Mastertakes

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Shikha Poddar on Art

A contemporary Indian artist and teacher at the Triveni Kala Sangam in New Delhi, Shobha Broota, who hails from a family of renowned artists, is a genius with extremely minimalist, abstract paintings. Her paintings are serene, almost meditative in their effect on the viewer. She works with various mediums — cloth, wool and iron mesh. Though all her works are commendable, one of my favourites is an oil-oncanvas painting in red. The patterns are created in such a way that if looked at from a distance they seem to move and communicate with you. It is a pleasure to sit in front of it and converse with it.

Poddar is an art curator at Kolors Art, New Delhi

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Ramachandra Guha on Books

M Krishnan was India’s greatest naturalist, a superb prose stylist and an accomplished photographer. In his Of Birds and Birdsong, the behaviour of bird species both common and obscure is recorded with precision and conveyed with elegance. The words are sparkling; the illustrations are charming, the allusions varied, from medieval and modern English literature to our own epic and folk traditions.

Guha is the author of india after gandhi

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Pranai Gurung  on music

Kurt Rosenwinkel, an American jazz guitarist and keyboardist, is known for his distinct style and improvisation. His work Zhivago from Kurt Rosenwinkel & OJM: Our Secret World was performed with an 18-piece band. His compositions give a sense of modernity and contemporary culture to jazz. Rosenwinkel’s voice is strong, shaping a new era of jazz guitar. His single note lines are refreshing as is his command over his voice, particularly in his improvisations.

Gurung is a delhi-based musician

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imgArvind K on Film

Shekhar Kapur’s film Bandit Queen (1994) is based on the life of Phoolan Devi, starring Seema Biswas as the titular character. The movie was shot entirely in Chambal and has excellent cinematography by the late Ashok Mehta, who captured the beauty of the place. His talent lies in his mastery over soft lighting. The movie was shot in difficult circumstances and the bold cinematography brought characters to life. The performances, especially of Biswas and Nirmal Pandey as the dakus in Chambal are truly brilliant.

Arvind is the cinematographer of dil dosti etc 

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Narendra Mendan on Food

Park Balluchi, situated near Hauz Khas village, New Delhi, serves both north Indian and Mughlai cuisine. It is an open restaurant inside Deer Park with good food and a decent range of alcohol to wash down the heavy servings. The place is especially popular for its range of kebabs. My favourite dishes are shahi paneer, kebab of cheese and vegetables, murg potli. The place has light music and friendly environment catering to Indians as well as foreigners. The efficient service, hearty fare and a dramatic setting is enough to attract many guests.

Mendan is the restaurant manager of Naivedyam, New Delhi

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