The Curry Mile by Zahid Hussain
I picked up this book myself at a Literature Festival in Manchester this summer. I saw it and thought it may be fun to read a book about the Curry Mile in Manchester. For a year during my postgrad studies I lived very close to the Curry Mile, on a side street parallel to it.
It is a buzzing place with lights, smelling like food all the time and always awake … well maybe not Monday mornings and early afternoons.
I mentioned at the end of my previous note of how the modern Canadian literature is a big fan of short sentences and brand naming to appeal to the young generation. Oh well ironically enough I picked up this book and I fell right in the trap of this type of literature. Not sure how I manage to choose the random order in which I read books but for some reason these last ones have had some sort of ironic connection between them.
I enjoy a guilty pleasure just as much as anybody else. A web of love stories and business ownership all in a setting that I have been acquainted with, promised to be an enjoyable experience.
But I have to say I didn’t connect with the story or the characters much. Guilty pleasure and all I read it with no great curiosity.
It did bring up a good point about the underlying restaurant business of the Curry Mile and the realization that even though it looks so different than any other place in Manchester it is still reminiscent of a regular shopping mall framework. Where sure you can go and buy from Gap, Old Navy or Banana Republic and you may like or afford one over another but they are all under the same financial umbrella.
So if I went there thinking, ‘oh this is so much like the family owned restaurants back home’ then the book brought me back to a reality where it potentially isn’t so feel good and more closely models a mini corporation where there are a few owners to the multitude of restaurants.
It has been a year since I lived in there and even now when I go back I like it for the life it breathes into the area. On the other hand I must admit that our favourite curry house is not there. My partner and I have religiously frequented and brought guests to a curry house called The Moon. The kind of place where it feels like home in terms of the food and everyone knows well not your name but your face.
Coming back to the book, I did appreciate that it tried to break away from a pattern of a restaurant businesses governed by men and revolved around a strong female character, who proves to be successful.
Now, since I am still behind 3 books, I have to see what has stuck with me since my lecture. One thing I still have to find out from this current book is what “puttar” means since all I could think of when reading it was “puta” from Spanish. I am positive it has nothing in common in meaning but oh well our brain does look for patterns and mine found that one. ** Thanks to a friend of mine I have cleared up now (December 21) what it means , “my dear child”.
All this writing and thinking of the Curry Mile reminds me that we have to go the Moon sometime soon.