Compiled by Naina Manjrekar & Neel Sood
Vibha Galhotra On Art
An international favourite is William Kentridge. He displays his work in the theatre form and creates a visual narrative that is aesthetically, politically and culturally balanced. His use of music creates a vibration that awakens one to the pull of the imagination. In the contemporary Indian art scene, Chromatophobia, by LN Tallur, struck me as unique. Tallur puts on a fantastic show with all the right ingredients necessary to cook up some food for thought. There is much to observe in his work — physically, conceptually and aesthetically. History, culture, society are all expressed and made tangible.
Galhotra is a Delhi-based artist
Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak on Books
Padma Desai’s Breaking Out: An Indian Woman’s American Journey is a sober yet deeply felt account of a brilliant mofussil girl born in the 1930s, who becomes a successful Sovietologist at a prestigious US university. We have come to expect a culturalist narcissism out of such books, but this has no trace of it. It shines with relentless honesty.
‘A relentlessy honest account about a brilliant mofussil girl’s journey to a US university’
Spivak is the author of Can the subaltern speak?
Raxit Tiwari on Music
Joy Division’s music did a lot of things that continue to excite. I keep going back to their two albums for various reasons. Sometimes, it is the space that beautifully captures their minimal, punk-inspired energies; sometimes, their open ended songwriting that finds its own legs as it progresses. Sometimes it is their relevance and impact on bands all over the world today. The English rockers, with the album Unknown Pleasures, laid the foundation for the post-punk sound.
Tiwari is the drummer with the Mumbai-based band Sky Rabbit
Sohaila Kapur on Film
2001: A Space Odyssey is a 1968 sci-fi film directed by Stanley Kubrick. Based on a short story by Arthur C Clarke, it deals with human evolution through encounters between humans and mysterious black monoliths, on a voyage to Jupiter. The film is a fascinating mix of surrealism and science. Highly imaginative and aesthetic, it teases the concept of time and the relationship between science and spirituality. A provocative film, it is much ahead of its time, without a parallel even today, despite the cinematic technology.
Kapur is a Delhi-based filmmaker and actress
Manisha Bhasin On Food
Bukhara, based in New Delhi, is famous for the quality of its North West Frontier cuisine. Highly popular with tourists and travellers the world over, it is the destination for heads of state, film stars and pop singers. The view of the kitchen, with busy chefs cooking up a storm, adds to the warmth of the restaurant. It brings rustic flavours alive in traditional clay tandoor ovens. This style of cooking requires great expertise on the part of the chefs, as the meat is only marinated and cooked before serving, not accompanied by any sauce. I strongly recommend dal bukhara and the raan.
Bhasin is the senior executive chef at ITC Maurya, New Delhi