I enjoyed a recent exhibition called Living Off the Grid curated by Meera Menezes at the Anant Art Gallery. I felt that the visual aesthetic and intellectual content was very high. I liked a piece by the Raqs Media Collective which included a video and sound piece of two motorcyclists spinning around in a motorcycle pit – it looked at how we’re all drifting in ‘grids’ of our own. The photos and visuals showed how we get locked into grids in everyday life. I’m looking forward to an upcoming exhibition at the Devi Art Foundation featuring Pakistani artists called Resemble Re-assemble. It should give great insight into developments in the entire subcontinent and its art. Another thing I’m looking forward to is an exhibition by Anju Dodiya titled Necklace of Echoes. It’s her first Delhi show in a really long time.
Pall is a Delhi-based curator
AVATAR SINGH ON BOOKS
Carlos Ruiz Zafon’s The Angel’s Game was a publishing sensation internationally and it certainly worked for me. The densely textured, intricately plotted book proved to be a real page-turner. It’s set in early 20th century Barcelona, fetid with smog and the aspirations of an industrialising society. There are books within books, ruined romances and corrupted cops and the payoff is literally diabolical. The gothic set-up and treatment is lightened by some very flavourful writing, which on more than one occasion made me laugh. Closer to home, Delhi Noir (edited by Hirsh Sawhney) was a patchy collection, for the most part. But Siddharth Chowdhury’s contribution, titled ‘Hostel’ and set in Delhi University’s North Campus, stood out. It is apparently the prologue to his upcoming novel from Picador. The first instalment is replete with sex, murder and aspiration. I can’t wait to read the whole book.
“The angel’s Game is a densely textured and intricately plotted page-turner
Singh lives and writes in Delhi
BILL MARCHETTI ON FOOD
My favourite place in Delhi has got to be Swaagat. The food there is consistently good and has a warm personal touch to it. In Mumbai, I’m a big fan of Indigo. I’ve been going there ever since it opened some nine years ago and the place still maintains the same quality, which is fantastic. Shiro in Bengaluru is a great place with Japanese inspired food and fabulous decor with great outdoor seating. In Kolkata, I love eating at Bhojo Hari Manna that serves traditional Bengali food the way it’s meant to be served – course after course after course that’re logically tied up to each other.
Marchetti is the Executive Chef at Spaghetti Kitchen in Delhi
ANIRUDDHA ROY CHAUDHURY ON FILM
I’ve been watching a lot of Fatih Akin lately and loved Head On, In July and Age of Heaven.All three movies have a lot of energy and look at love, hatred and relationships with a completely new eye. I’ve also recently seen Michael Radford’s Il Postino, based on the relationship between Pablo Neruda and his postman. The visuals are beautiful and the relationships are intricately crafted. The friendship between the legend and his illiterate postman is profound and moving – it’s almost like their love story! The movie also helps you to learn and love poetry. It has some mind blowing performances, with Massimo Troisi doing an exceptional job playing the postman. The soundtrack is wonderful, as is the screenplay. The beauty of the movie is in how uncomplicated it is.
Chaudhury is a Kolkata-based filmmaker
SAMAR GREWAL ON MUSIC
There are four bands that I’ve been listening to a lot. First is Beach House, a two-member band that builds an amazing atmosphere with their instrumentisation and the characteristic way in which the vocalist sings – flat and dead pan. The next is Wilco. They used to be an alternative country act but have now become more alternative. Their album Yankee Hotel Foxtrot is a modern classic. Outwardly, it’s very melancholic but in terms of songwriting it’s one of the best bands around. Then there is Department of Eagles, which is based out of Brooklyn. Their music is based on heavy reasearch on show tunes and 1930s play music, which they combine with classic rock, modern rock and electronica to produce rich instrumentation.
Grewal is a Delhi-based musician and Assistant Editor of Rolling Stone India