Kavita Singh on Art
Shahnameh, The Epic of the Persian Kings, with illustration and graphic design by Hamid Rahmanian and the English text by Ahmad Sadri, is a rip-roaring retelling of the Shahnama — the classic epic of Iran. The luscious illustrations turn the graphic novel into a treasure. Rahmanian is a filmmaker and graphic designer who has photoshopped incredibly complex digital collages out of Mughal and Persian paintings to make entirely new images of hallucinatory beauty. The book is one of the best examples I know of a contemporary interpretation of the language of traditional miniature painting.
Singh is a Delhi-Based Professor of Art history
Tharun James Jimani on Books
Junot Diaz’s The Brief and Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao is as dark as it is funny. It is somewhat a rhetorical narration of a family from the Dominican Republic and their vision of the American Dream. Through long footnotes the book blends fiction with history in an astonishing way. Diaz breaks stereotypes and presents a delightful coming-of-age plot. The power of this book lies in it’s telling more than the story.
Jimani is the author of Cough Syrup Surrealism
Shiv Ahuja on Music
Anindo Bose, most popularly known as the keyboardist for Advaita, is one of the finest arrangers and producers in the scene. For a new project called Shadow and Light, Anindo has teamed up with vocalist Pavithra Chari. The sound is very contemporary, without unnecessary clutter and has some very interesting grooves and melodic piano. They are all set to release an album soon, but give them a listen on SoundCloud to hear for yourself. This is music with no pretensions, no ego.
Ahuja is a Delhi-based music photographer and keyboardist
Rupleena Bose on Film
Turkish filmmaker Nuri Bilge Ceylan is one of the most important philosophical filmmakers of our times. His movie Three Monkeys, for which he was named Best Director at Cannes 2008, is visually stunning, poetic and poignant. Its story of class struggle in Turkey is relevant all over the world, especially India. In a hit-and-run case a rich man kills a poor man in the dead of the night. He makes his chauffeur take the blame, promising him money and his family’s safety. Thus follows a story of exploitation, injustice, and helplessness in the face of class differences.
Bose is a Delhi-based scriptwriter with Overdose Films
Vatsala Jain on Food
Flip Bistro, New Delhi, is one of the yummiest Italian restaurants around. I tried the wood fired roasted vegetable sandwich (the pesto is brilliant), arrabiata pasta, the pasta in a creamy sauce with mushrooms and sun dried tomatoes. However, the best thing on their menus are the pizzas. They have managed to bake wonderfully thin crusts without making them rock hard, and with the most wonderful combination of toppings. The desserts menu, however didn’t appeal to me much. But I would still say that except the drinks, not one thing on their menu has disappointed me so far.
Jain is a Delhi-based cake artist who owns Baked Love