Master Takes

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Compiled by Naina Manjrekar

Horse power An artwork by Devi Prasad
Horse power An artwork by Devi Prasad

Dhruva Mistry on Art
Devi Prasad was not only a Gandhian artist-craftsman but also a peace activist and pacifist. His nationalist ideals were evident in his contribution as a pioneering studio potter, painter, designer, photographer and art educator. His book War is a Crime Against Humanity: The Story of the War Resisters’ International highlights the history of this group formed after World War I. His ceramics remain functional and affordable, imbibing the beauty of local flora and fauna. His works reflect his belief in people and their environment..

Mistry is an artist based in Vadodara

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Avirook Sen on Books 
NS Madhavan’s Litanies of Dutch Battery, is an epic, and it deserves to be read right away. Set in coastal Kerala — part historical, part mythological and wholly political — it was written in Malayalam. If it has suffered in translation, then I shudder to think how good the original must be. All you have to do, is say “Amma, story”, as the protagonist does, and sleep will not come.

‘The story is set in Kerala — part historical, part mythological and wholly political’

Sen is a Delhi-based freelance journalist and author

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Eccentric charms American composer Danny ElfmanMike Mccleary on Music
Besides being hugely prolific, Danny Elfman is one of the most distinctive, yet diverse composers of contemporary film music. Elfman is influenced heavily by the great Russian composers like Stravinsky and Tchaikovsky. I have always admired Elfman’s ability to create music that is eccentric and at the same time infectious.

Mccleary is a Mumbai-based musician

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Notes from life A still from The Tree of Life
Notes from life A still from The Tree of Life

Rahul Bose on Film 
Terrence Malick’s The Tree of Life is meditative, elliptical, yet, not lacking in emotional truth. Malick’s work will always contain a mix of density and grace, but with The Tree of Life, he states that upfront. The film is beautifully photographed, has hypnotic performances from a cast that doesn’t speak more than 50 words and music that takes you, quite literally, into another world. Do we need more Malicks? Probably not. But every art form should have at least one. To paraphrase a beer ad, his films quench a thirst other films don’t

Bose is an actor, director and activist based in Mumbai

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Venkatesh Bhatt on food 
My choice for a special evening out would be Toscana, the authentic Italian bistro in Bengaluru. The place serves the best Italian food in the city. The diners can also choose from an extensive list of house wines from Italy served under their own brand name. The place is run by chef Goutham Balakrishnan who is also one of the few people in the business who takes time off to tour the world to explore and discover new cuisines. Toscana is also an extremely stylish restaurant and the food is excellent.

Bhatt is the founder of bon South and South Indies restaurants, Bengaluru

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