Compiled by Isha Manchanda
Ebenezer Sunder Singh on Art
Photoink in Delhi has recently opened an exhibition, titled Illustration of Life and Flatlands, by Max Kandhola, a British photographer. In the Illustrations of Life section, I really admire the pictures he’s taken of his father who is just passing into death. The shots are powerful and there’s a sense of life moving from reality into illusion. It’s a very interesting show since very few people are capturing life in this way. In the other section, titled Flatlands, he’s photographed landscapes across Punjab. The project started as a search for the river Ravi and I found that very interesting. His work brings out a very interesting juxtaposition between the British way of looking at things and the Indian way. I recently attended the Video Wednesday show at Gallery Espace and loved Baptist Coelho’s work. It’s about a Burmese military chief in Delhi, standing at Mahatma Gandhi’s samadhi. He threw a flower and photographers kept asking him to throw it again. The video is edited in a very humourous way.
Singh is a Delhi-based video artist
I’m reading Night Train to Lisbon by Pascal Mercier. Revolving around a crusty, aging professor of Greek, Raimond ‘Mundus’ Gregorius, the book begins astonishingly with a nameless, rain-drenched woman writing a phone number on the professor’s forehead. Mesmerised by the woman, the professor leaves the familiar territory of Bern college, catches a night train and clatters headlong into the unknown. The story moves back and forth in time, weaving through a dead man’s diary and secrets hiden in the lanes of Lisbon. I’m hugely fascinated by characters who walk away from all things familiar and safe. Maybe, there is an element of envy. I’m reminded of a book by Anne Tyler called Ladder of Years where the protagonist, a middle aged home-maker walks away from her family on the beach in a similar fashion. Languages, words and their inadequacy are driven home hard by Night Train, and the book frequently leaves the reader in doubt about how much of life is real and how much a mirage. An exquisitely reflective book in an age full of fast-paced ones.
Basu is a writer and illusrator. She lives in Mumbai
‘The book leaves you in doubt about how much of life is real and how much a mirage’
Mazhar Kamran on Film
There’s a film called Through The Olive Trees by Abbas Kiarostami that I love. It’s about a filmmaker shooting a film in a small town. The director casts local people for his film and while they’re shooting, another story is unfolding between the lead actor and actress. The town is shy and conservative, making it very interesting to note how he portrays the shooting and what happens in the ‘real life’ romance. The end, again, is fantastic since by then even the director has given up on making the movie and real life has taken over. The film is very simple in its style, it works on a very human scale of filmmaking. Technically, the film’s simplicity stands out. The nuances he captures in images is cinema at its best.
Kamran is the director of photography for Jungle and Mohandas. He lives in Mumbai
Suraj Mani on Music
I’ve recently heard Junkyard Groove’s new album titled 11:11 Bootleg and I love the energies on the record. The band plays with a lot of irreverence and has some great songs on the album with tight production. Another album I’ve been listening to Eccentric Pendulum’s debut EP titled The Sculptor of Negative Emotions. They’re a good death-metal band based out of Bengaluru and the album has some great tracks on it. Another thing I’d recommend is Ex-Zero guitarist Warren Mendonsa’s BlackstartBlues. It’s a slightly older release, but I’ve heard it only recently and think it’s superb. The tones are beautiful and the compositions are very mature.
Mani is the lead vocalist for Motherjane, a rock band from Cochin
Paolo Nonino On Food
I like Zen at the Leela Palace in Bengaluru. To begin with, the walk to the retrobar is quite wonderful and puts you in a very relaxed mood. It serves Asian food, primarily Japanese. The food quality is great and so is the ambience and the service. I’m a huge sushi fan and Zen serve s fantastic sushi. I really like the décor of the place as well. Another Japanese place I love in Bengaluru is Harima. The Japanese cuisine here is authentic and I love the saki there.
Nonino is the chef at Via Milano, Bengaluru