Nayantara Sarah Surendranath on Art
Keri Smith, a Canadian conceptual artist, illustrator and author of several bestselling books and apps based on creativity, is one of my favourite artists. Smith’s unique and refreshingly original style has a way of bringing out that crazy-eyed child in you all over again, reconnecting you with your source and bringing back the days when you would wander off collecting shiny bits of broken glass and tin just because you loved the way it made you feel. Her art books, How to be an Explorer of the World and Wreck This Journal, are examples of such delights.
Surendranath is an illustrator and animator based in Bengaluru
Pia Padukone on Books
I am enamoured by John Updike’s Rabbit, Run. The ethereal language overshadows the plot. Updike’s prose casts a spell over everything he touches, transforming a neglected garden into a luxuriant Eden and a lurid Chinese restaurant into a seductive scene of courtship, making you believe that there is true beauty in Middle America after all.
Padukone is the author of Where Earth Meets Water and is based in New York city
Rounak Maiti on Music
The music of Youth Lagoon (Trevor Powers) has been close to my heart since my school days. Powers creates a psychedelic bedroom-pop with warm beats, twinkling synths and lyrics about growing up, introspection and suburbia. While his first record The Year of Hibernation, maintains an intimate DIY sound, the second one, Wondrous Bughouse, sees his beautiful metamorphosis take place with a full band setup and fully realised, deeply layered electronic-rock pieces. My favourites include Daydream, Cannons and Third Dystopia.
Maiti is a Mumbai-based independent musician
Neel Chaudhuri on Film
Sidney Lumet’s Network was made in 1976 as a paranoid prophecy of what the television industry was about to become. Watching it today, one feels the same sense of dread you have while reading Orwell 30 years after Nineteen Eighty-Four was first published. Lumet’s deft control of the temper of the film, a haunting, prescient screenplay by Paddy Chayefsky and unflinching performances by Peter Finch, Faye Dunaway and William Holden make this perhaps the best film you will ever see about how we became slaves to a box.
Chaudhuri is a New Delhi-based playwright
Pallavi Gupta on food
Café Des Arts on Suffren Street, Puducherry, is an old, historical Franco-Tamil house converted into a chilled out café that has a whimsical vibe. I like their crepes for a late breakfast — my favourite being tomato, cheese & egg crepe along with a glass of herbal tea or cold coffee. They have a good variety of sweet crepes like lemon and sugar, honey, homemade jam and nutella and banana. If you are looking for more hearty options, then their menu has a selection of bruschettas, toasted sandwiches and baguette sandwiches. Free wi-fi and an interesting book collection to pick from are the other added perks.
Gupta is a Puducherry-based food blogger