Compiled by Sharanya Deepak
I recently visited an exhibition titledEach Night Put Kashmir In Your Dreams at the Lalit Kala Academy. The exhibit by Nilima Sheikh consisted of her works over a period of eight years. What struck me about Sheikh’s work is the large sense of formal beauty. She brings out the issue with remarkable sensitivity. I also admire Mexican painter Frida Kahlo. Her work is intensely surreal and has always had a great impact on me. Amongst Indians, Nandalal Bose’s work is excellent. I am looking forward to the India Art Summit in January 2011, which is a confluence of artists from across the country. I highly recommend it..
Dar is a Delhi-based artistt
Recently, I read The Third Man: Life at the Heart of New Labour by Peter Mandelson. It is a vivid political memoir written by a man who was at the heart of the action. It tracks the story of how the Tony Blair-Gordon Brown alliance fell apart and Mandelson’s choreography of Brown’s final departure from 10 Downing Street with his wife and young boys by his side. The Country Formerly Known as Great Britain by Ian Jack is a collection of his writings from 1989-2009 and includes two articles on India — one on the Anglo-Indians of Mc- Cluskieganj and the other on Serampore and the Scottish connection. It is a great read.
Basu is a London-based writer
I love the film La Vie en Rose, literally meaning a life in pink. It revolves around the life of French singer Édith Piaf. The film is written and directed by Oliver Dahan, starring Marion Cotillard, whose performance merits attention. After watching the film, I fell in love with Piaf’s music and it instantly became one of my favourites. I have also been deeply inspired by Akira Kurosawa’s work. He is a master and has outdone himself in every film. Recently, I watched Rob Marshall’s Nine, starring Daniel Day Lewis. Based on Federico Fellini’s 8 1/2. The film is quite entertaining, not to mention interesting.
Talwar is a Mumbai-based filmmaker
Parachute XVI from Bengaluru are a psychedelic blues-rock band. Their production and recorded sound is really superior, taking into account the tight budget that Indian bands often depend on. The Pineapple Thief is a band whose technical dexterity is mind-blowing. Garaj Mahal is a four-piece band based in the United States, playing a fusion of jazz, rock and, interestingly, Indian music. A major inspiration has been Jonas Hellborg, a Swedish bass guitarist who is known for his stint with great musicians such as Shawn Lane and John McLaughlin.
Pai is the Kochi-based guitarist for Kaav
In Mumbai, I love visiting the Thai Pavilion. The green curry has an authentic flavour and is made exactly like it is in Thailand. The place has some excellent mocktails. When it comes to oriental cuisine, Royal China in Bandra has really outdone itself. I would recommend their Peking duck served with a plum sauce, and their custard dim sums besides various desserts. Chhote Nawabin Lucknow has good food. Here, all the dishes are made in a metal tandoor. As a result, the taste is just tantalising. Ayubs restaurant at Fort, Mumbai, has been around since I was studying and is a favourite among students.
Azmi is a Mumbai-based hotelier and the owner of Café Basilico