It was 7.30 p.m. The conference room, usually scented with lemon air-freshener, smelt like a patisserie—a really good one. Eight members of our team were huddled together and intense discussions were under way.
Consider a few samples: “Should we crumble the dark brown cookies instead of the light brown ones?” “How about moving the red velvet cupcakes two rows down from the pink ones?” “The light’s too bright on the left macaron.”
The design and photo teams had joined forces to create a stylised cover for our latest issue. Now, as any art director or photographer worth her flak jacket will tell you, getting a celebrity to look good requires far less technical skill than to do delicious confection justice. For the next few hours, the team treated the contours of a cookie with more attention and care than they’ve ever bestowed on the fussiest of celebrities.
It was worth their time. Because this, without a doubt, is one of our favourite ForbesLife India covers. Few things in life give us as much joy as sweet, sinful food—that crumbly tie that binds. By the end of this issue, our hearts were full. Think cookies, buttery, chocolate-y. Think macarons, a jar full of them. Think red velvet cake, moist and melting. Think cupcakes, tiny, lethal.
You would agree: This is a subject that demands the passion it deserves. Meet Kathakali Chanda, whose enthusiasm for the intricacies of choux pastry is self-explanatory. She assiduously reached out to pastry chefs across the country in order to map the sweet revolutions taking place in kitchens, both personal and professional, and learn how India’s grand tradition in desserts is being enriched by growing consumer awareness of international trends. (p50). Not that we needed an excuse to discuss pastry, but ’tis the season! The festivities that began around Dussehra will spike again, come December.
For those who refrain from sweet indulgences, Nina Martyris offers a hamper of stories on Christmas in Kolkata, Hogwarts, and New York. A personal favourite, Little Women, provides a bittersweet glimpse into how the less-than-affluent March family spends Christmas—a tear or two will always be shed for Marmee and her girls.
For those keen to feel the chill of winter in a more rustic setting, I would recommend Vahishta Mistry’s intriguing tale of Kangerlussuaq in the Arctic Circle, one of the last pioneer towns in the world(p70).
Arctic tingles apart, what about the more tropical urge to mingle? Here’s a quick tip from Nonita Kalra: If you haven’t created an Instagram account, get busy. Since we can’t beat the digital way of partying, we might as well join it, she writes (p90). As Jhilmil Motihar found in her conversations with wedding planners (p102), even brides and grooms are enthusiastically embracing the hashtag—and each other.
Right now, there’s a hashtag trending in our newsroom: #stopeatingthatcookie!
But while we do like our desserts, each of us also has a definite preference. Flip the page to our tombstone (p6) to feast your eyes on a diversity of tastes united by a commonality of purpose—a sugar high.Hope this issue hits your sweet spot, too.Happy reading and Goodbye 2014!Best,
Editor, ForbesLife India
Twitter id: @abbykhaitan
(This story appears in the Nov-Dec 2014 issue of ForbesLife India. You can buy our tablet version from Magzter.com. To visit our Archives, click here.)