The Food Bard
My read list held an unprecedented author’s name for over two years, Anthony Bourdain. His essay Don’t Eat Before Reading This displays how excellently he can combine wit and vulnerability. His writing is power-packed, a justified metaphor for his obsession with big knives not being sharp enough. It is recklessly bold but colored with the same mindfulness that he carried all through.
A weary winter night put me in front of ‘Roadrunner: A Film About Anthony Bourdain’. The documentary opens with Bourdain’s stoic view on death ‘You are probably going to find out about this anyway but here is a little pre-emptive truth-telling, there’s no happy ending’.
It soon becomes apparent that he often converges popularity with vulgarity. One moment he is camera shy and avoids all communication. Next, he dictates to the film crew that he is to be watched and admired like the wild cats, unchecked and on the prowl, in finesse. Bourdain’s persona evolves from the vanity of swallowing a cobra’s beating heart to denying encashment of any war scenes (caught on camera) on his show.
‘The greatest sin is mediocrity’ emphasizes Bourdain in his long emails to the show producers. A world traveler focused on food witnesses the omnipresent poverty and hunger. How do you see all that and remain unaffected?
A strong counter-culture voice, he vividly lived and left the world. His last moments will remain cryptic but why do we want to know? In a world caught between the doubleness of knowing and not knowing, being honorable and not, you can be a good person regardless around the margins of the bad.
Anthony has taught me that we simply run steadfast on the bridge of dreams and hopes that we built for ourselves in the darkest & brightest of our days. We run towards an allure that births out of pain and duty. We run because we can lead.