I loved this film solely because of actor Aamir Khan and his confidence in a story that no one dared to touch. The film speaks about the triumph of the spirit in every way.
Pan’s Labyrinth, 2006
It is a Mexican dark fantasy film written and directed by Mexican filmmaker, Guillermo del Toro. The story is about a fantasy world created by a child growing up in fascist Spain. I like this film because of the sheer skill of storytelling it involves.
Sahib Biwi Aur Ghulam, 1962
It is a moving story of a woman trying to live her life to the fullest, equal to that of her husband. Such a role during the ’60s was actually unthinkable.
Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge, 1995
The one and only reason I love this all-time favourite romantic movie is because of actor Shah Rukh Khan and his amazing performance in the film.
Read: Naresh Fernandes, Author, Taj Mahal Foxtrot
Behind the Beautiful Forevers, Katherine Boo
This is a painstakingly reported narrative-backed observation with interviews of hundreds of Right to Information Act petitions telling the story of the people in the North Mumbai slum of Annawadi. It’s the sharpest critique I’ve read of ‘Shining India’, told without being polemical or strident.
Maximum City, Suketu Mehta
An epic counterpoint to Boo’s micro-study, Maximum City sparked a wave of urban narratives across the world. Mehta’s masterpiece holds the interest of policy makers as well as readers who love good literature.
A Corner of a Foreign Field, Ramachandra Guha
This has been one of my most profound influences. It purports to be a study of Indian cricket, but it’s much more. It’s a social history of India, and more specifically, the city of Mumbai. My copy is frayed and the spine has cracked from repeated reading.
King Leopold’s Ghost, Adam Hochschild
The book is the riveting tale of horrors that the Belgian king heaped upon his personal colony of the Congo. This book and the author deserves a much wider attention in India.
In an Antique Land ,Amitav Ghosh
Combining personal history with solid archival research, Ghosh’s book tracing connections in time and space has been the model for a whole generation of writers looking for new ways to tell stories.
Listen: Gaurav Dagaonkar, Music composer
Ten Pearl, Jam
I remember listening to ‘Even flow’ on my way to college one day and getting blown away by the intro riff and Eddie Vedder’s vocals. I skipped college for the next few days and learnt all the songs of the album. My favourite song from this album is ‘Black’; it’s the song that got me into singing.
Dil Se, AR Rahman
This masterpiece by Rahman sahab had a tremendous impact on me as a youngster because of its sound. I loved ‘Chaiyya chaiyya’ and ‘Dil se’ due to their sheer energy and power. The album also has a lot of lessons for a composer / songwriter, especially with regard to song structures and forms.
Cocktail, Pritam Chakraborty
Songs like Tumhi Ho Bandhu, Daaru Desi and Second-hand-jawani have such a bright and fun vibe to them; you can’t help but groove to these songs. Cocktail is one of the most entertaining albums of this year.
Anari, Shankar Jaikishan
The music of this classic film is by one of my favourite music director duos. Each song sounds very simple but is brilliantly composed. Kisi Ki Muskurahaton Se is an example of a song which uses simple words conveying great meaning.
Pulse, Pink Floyd
I am a huge Floyd fan and Pulse is an album I can listen to always, anytime, anywhere. The audio and visuals of the concert show Pink Floyd’s mastery over musicianship and showmanship. I get goose bumps listening to Gilmour’s extended guitar solos.
Eat: Paul Noronha, Chef, ITC Maratha
A Portuguese cottage, pulsating music, eclectic buffet, a well stocked cellar... and the literati and glitterati. All this makes Indigo a good place to brunch. The service has always been crisp and there are plenty of options to choose in the buffet.
Mainland China, Bandra
After a hectic week at work, the only way to make up with the kids is to take them for a meal at this restaurant. Dimsums, the clay pot fish and the General Tso’s chicken are wonderful. A sure hit with the kids if you want to earn some brownie points.
Goa Portuguesa, Mahim
It is one of my favourite restaurants when celebrating with friends and family. This place serves a typical Goan repast, accompanied by some serenading music.
Highway Gomantak, Bandra
This place is known for its seafood. If you are a seafood lover, then the kurlya (crab) and shenaneau (mussels), tisrya masala (a feisty concoction made from clams slathered in a thick coconut masala) and their semolina coated crusted seer fish are all a must.
Dakshin Coastal at ITC Maratha, Andheri
Dakshin Coastal is best for its diverse South Indian cuisine. The Chettinad kozhi kuzhambu (chicken curry), meen gassi (Manglorean fish curry), chemmeen manga charu (prawns mango curry) and the robust veinchina mamsam (mutton curry) are some of my favourites.