Stirring tribute after French chef’s cookbook found

Updated 01 December 2012
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Stirring tribute after French chef’s cookbook found

MOSCOW: A top French chef whose recipe book went missing while he gave a masterclass in Russia has been reunited with the precious journal after a woman found it in a local park, the news agency Interfax reported Friday.
The cookbook belonging to two-star Michelin chef Thierry Drapeau, in which he had written 20 years of recipes, disappeared as he gave a class in Yekaterinburg, the largest city in Russia’s Urals region.
The local woman who found the book received a 10,000 euro ($ 13,000) reward from the restaurateur in Yekaterinburg who hosted Drapeau, Interfax said. “Thanks so much for your help.
I have fallen in love with Yekaterinburg, a town where the people are good and ready to help others who are in a tight spot,” Drapeau was quoted as saying by the agency. It was not clear how the book ended up in the park.


Rickshaw pullers fade from India’s streets

Updated 27 April 2018
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Rickshaw pullers fade from India’s streets

KOLKATA: Mohammad Maqbool Ansari puffs and sweats as he pulls his rickshaw through Kolkata’s teeming streets, a veteran of a gruelling trade long outlawed in most parts of the world and slowly fading from India too.
Kolkata is one of the last places on earth where pulled rickshaws still feature in daily life, but Ansari is among a dying breed still eking a living from this back-breaking labor.
The 62-year-old has been pulling rickshaws for nearly four decades, hauling cargo and passengers by hand in drenching monsoon rains and stifling heat that envelops India’s heaving eastern metropolis.
Their numbers are declining as pulled rickshaws are relegated to history, usurped by tuk tuks, Kolkata’s signature yellow taxis and modern conveniences like Uber.
Ansari cannot imagine life for Kolkata’s thousands of rickshaw-wallahs if the job ceased to exist.
“If we don’t do it, how will we survive? We can’t read or write. We can’t do any other work. Once you start, that’s it. This is our life,” he tells AFP.
Sweating profusely on a searing hot day, his singlet soaked and face dripping, Ansari skilfully weaves his rickshaw through crowded markets and bumper-to-bumper traffic.
Wearing simple shoes and a chequered sarong, the only real giveaway of his age is his long beard, snow white and frizzy, and a face weathered from a lifetime plying this disappearing trade.
Twenty minutes later, he stops, wiping his face on a rag. The passenger offers him a glass of water — a rare blessing — and hands a note over.
“When it’s hot, for a trip that costs 50 rupees ($0.75) I’ll ask for an extra 10 rupees. Some will give, some don’t,” he said.
“But I’m happy with being a rickshaw puller. I’m able to feed myself and my family.”