Compiled by Reshma MR
Vasundhara Tewari On Art
At the 11th Havana Biennial, a citywide exhibition in Cuba, I really enjoyed the works of Ai Wei Wei (Forever Bicycles) and Olafur Eliasson (The Blue Double Kaleidoscope). TV Santhosh’s A Room To Pray also caught my eye. Highly dramatic; it is all red, white and surrounded by neon lights. There is a story running through it all the time. On three sides its frame is made of white fibre glass. It has grim walls made of bone. It is a room that talks about all the negative aspects of our lives. The moving letters create an electric atmosphere. Traumatic yet riveting it tells the story of the loss of humanity in contemporary India.
Tewari is a Delhi-based artist
Mithila Mehta On Books
The seemingly innocent love story Like Water for Chocolate by Laura Esquival, has been written as a recipe book, one for each month of the year. It centres on the onset of Mexican feminism – the female characters effortlessly destroy popular stereotypes. Multiple layers of symbolism add depth to the narrative. Elements of magical realism add a fairytale-like aura to the story. The book gives an interesting perspective of the life and times of Mexico.
‘Tatsumi’s NWithout a word A still from Aakrosh evocative manga deals with the ugliness and savagery of humans’
Mehta Co-Authored Cutting Chai and Maska Pao
Amit Heri On Music
Pat Metheny is one of the best jazz guitarists and composers in the world. His album, Secret Story, released in 1992, is one of his finest works. It mixes jazz, world music, tribal and South American elements, all without lyrics. It has great orchestral sounds from collaborating with the London Symphony Orchestra. Subliminal performances by the Pat Metheny Group on supremely crafted compositions.
Heri is a Bengaluru-based Jazz musician
Saba Dewan On Film
RV Ramani’s autobiographical film My Camera and Tsunamidocuments December 2005, when Ramani lost his camera in the tsunami on a Chennai beach. The film is a metaphor for a point from where one looks back at all that is lost, in Ramani’s case his past footage. Time is scrutinised. The documentary format’s preoccupation with the immediate present is questioned. Deeply philosophical. Its beauty lies in its multiple interpretations. Complex, yet deceptively simple, different audiences take away different things from it.
Dewan is a Delhi-based filmmaker
Pushpesh Pant On Food
I enjoy the Turkish menu at Eau De Monsoon, Le Meridien, Delhi. Try the patlican basti — eggplant cooked with tomato, garlic and onion; hungkar begendi — roast lamb with eggplant mash; and sekerpare with mascarpon and raspberry coulis. Their avant garde Indian menu designed by a Bangladeshi chef from London, blends inter-regional fusion with the western palate. It may be an indication of how our cuisine could evolve. I liked the king prawns infused with kaffir lime and pineapple, the jalebi caramellita gelato and chocolate thandai.
Pant is a Professor of Diplomatic Studies, JNU, and a Cookbook Author