Fasil Dar on Art
Kashmir-based artist Yousuf Naqshbandi has been a powerful influence on me. This conflict-zone based artist has produced some extremely intriguing work. Caught in Different Planes is one such piece, which shows how a common man in Kashmir is being denied breathing space by various powers that be. Besides his right to freedom, his unique political and cultural identity is trampled on every day. By instilling a fear of death, he is forced to toe a particular ideology, which he has rejected long back.
Dar is a Gurgaon-based visual editor
Mihir Vatsa on Books
Billy Collins is an American poet, and a fascinating aspect of his work is the way he mixes wit with sympathy. It helps him recognise the contradictions that one lives every day without noticing. He harnesses the potential of the colloquial language while treading the dangerous line that separates representation from stereotyping. Introduction to Poetry and Silence are two personal favourites.
Vatsa is a Delhi-based poet
Chayan Adhikari on Music
New York-based Snarky Puppy is an ensemble of 40 musicians. Their album, Family Dinner: Volume One is my favourite. My major attractions to this album are the eight vocalists, which marks a huge departure from their earlier emphasis on instruments. While performing live, this Grammy winning band encourages the audience to listen to them on headphones, making for an intriguing live setup.
Adhikari is a vocalist for Delhi-based band Advaita
Osman Khalid Butt on Film
Rarely has a film impacted me as much as Lars von Trier’s masterpiece Dancer in the Dark. Von Trier and Björk deconstruct the Hollywood musical and turn it on its head. Beautiful, haunting numbers — Scatterheart and the Academy Award nominated I’ve Seen It All resonate with you long after the end credits roll — are matched only by sublime, gut-wrenching performances. The final scene of the film is visceral and devastating, yet incredibly poetic. A musical is seldom this bold and this unorthodox.
Butt is an actor & director based in Islamabad
Ankiet Gulabani on Food
Burma Burma, a quirky standalone in Fort, is Mumbai’s answer to vegetarian Burmese fare. Following the owner’s recommendations, I began with the Burmese naan with creamy white pea puree, which cradled a heady garlicky flavor. Up next was their superb raw mango salad, which is usually the deciding factor at a Burmese restaurant. I ordered their ‘oh-no khow suey’ with coconut rice and peanut chutney. The dry version of the khow suey had me floored! The vibrant use of colours, prayer wheels and handmade Burmese umbrellas that hang down from the ceiling, give the restaurant an almost ethereal feel.
Gulabani is a Mumbai-based food blogger