Read: Annie Zaidi, co-author, The Bad Boy’s Guide to The Good Indian Girl
Of Human Bondage by Somerset Maugham I read this novel as a teenager and was shaken to discover that we are slaves of our dreams. Also, this love story never stops hurting, even when the protagonist finds a happy ending. I have never been able to forget this tragedy.
Everybody Loves a Good Drought by P Sainath The book presents India at its most vulnerable. Sainath is a Magsaysay-award winning journalist. His research is astonishing and his writing is deft.
Saadat Hasan Manto ki Kahaniyan (Collected short stories of Sadat Hasan Manto) Manto’s stories are an empathetic, insightful, funny mix. It’s hard not to gush about Sadat Hasan Manto.
Cat’s Eye Margaret Atwood: The protagonist here is an artist who confronts a lot of questions we’re still struggling with. It reminds us that little girls aren’t always safe company.
Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky This novel is both a tunnel into the mind of an unexpected killer and a spotlight on circumstances that drive people to crime.
Thomson Andrews , singer-songwriter
Unplugged (2010) by Seven Seven is a Swiss R&B artiste and I love a few songs from this album especially the track ‘On and on...’. There is a certain freshness to Seven’s songs, lyrics and feel. It’s deep, yet feels light to the listen and relax to.
Testimony: Vol. 2, Love & Politics (2010) by India Arie My favourite song on this album is ‘Pearls...’ featuring Dobeh Gnahore, for which India Arie won a Grammy in 2010. She has a certain ease, smoothness and calmness.
The Lady Killer (2010) by Cee Lo Green I like this album for two particular songs- ‘F**k you’…’ and ‘Bright lights bigger city…’ as they are well-produced and have a melodic twist to them.
Chaandan Mein (2009) by Kailash Kher The songs are versatile, the tunes are groovy and the blend of western instruments fused with Indian instruments makes them even more appealing.
Born This Way (2011) by Lady Gaga With this album, all that comes to mind is creativity, adrenaline, daring and evolution. ‘Born this way…’, the title track has a great message to this racist behavioural world.
Eat: Ashish Bhatia, Billo’s Café Trattoria (Cuffe Parade)
I have been going here since childhood. You can feast on the Sunday buffet, which comprises pizza, pastas and chicken risotto. Being a coffee shop of a hotel, Trattoria is open 24 x7, which makes it a great place to hang out.
Peshawari offers the best dhaba food with a five-star experience. The restaurant recommends enjoying the food without the cutlery. Thai Pavilion (Cuffe Parade) The Thai cuisine here is authentic. After its renovation, the place features pots filled with different colours, sports wooden interiors and has a food bar in the centre. I recommend their chicken satay and the Penang curry with steamed rice.
Oriental Blossom (Marine Drive)
The crackling spinach and the shredded chicken are great appetisers here. For a bigger group, one can book the round table with an enclosed room, which has a warm vibe.
Café Madras (Matunga)
Definitely the best place to go to, when it comes to south Indian cuisine. Their super quick service and value for money fare makes it irresistable.
Watch: Amrita Prakash, actor
The Pursuit of Happyness (2006) I am a big Will Smith fan. Despite knowing all the scenes and dialogue on the back of my hand, I can’t grow immune to it and find myself getting teary-eyed every single time I watch it.
Hum Aapke Hain Kaun (1994) Sooraj Barjataya has captured characters, moments and romance in this film that will live in our hearts forever. Despite having seen it many times, even today when it plays on TV, I can’t switch channels! I laugh and cry with the film as if I’m watching it for the very first time. In my books, this movie is the standard for good filmmaking!
Tum Bin (2001) Tum Bin is a masterpiece. I watched it on TV last month, and was left amazed. Despite having seen it several times, it touches new depths on every occasion .
Mummy Punjabi (2011) The movie focuses around parents and how from being the most integral part of a child’s life, they are so often last on the priority list, once the children have a life of their own. It’s moving and easy to relate with.
Kuch Kuch Hota Hai (1998) It’s the most romantic story till date. I see it whenever I am feeling blue.