Get your list of what to read, listen, eat and watch from the proven experts in the field
Abhijeet Sawant, Singer
1 Zindagi ka safar (Kalyanji-Anandji): This song is from the movie Safar (1970). It is sung by Kishore Kumar, one of my most favourite singers. This song is about the journey called life. I can connect to it very well.
2 Kal ho naa ho (Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy): I love the title song of Kal Ho Naa Ho (2003). It is sung by Sonu Niigaam, who is also one of my favourites. This was the first song that I sang in front of the judges on Indian Idol. My journey started from there onwards and that is the reason why this song is so important to me.
Jab koi baat bigad jaaye (Rajesh Roshan): This song is from the movie Jurm (1990) and is very special to me. It was originally my wife’s favourite. Just when we started seeing each other, I began to like it too. We can relate to this song, as music was the
common factor between us.
4 Everything I do (Bryan Adams): I simply love the melody and lyrics of this number. There is a very genuine feel to this song and it touches my heart. I love this romantic song.
— Manali Shah
Mishali Sanghani, Partner, Pali Village Café
1 Thai Pavilion, Taj President: It is the only place in Mumbai where you get real Thai food, and the dishes are amazing! My favourite is the Thai Salad and Pad Thai. I go there more for the food than the ambience. It’s quite posh since they renovated it a couple of years ago.
2 Gajalee, Vile Parle: The fish there is the best. I don’t think Trishna and Mahesh Lunch Home can compete with the flavours — they have just the right taste. You can get Tandoori Crab anywhere, but it never tastes the same as it does here, at the original Gajalee. The service is really good. There is, of course, no décor to speak of, so I always sit outside and then get out, as it’s just about the food. But it’s very friendly. I know all the staff, so I get treated well.
3 Celini, Grand Hyatt: The food is amazing and the ambience fantastic. I have tried every type of pasta here. They taste really good. I once had a home-made ravioli that was to die-for.
4 Indigo Deli, Palladium: It’s got that ‘wow’ factor when you enter —the way they have done it up and designed it, is the best. The entrance is larger-than-life and it has a lovely wooden feel. I like the concept of a deli. I have never been to Indigo, I feel more comfortable going here as I can dress casually.
— Naomi Canton
Jeffrey Archer, Author
1 Malgudi Days: RK Narayan combined the genius of being a great writer and a great storyteller, which is very rare. All his stories, Swami and his Friends and The English Teacher to The Guide, were works of art. The man was a master writer.
2 The Count of Monte Cristo : It’s a masterpiece. The historical setting with an adventure storyline makes this Alexandre Dumas play spectacular. It strongly upholds certain human values like hope, mercy, justice and so on.
3 The Thirty-Nine Steps : It’s a damn good story. It’s about a man who knows the government, knows that a war is going to be declared and he knows that there’s a secret. John Buchan wrote it while he was ill in bed with an incurable ulcer. It’s a powerful personal political drama.
All Quiet on the Western Front:
Erich Maria Remarque’s novel was banned and burned in Nazi Germany. It’s a tragic story of a German soldier in the First World War. It’s so tragic, yet so beautifully written. It shows the German point of view. Sheer
brilliance, very moving!
— Jayeeta Mazumder
Sanjay Suri, Actor
1 The Godfather (1972): For me, Coppola’s The Godfather, is a film that has defined a genre in itself. It has layered complimentary themes and intimacy. I love the realism of the script and character development with unforgettable performances and cinematography, exploring the meaning of honour, family, love, violence, loyalty and betrayal. It makes for an unforgettable experience and is worth seeing again and again.
2 The Bridges of Madison County (1995): What I love the most is that this Clint Eastwood film explores the big question, Is there love life after 40 or 60? The film moves in a relaxed pace, not hurried at all. The way the romance unfolds makes the viewer believe that a real relationship is unfolding. It is a rare film with performances that make one feel so mediocre.
3 Life is Beautiful (1997): Roberto Benigni’s Life is Beautiful is a bittersweet comedy that takes place mostly in a concentration camp. Its physical and verbal comedy in equal amounts is brilliant, appreciating the bravery of its victims, and it also educates its audience through truly real characters.
4 21 Grams (2003): Inarritu’s 21 Grams reinforces how fragile life can be. It’s a wonderful film about human beings dealing with personal tragedies, redemption and hope. It is a flick that is engaging and meaningful, with powerful drama and some excellent, inspiring acting. The film’s screenplay is structured in an interesting fashion, which makes it even more gripping.
— Manali Shah