Compiled by Nabilah Ibrahim
My first choice would be American sculptor Richard Serra, one of the eminent sculptors of our times. I admire him for his powerful use of material and larger-than-life sculptures. On the other hand, my admiration for Somnath Hore, one of India’s most respected sculptors, is no less. He was able to bring forth the pathos of the common man of his time most effectively with ease. His work has left a mark on me since I was a child. The exhibition of Anish Kapoor at the National Gallery of Modern Art in Delhi was worth the wait for all those who admire him for his abstract yet minimalistic sensibility depicted with the most astonishing material.
Iranna is a Delhi-based artist
I recently read Clouded Sky, a posthumous selection of Miklós Radnóti’s poetry. Radnóti is a Hungarian poet whose poems are lyrical and simple. I recommend Gao Xingjian’s Soul Mountain. This novel is about the author’s journey along the Yangtze river. My all-time favourite book is Red Poppies: A Novel of Tibet by Tibetan author Alai. The story is set in the borderlines between Tibet and central China before the advance of the People’s Liberation Army. I also enjoyed reading Mahmoud Darwish’s selected poems Unfortunately, It was Paradise. His poetry is strong as he writes about his real experience.
Nongkynrih is an author based in Shillong
I really admire Hrishikesh Mukherjee. In most of his films, he was able to convey strong social messages, keeping in mind the fact that the audience watches films to be entertained, not to be educated.Anand had an important message too: live life to the fullest until the last breath. It had great dialogues, soulful music and powerful performances by its lead actors —Amitabh Bachchan and Rajesh Khanna. The recently released Rann by Ram Gopal Varma had some great performances supported by an equally interesting script. The film shows brilliantly the reality of the Indian media that plays a major role in our lives today.
Thakur is a Delhi-based filmmaker
Nigerian musician Fela Anikulapo Kuti is impressive. What I like most is the funky influences he uses in his music. He is also a great saxophonist whose songs are charged with emotions and groovy rhythms. The lyrics, on the other hand, are politically engaging. To me, Nicolas Jaar is a real avantgardist. He is quite underrated, but the way he mixes house, funk and electronic sounds to create his own music is fabulous. Mulatu Astatke is amazing too. His music, a combination of jazz and African beats, is purely hypnotic and original.
Josso is a Mumbai-based DJ
In old Delhi, there is a restaurant called Al Jawahar that serves sumptuous seekh kebab. Their mutton korma and special lal roti are also delicious. I love Krishna Restaurant & Bar in Mumbai. They serve good seafood. Swati Snacks in Mumbai has good quality snacks. I am especially fond of their dosas. There is a good Goan restaurant called New Martin in Colaba in Mumbai. I love this place as it looks like a small café and has amazing Goan food. The biryani at theLeopold Café in Mumbai is delicious. I also recommend Caperberry in Bengaluru. They serve good quality European food and their grilled fish is outstanding.
Dean is a Delhi-based Chef