Compiled by Bhanu Priya Vyas & Shikha Samant
Sayan Surroy On Art
Manju Lamba is someone whose work has grown and matured in the past 10 years. Her paintings are usually a combination of spirituality and abstract art. My personal favourite is a painting named Synergy. It is a riot of colours depicting divinity. At the base of the painting is the lotus flower that is a symbol of god, in particular Vishnu. In the centre is a red circle with four-sided tree of life. Another interesting fact about this artist is that the pattern of her art changes with the seasons. In winters she paints bright colours, in summers she uses light pastel ones, and one can see shades of red during the monsoons.
Surroy is a Mumbai-based Photographer.
Siddhartha Gigoo On Books
Agha Shaid Ali’s The Veiled Suite collects poems from his anthologies like A Nostalgist’s Map of America, The Half-Inch Himalayas and The Country Without a Post Office. The poetry is not just lyrical or nostalgic, but political, reflecting the crisis of a Kashmir ridden with strife, conflict and paradoxes. Shahid speaks of love, pain and beauty like the Romantics did. The age of poetry is not over.
‘The poems talk of the Kashmir crisis, love and beauty as the Romantics did’
Gigoo is the Author of The Garden Of Solitude.
Sangeeta Gaur On Music
Pandit Jasraj and Pandit Channulal Mishra amalgamate folk and classical music to render a form that appeals even to people who have forgotten the significance of classical music. A favourite, Pandit Jasraj’s Karat Shringar Maiya Man Bhagwat is from a series of haveli sangeet, the kind of music sung in temples. Mishra belongs to the Banaras Gharana. I loved his series of renditions, Sohar, on the birth of Krishna.
Gaur is a Semi Classical Singer with Asmita Theatre.
Ankit Parashar On Film
Born Into Brothels is a documentary directed by Zana Briski and filmmaker Ross Kauffman. It revolves around the children of the prostitutes of Sonagachi, Kolkata’s red light area. Briski arrives in the city and starts photographing its prostitutes. She builds an emotional relationship with their children. She teaches them the art of photography so that they can improve their life. The director has kept it real by filming with the actual red light area children. The movie exposes the cruelty of a society that creates but cannot accept prostitutes.
Parashar is an Agra-based Filmmaker.
Siddharth Ahuja On Food
I am very impressed by the fresh sea food at Gajalee and Mahesh Lunch Home in Mumbai. The fish served, and hence the rest of the menu, changes from day to day as it is prepared from the daily catch. My favourites are crab with butter, pepper and garlic and chicken ghassi, a Mangalorean dish. Both the restaurants look deceptively simple and unsophisticated. One doesn’t expect to find something as exotic as karwari oysters cooked Indian style. The service is sound, friendly and attentive. The food is very reasonably priced at about Rs 600 per person, within which one can have a truly sumptuous meal.
Ahuja is the Executive Souschef at The Trident, Gurgaon.