Ella Datta on Art
Ganesh Pyne, who died earlier this year, was always haunted by the sense of loss and negation brought about by death. He expressed this inexorable reality of life through many beautiful visual metaphors. One of my favourites has been a tempera, The Black Moon. It shows a beautiful deer with its head turned under a deep-toned blue night sky lit by a black velvety moon. The creature, aware of its own mortality, stands quivering, savouring that precarious moment between life and death. With its evocations of romanticism as well as the finality of life, this is one of the most outstanding images of our times.
Datta is an Art Critic and Writer
Aniruddha Sengupta on Books
Kurt Vonnegut exhilarates me with the way he serves up what you might already know, but in a form that dramatically changes your experience and understanding of it. In Breakfast of Champions, he also bends the rules as far as defining who the author is and who the character, an avenue I too would love to wander down one day.
Sengupta is a Goa-based Author
Allan Ao on Music
Nine Inch Nails recently released their much anticipated album, Hesitation Marks, after a five-year hiatus. The songs can be best described as minimalist and skeletal — clicks, pops, rhythmic complexities and ambient textures replace the usual high adrenaline rage that one has come to associate with the band. There’s this ‘hesitant’ control which creates a sinister and simmering tension that never erupts. And that is exactly why it’s playing on loop on my music player.
Ao is a member of the Kolkata-based band Fossils
[/box]Tenzing Sonam on Film
Brazilian cinema has periodically thrown up unexpected gems. The latest is Kleber Mendonça Filho’s first feature, Neighbouring Sounds. This brilliant film sucks you in right from its unexpected opening sequence and doesn’t spit you out until the final credits. It takes you on a dizzying journey through Brazil’s colonial past, its ongoing class relations, and its headlong rush into a soulless future, heralded by spanking new apartment buildings that simultaneously shut out the real world and imprison its privileged residents.
Sonam is Co-founder of the Dharamshala International Film festival
Vivita Relan on Food
Carnatic Cafe in Delhi looks like a trussed-up canteen: an impeccably clean and efficient space, with restrain in decor and branding that belies its superlative cuisine. My carnivorous longings are quelled quite capably despite the all-vegetarian menu. I go back for their Mahabaleshwar 18th Cross dosa; it’s deliciously zingy with spicy overtones. The rava idlis are moreish clouds of texture and flavour. When I’m feeling particularly evil, I order the ghee dosa, spread so delicate and crispy that I am deluded into believing I’m eating merely flavoured air.
Relan is Co-owner of the Potbelly Rooftop Cafe and The Mad Teapot, New Delhi