Compiled by CS Bhagya
Amit Mehra On Art
Mansi Midha is an up-and-coming documentary photographer. In a digital age, when every second person on the street is toting a DSLR, claiming photographical skills, Midha pursues photography with the dedication and seriousness a discipline requires. Even though she has an effortless and natural style, every picture is the product of careful research and part of sparingly chosen assignments. That attention to detail is visible in her frames. She has worked extensively with children, for the cause of children’s rights with Delhi-based NGOs. Her body of work has also documented the lives of construction workers’ children in Mumbai.
Mehra is a Delhi-based photographer
Amit Varma On Books
In Abandon the Old in Tokyo, Yoshihiro Tatsumi’s manga set in 1960s’ Japan, a character remembers how, as a boy, he saw a couple fornicating: “I couldn’t get over how ugly and savage humans could be.” The ugliness runs through all of Tatsumi’s works, with lonely, desperate protagonists who are misfits in their worlds. His art and language are sparse, understated yet evocative.
‘Tatsumi’s N Without a word A still from Aakrosh evocative manga deals with the ugliness and savagery of humans’
Varma is a novelist and a poker player
Gaurav Vaz On Music
Bengaluru-based Lagori makes interesting music in the Hindi-Sufi rock genre. It isn’t often that you find bands from south India singing in Hindi and doing it well. Although they attempt complex arrangements, people still enjoy singing along to their songs. Powerful live performers, they have a wonderful knack for getting the crowd fully involved. My favourite song is Saiyyan. It is stripped down, acoustic, and sets a fantastic mood.
Vaz is the bassist for the Raghu Dixit project
Ritesh Sharma On Film
Govind Nihalani’s 1980 film Aakrosh depicts the struggles of Lahanya Bhiku, a daily wage labourer from an oppressed tribe, whose wife is raped by his foreman. His helplessness in the face of this heinous crime is palpable. The tragedy lies in his choice to not seek help, as he knows his pleas will fall on deaf ears. But it eats him up inside. Om Puri’s stellar performance and Nihalani’s brilliant direction make it a fearless chronicle of a society in stasis and one man’s battle against an indifferent world.
Sharma is a Delhi-based documentary filmmaker
AD Singh On Food
Chez Nini in Delhi puts together all the elements needed to create a small joint with high standards — it’s a casual bistro, has a lively atmosphere and food is always made with passion. Their menu, worded fancily in French, is quite extensive. As a personal touch, the owner stays on the dining floor to oversee the proceedings. The cuisine is mainly Canadian and European. Don’t forget to try their desserts after your meal — they are outstanding. Pick from the red velvet cupcakes, or chocolate caramel tart, or the seasonal fruit cheesecake to keep light in summers. Reasonably priced, Chez Nini is the place to be.
Singh is a Delhi-based restaurateur