Dan Brown falls in love with Indian food

Dan Brown falls in love with Indian food

Celebrated author Dan Brown sampled every bit of food he could during his recent India visit and developed a special liking for paneer dishes.

Though he had a very hectic schedule during his trips to Delhi and Mumbai, where he delivered annual Penguin lectures, he managed time to visit a few places.

"In spite of my busy schedule, I went to Old Delhi's spice market, the Red Fort, saw the biggest mosque (Jama Masjid) and some Christian churches," he says.

"I sampled every bit of food I can possibly sample. My new favourite food is paneer. I did not even know it existed," the writer of bestsellers like "The Da Vinci Code", "Angels & Demons", "The Lost Symbol" and "Inferno" told PTI in an interview.
He tried several paneer dishes and liked achari paneer the most.

"It was just wonderful. All I did was eat every single kind of Indian food. Some of them are very spicy but I liked them," he says.

Brown was also struck by the architecture here. "I also love the architecture. It is very very different from the Arab and the Western world. There is also a passion for geometry. The domes are an excellent example," he says.

Brown, whose novels are published in 52 languages around the world with 200 million copies in print, is impressed by the reading habits of Indians.

"There is this enormous enthusiasm and passion for knowledge, for reading. The level of English here is amazing," he says.

This was Brown's second visit to India. He came to India in 1983 as part of a singing group and sang in Delhi and Mumbai.

The short trip to India provided him a break from his normal schedule back home when he is at his writing desk by 4 A.M. everyday.

Brown says if he were to ever write something not related to Robert Langdon's exploits, it would be something on philosophy and religion.

Brown's developed a fascination for codes and symbols, an integral feature of his books, from his childhood days.

"My father is a mathematics teacher and my mother is a musician. Mathematics and music are both symbolic language. In Christian tradition or across America there are presents on Christmas morning. But in our house, when we come down there would be no presents.

"There would be a code and it would be a treasure hunt. We solve the code and then it would say 'go look in the kitchen'. Then it would guide us to the garage where there would be another could. Finally we run all over the house and then eventually find all the presents under a tree. This was how I became fascinated by codes. They are fun," he says.

Son of a mathematics teacher and a church organist, Brown was raised on a prep school campus where he developed a fascination with the paradoxical interplay between science and religion. These themes eventually formed the backdrop for his books.

He is a graduate of Amherst College and Phillips Exeter Academy, where he later returned to teach English before focusing his attention full time to writing.

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