Compiled by Naina Manjrekar
Ronny Sen on art
Photography, in general, is very saturated, repetitive and limited. Honesty, intense intimacy and strange relationships excite me. I have been in love with many photographers, but someone who takes me to a different level altogether is Antoine D’Agata. His work makes me vulnerable and naked. I see a lot of me in his photographs, fear is what I feel at times. It gives me a certain trip — cold, emotionless and numb, something like heroin. He documents the disease of the soul. Looking at his work, I am often confronted by my own spiritual bankruptcy.
Sen is a Kolkata-based photographer
Pothik Ghosh on books
Islams and Modernities by Aziz Al-Azmeh is a collection of essays mostly written before 9/11 and a few written since. It explores both the Westernised liberal understanding of Islam as well as the one posited by political Islamists. Debunking the interpretation of Islam as pre-modern, the author instead attempts to understand it as a modern form of political and economic assertion.
‘Al-Azmeh explores Islam as a form of political and economic assertion’
Ghosh is the author of insurgent metaphors
Arooj Aftab on music
Fat Freddy’s Drop, a New Zealand-based band, sounds really basic even though it is layered with subtle work. The horn lines have great harmony. Some parts sound independent from the song but their transitions are well thought out. The vocalist is unique in his delivery. His lyrics are profound, almost sufilike.
Aftab is a US-based Pakistani sufi singer
Shonali Bose on Film
A film I absolutely love is Icíar Bollaín’s Even the Rain. A film crew arrives in Cochabamba, Bolivia, to make a film about the atrocities Christopher Columbus committed against the indigenous people. The locals are engaged in a real-life battle against Bechtel Corporation and the privatisation of water (where even rainwater was taxed). What I love is how deftly it deals with a political issue and makes it cinematic, moving, entertaining and utterly engaging. This is the kind of cinema that inspires me and reaffirms why I became a filmmaker myself.
Bose is a Canada-based filmmaker and director of AMU
Ramesh Sharma on food
Veda is currently one of the best destinations for contemporary Indian cuisine. It brings old Indian flavours with a modern touch and style. This restaurant, based in Connaught Place, is also distinguished by its ambience and presentation of food. My favourites on the menu are the Okra preparation in the main course and the kebabs, particularly Baluchi and murg malai. I would also recommend that one visit Ziya, an Indian restaurant in London owned by chef Vineet Bhatia, to get a taste of authentic Indian food done up the authentic Indian way.
Sharma is executive chef at Punjabi by nature in Delhi