Master Takes


Compiled by Arjun Khurana

Life in technicolour An artwork by Raghubir Singh
Life in technicolour An artwork by Raghubir Singh

Sanjay Austa On Art
Even with the advent of colour photography in the 1970s, every photographer who wanted to be called an artist, stuck to black and white; a trend that still persists. Not Raghubir Singh, one of the most influential Indian photographers. He shot in colour right through his career, capturing the complexity of life in India, in 14 well received books. He proved that it is more difficult to tell a story in colour, distracting as it is , compared to the starkness of black and white. His pictures don’t isolate single events; they pack in layers of drama, arranging the commotion, and the disorder into neat visual narratives.

Austa Is A Delhi-Based Photojournalist


Ashwin Sanghi On Books
Creative companies have centralised bathrooms and the colour blue doubles creativity. These are priceless gems in Jonah Lehrer’s Imagine: How Creativity Works, a bible on the science of creativity. Filled with tantalising morsels — Bob Dylan’s writing routine and Pixar’s creativity-boosting office design — it shows that our hardwiring allows creative insight to happen after we’ve stopped looking. And that failure is a critical element in the process.

‘Failure is a critical element in the process of creativity’

Sanghi Is The Author Of Chanakya’s Chant


Visual artists Maynard James from Tool
Visual artists Maynard James from Tool

Sarthak Joshi On Music
Tool is an American progressive band whose music transcends genres. Complex time signatures, experimental sounds and abstract, almost spiritual lyrics are their staples. Their sound is rhythm based, emphasising the overall feel of a song. The members personally design visual art aspects of their albums and live shows. They have often been called “the thinking person’s metal band”. One album I particularly recommend is Lateralus (2001). It will blow your mind.

Joshi Is The Lead Guitarist Of Inside The Spiral



Painting?  A still from Looking for Richard
Painting? A still from Looking for Richard

Lakshit Joshi on Film 
Al Pacino describes the first documentary he directed, wrote and produced, as a painting. Looking for Richard deconstructs, demystifies and indeed paints Shakespeare’s language for us to read in all its black magic. He talks to people on New York’s streets, representatives of a generation of ears and eyes trained by LOLs and OMGs to shut off as soon as we hear words with their full flavour. He shows actors rehearsing and questions academics, to bring to life Richard III, a play of 400 years of living.

Joshi Is A Mumbai-Based Screenwriter


Sid Khullar On Food
I quite like Empress of China at the Eros Hotel New Delhi, managed by Hilton. Chef Thomas Wee has recently developed a very interesting new menu as yet unreleased to diners. I attended a food tasting featuring items from the new menu and found them to be a blend of traditional Chinese flavours combined with new age food presentations. The food, along with an airy ambience make it a go-to destination for a relaxed lunch. I suggest trying the pan fried vegetable dumplings, drunken chicken, crispy aubergine and okra with spicy brown garlic and the barbecue peking duck.

Khullar is a food writer and the editor at


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