismail normally does: the passion with which he describes the fish curries or biryani his sisters in Mumbai make is no less than the way he talks about a Merchant-Ivory film.

But breakfast that day is a bit of a side dish. The enticing aroma of sausages fills the air but our main course is the movies, and his books. And as we peck at our muffins and sip our cappuccinos, Ismail can’t sit still. He moves like a little tornado—between our table outside to the phone inside the diner. New York, London, Paris: he...



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