Tsohil Bhatia on Art
For me, the well-known Mexican painter Frida Kahlo has always been the primary source of inspiration. Frida painted surreal realities of her life with a crassness that was unavoidable. She made images with the brutal honesty of a child using literal imagery in her mind. Providing a visual language to her ordinary realities, she painted life very much as it exists. The mindful images always call me back. Her Self -Portrait with Cropped Hair (1940) and The Broken Column (1944) are two works that I admire the most.
Bhatia is a Delhi based performance artist
Arunava Sinha on Books
Gabriela, Clove and Cinnamon by Jorge Amado is the ideal novel, according to me. It was originally written in Portuguese and describes the changing ethos of Brazil at the turn of the century. It depicts a constant clash between the old orthodoxy and the new modern times. Even though I read the translation, my takeaway from the book was fairly similar to those who had read the original.
Sinha is a literary translator based in New Delhi
Imaad Shah on Music
The French electro swing and gypsy band Caravan Palace has been a temporary obsession of late. Their live act is something to behold. They actually play their synthesizers live with the rest of the band. They are genuine performers, and their shows evoke film noir, cabaret, and the Harlem swing era when jazz music was a genuinely raw, working class and primal form of dance music — not the elevator drivel that we’ve gotten accustomed to.
Shah is part of the electro duo, Madboy/Mink
Sudhanva Deshpande on Film
I recently saw Sumitra Bhave and Sunil Sukhtankar’s Astu, a Marathi film. It is about an old scholar who gets lost following an elephant. He is taken care of by the mahout’s wife who becomes a foster mother to the senile man. The film is a beautiful study on deteriorating mental health and old age and it elevates beyond the usual. The relationship between the old man and the mahout’s wife provides the poetic element to the film’s otherwise too literal direction.
Deshpande is an actor and director with Jana Natya Manch
Sahiba Gursahaney on Food
SideWok, Chanakyapuri is a pan-Asian restaurant I like to frequent. Their efficient service and warm staff are always a delight. The quality of food has been consistent in my experience of four years with the place. The lighting is dim and soothing without being too dark and a spacious seating adds to the comfort. The ambience is embellished with Chinese paper lanterns giving it a very oriental look. While their konjee crispy lamb is a bestseller, and rightly so, the red thai curry and dimsums are among my favourites. Kung pao chicken and crispy fish in piquant sauce is soft and flavourful.
Gursahaney is a Delhi-based food reviewer