Apart from my European favourites, one Indian artist I admire and whose work I have started to follow keenly is Raqib Shaw. He is a London based artist who combines elements of Indian mythology and surrealism that create an effect of the macabre. Bharti Kher is the other artist who carries surreal aspects in her art. I am looking forward to her next collection.
The main factor why I like these artists are because they too are heavily influenced by my favourite artist, Hieronymus Bosch. Incidentally his work is being displayed in the Museum of Modern Art in their ongoing exhibition in collaboration with the Bauhaus School of Art, in which I have been taking a lot of interest.
Rawat is a Delhi-based artist
SMITA JAIN ON BOOKS
I’ve just finished reading Open, Andre Agassi’s biography and I have to say it’s one of the most engaging accounts I’ve read. It’s surprising because the book has a very narrow scope and goes little beyond tennis and life outside the tour. For this, I guess the credit must go to the writer, JR Moehringer who also authored The Tender Bar is an evocative story of a boy growing up in a bar. I like to read autobiographies and biographies of achievers because I am curious to know what it is that drives great people to achieve, to create, to reach beyond themselves, to dig deep and suffer for their art. I read fiction only in between penning my own novels. I enjoy sinking my teeth into a good murder mystery or a frothy chicklit. In crime fiction I enjoy Sue Grafton’s Kinsey Milhone series because she crafts her cases well and writes with wit and imagination. I like the works of the Irish writer Marian Keyes because she tackles serious themes like substance abuse and depression but in such a way that it doesn’t leave the reader feeling heavy.
Jain is the Mumbai-based author of Krishnaa’s Konfession
As a chef, my first love is food but the ambience of a place also matters a lot. I really like the Park Plaza in Gurgaon for its great continental cuisine and also because of its pleasant settings, with all the greenery that surrounds the place. The Great Kabab Factory in Noida which serves amazing pathar ka kabab is another really good place to eat. I also like Q’ba restaurant in Connaught Place for the variety they offer.
Bhan is a chef at Legends of India
SUMAN MUKHOPADHYAY ON FILM
I am highly impressed with films that create an impact through the familiarity they depict — which sends a chill down your spine. Recently, I watched The Death of Mr Lazarescu by Cristi Puiu, a story about an alcoholic on the verge of death, and 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days by Cristian Mungiu, which portrays two girls attempting to get an illegal abortion. Both these movies are by Romanian filmmakers. Their striking quality comes from the fact that these stories are incidents you come across in your life at some point or the other, but the way the plot is executed is the USP of these films. Love, Sex aur Dhoka by Dibakar Banerjee is one such movie from India that shares this quality. I love how the movie uses unknown faces, faces we see everyday, to create a commercially successful movie.
Mukhopadhyay is a theatre director and filmmaker
GEORGE MATHEN ON MUSIC
I am listening to different genres at the moment. Being a percussionist I love listening to Trilok Gurtu and Stewart Copeland and am in awe of the magic they create with drums. I have recently tuned into the music of Massive Attack and Tool. What I really like about these bands is that there is a certain novelty in their music although they retain some consistency as well. Precisely for this reason, I am neither fond of AC/DC, who have been playing the same rhythm for 25 years nor Dream Theatre, who change their rhythm in every second note. For me, music is all about the rhythm and the feel.The other band that I really like is Rush.
Mathen is the drummer for Bengaluru based band, Lounge Piranha