Master Takes

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Compiled by Naina Manjrekar

Buddha to the rescue
Buddha to the rescue An artwork by Sanjay Kumar

Shyam Sharma on Art
I would recommend the work of artist Sanjay Kumar, originally from Bihar and currently based in Mumbai. Kumar has worked extensively with the image of Lord Buddha. This ancient figure has cropped up in Indian art for 2,000 years. Kumar invests it with new thought and conceptualisation in step with the modern condition. The artist’s finesse lies in his ability to introduce new visual dimensions, working mostly in black and white, or using dry colours. He invests Buddha’s image with ‘tantric’ elements by adorning him with various ornaments.

Sharma Is A Visual Artist Based In Patna

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CS Lakshmi on Books 
I picked up Sandra Kalniete’s With Dance Shoes in Siberian Snows by chance. The book’s title and Latvian background made me curious. It is the untold story of Kalniete’s nation occupied by the Soviet Union, whose people were deported to work camps in Siberia. Being Siberian-born, she reconstructs her people’s history, to find Latvia kept alive through language, songs and memories.

‘Latvia’s history is reconstructed through language, songs and memories’

Lakshmi Is A Tamil Feminist Writer

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Electric knight American guitarist Misha MansoorKeshav Dhar on Music
One of my all-time favourite musicians is Misha Mansoor of the American metal band Periphery. His style of songwriting and arrangements has had a profound impact on how I listen to music itself. Three elements come to mind when describing his sound — a powerful melodic hook one can sing along to, an ever- present rhythmic groove and the use of dissonance to create interesting melodies and sound effects

Electric knight American guitarist Misha Mansoor

Dhar Is A Metal Guitarist Based In Delhi

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Rent a womb A still from Made in India
A still from Made in India

Shazia Ilmi on Film 
Made in India, directed by Rebecca Haimowitz and Vaishali Sinha, documents the nexus between international agencies offering options of surrogate child birth to couples, particularly in the US. It follows an American couple’s arrival in India and their hiring a poor Muslim woman from Mumbai to give birth to their child. In the process, it investigates debates around adoption-versus-surrogacy through the prism of class, developments in science, the relationship between rich countries like the US and not-so-rich ones like India, or more precisely, the rich in whatever country and the poor.

Ilmi Is A Delhi-Based Filmmaker

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Prashant Mehta Rawat on food 
The Italian restaurant “it” at The Grand, New Delhi, has some of the best pizzas I’ve had. Their Italian chef,Alfonso Lomonanco, ensures the food tastes authentic. My favour ite is the calzone, which goes great with their selection of Italian wines. The live kitchen and oven add visually to the whole experience. Modelled after an Italian brasserie, “it” also has an al fresco dining area in the garden. The best part is the affordability. Foodies can visit frequently, despite it being a five-star hotel.

Mehta Is The Assistant Food And Beverage Manager At The Leela Kempinski, Gurgaon

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