Master Takes

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Compiled By Nergish Sunavala

Ritesh Meshram and Nekshan Dabu are two young, Mumbai-based artists who seem to be getting it right. Meshram’s clever concepts and diverse use of material caught my attention. Dabu’s installations include sculpture, photos and videos with sound. In one of her exhibits, she has used a cow’s skull, which is repulsive yet intriguing. On the other hand, Delhi-based artist Priyanka Choudhary is making a mark using organic as well as inorganic materials. She doesn’t paint on her canvas, but cuts, pierces and punctures it to create works of art that are unique.

Maskara is the Curatorial Director of Gallery Maskara in Mumbai

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Recently, I read Karen Armstrong’s Holy War: The Crusades and Their Impact on Today’s World. Excellently researched, the book looks objectively at Islam, Judaism and Christianity. Armstrong is a writer with a strong vision. She was a nun and has friends and relatives who are Jews and Muslims. That explains the insight she has on the subject. Another interesting read is Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West by Gregory Maguire. It portrays the Wicked Witch as a victim of racism, being persecuted because of her skin colour. The book reveals the dark underbelly of the magical land of Oz.

Sarma is an Assam-based author

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Directed by Italian filmmaker Gillo Pontecorvo, The Battle of Algiers is one of my favourite films. Despite its fictional plot, the film has been shot like a documentary. Thanks to this, the actors seem to be real people facing real problems. Some scenes look unplanned but they have been carefully orchestrated. Roman Polanski’s The Ghost Writer is a great contemporary film. It manages to keep the audience intrigued thanks to its minimal music, and restrained acting. In the Loop, directed by Armando Iannucci, is a wonderful satire on war plans hatched by American and British military officials.

Unniraman is a Delhi-based documentary filmmaker

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I have been listening to progressive rock and my vote goes to Porcupine Tree’s Deadwing. Like most progressive rock, it is eclectic and challenges the listener. Avial, on the contrary, is a great rock band who sing in English as well as Malayalam. Only a few rock bands have been able to produce such great music in a regional language. There is an intensity in their music and the lyrics are poetic. I also recommend Dirt, an album by Alice in Chains. They have taken the grunge genre to a more progressive level and their songs have a manic-depressive eerie sound.

Menon is the Bengaluru-based guitarist for Galeej Gurus

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One of my favourite restaurants is Shree Thakker Bhojanalay at Kalbadevi, Mumbai. It has been attracting Gujaratis across the city, thanks to its Gujarati thali. Despite serving only vegetarian food, the restaurant has struck the right chord with Mumbaikars. Another favourite is Royal China in Mumbai, one of the few Chinese restaurants to serve authentic dim sum. Jai Hind in Lower Parel, Mumbai, serves delectable prawn pulao and steamed pomfret. One must also try mutton sukha at Excellensea in Fort, Mumbai. While most foodies swear by its fish gassi, I recommend their chicken gassi.

Pabaney is a Mumbai-based chef de cuisine at Indigo

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