Master takes


Compiled by Isha Manchanda

Swapan Parekh on Photo

Women in black A photograph by Sohrab Hura, of three generations of a family in
Madhya Pradesh

I’ve been following Sohrab Hura’s work for some time now and think he’s someone to watch out for. He’s just become the second Indian to be selected for the World Press Photo Masterclass. It’s a highly prestigious event to be invited to as there are only 12 photographers selected after an extremely stringent process. The selected photographers get to spend a week with the most renowned photographers — masters, as they are called — to discuss ideas, perspectives, works and much more. Having followed Sohrab’s work for a while now, I can see tremendous growth in his images. His earlier works are greatly influenced by the masters and are very classic. He is, however, beginning to find his own voice. As a result, his works are becoming more personal and intuitive. In short, I like the way he’s seeing the world.

Parekh is a Mumbai-based photographer



I read The Easter Parade by Richard Yates, the writer of Revolutionary Road, a few years back. It’s a story of two sisters and follows their lives and loves. The ultimate realist, Yates’ writings on personal disillusionment comment on a much larger social crisis. His writing style is easy and effortless. I’ve also recently read Ann Weisgarber’s debut novel, The Personal History of Rachel Dupree. The novel was shortlisted for the 2009 Orange Award for New Writing. Set in 1917, the book is about the black family of Isaac and Rachel Dupree, living on a ranch in the drought-stricken South Dakota badlands, told from the point of view of the pregnant Rachel Dupree. The first chapter of the novel is the most searing opening chapter I’ve ever read. In it, the husband and wife are trying to lure their youngest daughter into a well so she can fill buckets with the water at the bottom. Weisgarber’s knows how to tell a good story, without any tricks and frills. It’s a very moving and impressive first novel.

Weisgarber knows how to tell a good story, without any tricks and frills 

Debi is editor of Picador India, a New Delhi-based publishing house



The best thing that has happened recently is a restaurant called Five Rivers Empire in Maharaja Ranjit Singh’s palace in Amritsar. It’s one of those rare restaurants that serves two cuisines — Kashmiri and undivided Punjabi. It is truly unique, with a team of actual Kashmiri wazwan chefs. However, my all time favourite place to eat in India, is Mavalli Tiffin Rooms (MTR) in Bengaluru. It’s so clean you can eat off the floor! My joy in life is to discover new places to eat and I think Lucknow is the place for gilauti kebabs. It took me seven years to bring them out of Lucknow. I was also amazed to find out about the barkas patthar kebab from Hyderabad. Barkas comes from ‘barracks’ and the kebabs are actually cooked on stones.

Kalra is a food columnist, cookery writer, food consultant and the managing director of Bawarchi Toli. He lives in Delhi.



I recently saw The Reprise by Joachim Trier, a Norwegian director. It’s his first feature film and I was completely impressed by the attention to detail. The depth with which he has developed the characters is amazing. The movie has a cutting-edge story with a non-linear structure. It’s hip and stylish and full of very impressive visual trickery. Another movie I’ve seen recently and found great is Tropic Thunder. Directed by Ben Stiller, with actors like Jack Black and Robert Downey Jr, the movie is a complete laugh riot. I found it to be an extremely well done comedy.

Acharya is the director, producer and co-writer of Loins of Punjab. He lives in Mumbai


Live and kicking Delhi-based electronic
duo Midival Punditz with Karsh Kale

Shibani Kashyap on Music

I’ve been listening to the Police Reunion Concert a lot. It’s a great record that brings back the legendary band’s chart hits and fan favourites. I’ve also been listening to Niladri Kumar’s debut album titled Priority, released sometime last year. His fusion is innovative and fresh and I love the way the guitar has been used in the album. I would also like to recommend Hello Hello, the new Midival Punditz album. The sound on the album is a departure from their earlier heavy electronic sound — it’s fresh and experimental. The new sound has more live elements, thanks to collaboration with artists like Karsh Kale.

Kashyap is a Delhi-based singer


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