Compiled By Sharanya Deepak
Hari Adivarekar on Photo
Henri Cartier-Bresson is a French photographer whose work I really admire. Bresson captures the right moment with incredible geometry. He is a consummate photo-journalist, with an artist lurking inside, which is ideal. Sebastião Salgado, a true humanist photographer with an empathetic eye has produced a book called Workers, for which he travelled to melancholy environs of factories, farms, building yards, oil rigs and plantations all over the world. I also love Raghu Rai’s work. His photos of the Bhopal gas tragedy are highly emotive and leave an impact.
Adivarekar is a photographer based in Bengaluru
Easterine Iralu on Books
A novel I really enjoyed reading is Turkish writer Moris Farhi’s A Designated Man. The story of a brutal custom of revenge killings that was destroying a little island called Skender, it projects the misplaced ideas of honour. The women of the village become ‘designated men’ when their men are all killed. It is the choice of love over hatred that some people dare to make, that ultimately triumphs over the violence. A western novel close to Gandhian principles, it demonstrates that love is more powerful than animosity.
Iralu is a poet from Nagaland based in Norway
Kaizad Kotwal on Film
I loved two films by Pedro Almodovar — Talk To Her and All About My Mother. A film that I can watch repeatedly is Ang Lee‘s Brokeback Mountain. It is a masterpiece from its cinematography to its score. Heath Ledger as Ennis is one of the best performances ever given. For a young, straight actor to have played that role, with such nuances of sexual repression and heartbreaking homosexual longing, puts him in the leagues of Laurence Olivier and Marlon Brando. The editing and direction are brilliant. This is a film where less was truly more! It is adept in all areas of filmmaking.
Kotwal is a US-based director, producer and actor from Mumbai
Viraj Mohan on Music
I’ve gone back to the 1960s and have been listening to King Crimson. An album I love is In the Court of King Crimson. Their lead guitarist Robert Fripp in collaboration with various artists has started a project called The Human Experiment, which I recommend. Indian artists that I like are Midival Punditz and Jalebee Cartel. I believe that Tool is one of the best bands we have today and their music has really inspired me. A lot of our friends have also inspired me — Indigo Children and Joint Family are great bands.
Mohan is the Delhi-based guitarist for Another Vertigo Rush
Kuldeep Singh on Food
Udaipur has a restaurant called 15-59 AD, which is one of the few places in the country that serves the bird koel. It also has a fantastic bakery, so dessert is taken care of. Niros in Jaipur has been around for a while and has great food. There is a place called Gallops in Bikaner, in front of the fort. The atmosphere here is pleasant and the view of the fort is beautiful. The Orient Express at The Taj Palace in Delhi has excellent French food. Their presentation of the food is also brilliant. Another place I recommend for great food and a drink is On The Rocks in Jodhpur.
Singh is the owner of Cafe Spice Route in Jaipur