Master Takes

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Telling stories Anju Dodiya’s Cloud Hunter on display at a gallery in Kansas

Nancy Adajania On Art

Anju Dodiya‘s recent series of self-portraits, Necklace of Echoes at the Vadehra Art Gallery, deserves a special mention. As someone who has written on Dodiya’s art over the last decade, I was struck by the restrained quality of her present series, where she really allows the true theme of her work to emerge: the artist’s subjectivity, trapped by its own constructs, aching for release. The work that epitomises this suite, Finger Necklace, named after Angulimala, the tragic hero of the Buddhist parable, shares strong affinities with the transcendental perspectives of female mystics such as Akka Mahadevi and Joan of Arc. Over the years, having endured various challenges in her life, Dodiya is able to impart an inner strength to her persona of Angulimala, which allows her to go beyond ‘enacting’ the role of someone charged with spiritual agony and ecstasy, using a template taken from art history, literature or cinema. Instead, she now burns closer to the light of crisis.

Adajania is a cultural theorist and independent curator. She lives in Mumbai

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‘What stuck out about The Death of Bunny Munro was its fast pace and sharp writing’ Sarnath Banerjee

Sarnath Banerjee On Books

I just finished a book called The Death of Bunny Munro by Nick Cave, an Australian musician. What stuck out for me was the sharp writing accompanied by a fast-paced plot, almost as if the author himself was running while writing. Another book I enjoyed was Haruki Murakami’s What I Talk About When I Talk About Running. I like the fact that it is almost written in the form of a diary and has a certain positive feel to it. Also, the book stands out for me because I can relate to much of what the writer is talking about, such as his owning a jazz club and smoking 20 cigarettes a day while trying to quit.

Banerjee is a Delhi-based graphic novelist

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Roots time A still from For the Best and For the Onion

Sourav Sarangi On Film

A film I recently watched and liked was For the Best and For the Onion by Sani Elhadj Magori, the winner of the best documentary award at the African Movie Academy Awards 2009. The film set in Nigeria deals with the trade of onion farming from the perspective of the local farmers. It is so simply shot that one actually feels it to be at par with the community of the farmers it showcases. The shots are very natural and give you the true sense and feel of the place. Another film I found to be outstanding was Forgetting Dad by Rick Minnich. The style is observational and intimate and captures the multi-layered fabric of a family in a time of distress when one of the members has lost his memory.

Sarangi is a documentary maker and head of the Bengali channel Aakash Bangla

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Island music Bob Marley would have been 65 this year

Chintan Kalra On Music

Since Bob Marley’s birthday was on February 6, the entire past week we’ve just been tuning in to his Rasta sounds. My personal favourite is Redemption Song for its soulfulness. I love his music because it gets everyone hopping and skipping. It can rescue anyone from the plight of bad music or any kind of depression at all. Pink Floyd came along and grabbed us by the collars and got us hooked to their music back when we were in school. At the time we thought it was just a passing phase, but my admiration for them has only deepened with time. I made a pilgrimage all the way to Bengaluru to catch Roger Waters live in concert because he is the only musician I have ever idolised. He is a true rebel and poet.

Kalra is the bassist for the band Parikrama

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Varun Modgill On Food

My favourite would have to be the Japanese restaurantTanura in New Friends Colony, Delhi, because of its authentic Japanese cuisine. I grew up in Japan and I find not only the food but also the ambience and even the seating arrangement very authentic. Another restaurant I like is Zest, which has seven different kitchens that serve over seven different cuisines. Not only the food but the overall experience of the place makes it special. I also like Smokehouse at Vasant Kunj for its fantastic ambience and the fact that you can watch cricket matches there.

Modgill is the owner of Sushiya, a restaurant in Noida

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