Compiled by Nabilah Ibrahim
Anjolie Ela Menon is one of the finest Indian artists. She is inspiring in the sense that she works with various forms — like sculpture, installations and drawings. But she is really good at painting, especially with oil and watercolours. Menon also has a special way of portraying the world around her, which makes her productions expressive. I also like Vishwajeet Naik’s works. He deals with photography and painting in a specific style, focussing on flora and fauna. Personally, I enjoy his photographic work more. His perceptions of nature are strong, and the story-lines he writes to describe them add colour to his works.
Verma is a Delhi-based artist
I enjoyed reading Patti Smith’s Just Kids. It is a memoir of her life with photographer Robert Mapplethorpe, which reminded me of why friendship arcs over any love affair. Smith portrays the New York artistic circle of the seventies and describes the fantastic relationship she had with Mapplethorpe. The novel is beautifully written, flaring with memory, anguished and hopeful. My all-time favourite book is Toni Morrison’s Beloved— about former slaves trying to reconstruct their lives, but being haunted by a revenant named Beloved. The book speaks boldly of love, and is remarkable for its singular vision and ghostly light.
‘The book is remarkable for its singular vision and ghostly light’
Shanghvi is a Mumbai-based writer
My all-time favourite film is Citizen Kane by Orson Welles. The story is purely thrilling. It is about the investigations led by news reporters on the death of Kane, a wealthy man living alone. I loved every shot of the film. I admire Shyam Benegal as a filmmaker. He can be considered the father of the Indian parallel cinema. He has made numerous films that have truly depicted the harsh realities of Indian society. I particularly enjoyed watching Samar, a film that criticises the caste system, focussing on Bundelkhand. The story was moving, thanks to its engagement with the issue and had touching characters.
Kumar is a Delhi-based filmmaker
I really love the Canadian punk band Propagandhi, especially their album Today’s Empires, Tomorrow’s Ashes. Their music with metal influences is special, as well as their lyrics, which are subtly intelligent and tainted with anarchist ideas. Drive-By Truckers, a band from Alabama, US, is also one of my favourites. They make an excellent mix between southern American country music, rock and blues. They also tell stories through their songs. Their guitarists have different styles, but each manage to stand out.
Guinard is the bassist of the Delhi-based band The Ska Vengers
I enjoyed eating out at The China Kitchen, a Chinese restaurant at the Hyatt Regency in New Delhi. Their peking duck is mouth-watering, but one has to order them way in advance since the preparation takes a long time. The ambience is pleasant and the good service only adds to the joys of dining here. I also love a small restaurant in old Delhi called Moinuddin. The place is named after a chef who is believed to have developed the recipe for a special kebab. The restaurant has been around for about 40 years, and they are famous for their excellent kebabs, which is served with green chutney and onions.
Rekhi is the owner of Fu, a Chinese restaurant in Delhi