Compiled by Nishita Jha
VASUNDHARA TIWARI ON ART
I recently saw Niti Jain’s work on display at the Triveni Kala Sangam. Her art is very abstract, so perhaps not everyone gets it — I loved the bold application of paint and vigour in her paintings. The subject is subsumed by the emotion of the paint itself. I really feel that her technique is well-honed and that she is a talent we should watch out for in the coming years. There is nothing mechanical or slapdash about the way she paints. I personally really responded to the freshness of her approach. My other personal favourite is the legendary FN Souza, whom I count amongst the masters of Indian art.
Tiwari is a Delhi-based artist
AMITABHA BAGCHI ON BOOKS
I just finished reading Makaan by Shrilal Shukla, in Hindi. It’s an inversion of Henry James’ theme of the decline of a great artist. Here the great artist is sitar player Narayan Banerjee whose life is reduced to hell because the municipality that employs him as an accountant cannot allot him a house. Shukla’s deep love of Indian classical music and his equally deep hatred of the fakeness of life in the shadow of bureaucracy colour this book. It does not have the same tone of humourous irony as his previous book Raag Darbari. It is dark and deeply satisfying. The other book I am in the middle of isThe Sound of the Mountain by Yasunari Kawabata. Another classic from a master whose fine understanding of human relationships is embedded in a sensibility that is, at its very basis, aesthetic, but no less moving or fundamental for it.
Bagchi is the Delhi-based author of the novel Above Average
PREM KOSHY ON FOOD
I’m not too big on ambience. When you go to eat the focus ought to be the food and all the lights and stuff is just gimmicks for me. Having said that, I’d recommend Shivaji Military Hotel for good, wholesome and inexpensive food in a simple, decent environment. They serve delicious biryani, liver-fry and ‘talai’ (head) mutton. Another hardcore food place is the Maratha Hotel, also in Bengaluru, Jayanagar. Their lamb chops and ragi mudhee will remind you of home and your mom’s kitchen. For continental food, I would recommend The Only Place on Museum Road — lovely steaks, American and continental food. Try the Chateau Briand Supreme. And finally for some nice salmon, go to the Japanese hotel Harima.
Koshy is the proprietor of Bengaluru restaurant Koshy’s
KAUSHIK GANGULY ON FILM
Dibakar Banerjee is doing a really good job — I really though that LSD was a very good film. I’m also looking forward to seeing The Japanese Wife by Aparna Sen. All these Kolkata directors are doing something really different — they are almost European, stylistically speaking and they’re not coming out of a corporate area. I really enjoy Anurag Kashyap’s films. I particularly loved Gulaal and Dev D. His style of filmmaking is very aggressive and his movies aren’t pretentious at all. He has the guts to make his own language and develop individual visual idioms. I love his unpredictablity. I wish I could make even one film like him!
Ganguly is a Bengali filmmaker and has directed the film Jackpot
CLARENCE GONSALVES ON MUSIC
I like A Fine Frenzy because of their electric twist to an eighties pop vibe. They have a really fresh sound, something I feel female artistes like Rihanna, Beyonce and Lady Gaga are also starting to adopt and experiment with. I’ve been listening to Sarah Maclachlan for a long time now — I love the celtic choir sound, it is peaceful and she creates some beautiful melodies. My favourite these days is Brazilian Girls. It combines lounge music with samba and bossa nova beats, perfect to bring a party vibe to a laid-back evening with friends.
Gonsalves is the guitarist for the Delhi-based band Them Clones