Mastertakes

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Lighting spaces A photograph of a factory from Dayanita Singh’s Blue Book

GIGI SCARIA ON ART

I was really impressed by Dayanita Singh’s Blue Book at Nature Morte. The photographs were about abandoned structures, factory places in suburbs. The interesting thing about the show was that the places had no stated identities. The shots could be in any industrial backyard in any country, there’s not even a clue. Another thing I loved about the show was the lighting in the pictures. The photographs all look like they’ve been shot at dawn or dusk which lends an interesting tone to the pictures. The visuals themselves look rather crude but the light makes them aesthetically appealing. I’ve also just seen Chintan Upadhyay’s works at Sakshi Gallery. In one of the works, four or five babies — boys of different sizes — stand in a line, covered in mud in increasing proportions. It threads a certain visual narrative, which is unusual given Chintan’s earlier works. Both the artists and their works are extremely intriguing and engaging.

Scaria is a Delhi-based artist

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NAMITA GOKHALE ON BOOKS

There are two books I’ve recently read that have left me impressed. Incidentally, both the books are set in Africa. One is Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese and the other is Half of a Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. While Cutting for Stone is about the trials of a medical family caught up in the turmoil in Ethiopia, Half of A Yellow Sun follows the lives of three characters over a decade of social and political unrest in Nigeria. Abraham Verghese is a writer I admire and I have a passion for reading about medicine. Both these books are set against the backdrop of trauma and conflict. Both have enormous compassion and intellect and are about the complexities of the human race. They’re not just books about Africa but about the human race at large.

Set against a backdrop of conflict, the novel has enormous compassion 

Gokhale is a Delhi-based author

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ZORAWAR KALRA ON FOOD

A restaurant I recently went to and loved is Wild Fire in Gurgaon. It’s a very authentic Brazilian churrascaria (steak house) and has a great selection of meats, particularly the imported cold cuts. The service is great and the waiters, all Brazilian, know their meats really well. Moreover, they have a great wine list too. It’s expensive but good value for money, nevertheless. Besides that, I love going to the Orient Express at The Taj Palace. The quality of the meal there is exemplary. It was a huge risk when it was opened and continues to remain avant garde. It’s the best European restaurant in the country.

Kalra is owner and managing director of Street Foods of India and Punjab Grill

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DIBAKAR BANERJEE ON FILM

Amitabh Chakraborty’s Bishar Blues is an eye-opener. A documentary about the fakirs of Bengal, the film introduces its audience to a practice in Islam not many are aware of. It’s about the deeply spiritual practices of the sect — its music and its culture. I’ve also recently seen Paolo Sorrentino’s The Consequences of Love. It’s an Italian movie about a mafia accountant who has been in hiding for eight years. One would expect the movie to be a typical mob flick but its treatment is surprising. In fact, that’s precisely what I love about the movie. The camera choreography is intricate and captures the protagonist’s state of mind beautifully. Another movie I really like is Memories of Murder, directed by Joon-ho Bong. It follows-up on the investigation of a series of murders of women. The film is a fantastic example of how a theme so gruesome can be shown in a gentle, interesting and humorous way.

Banerjee is a Mumbai-based filmmaker of Khosla Ka Ghosla and Oye Lucky! Lucky Oye!

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Hot on the cob American rock band Korn has sold over 30 million albums worldwide

RAHUL SAINANI ON MUSIC

I’ve just got back from the Download Festival in Derby, UK. I heard all my favourite musicians play over three days of madness and I’m still listening to them — Korn, Slipknot, Chris Cornell. Besides that, I’ve been listening to an American band called The Marz Volta. Their sound is wild and has psychedelic rock influences. The guitarist, Omar Rodreguez-Lopez, is brilliant and throws out shocking riffs. The band has a wide range of musicians, including trumpet and saxophone players, and the wall of sound that hits you is truly overwhelming.

Sainani is the guitarist and vocalist for Delhi-based band Indigo Children

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