Shilpa Rao: Singer
I’m currently listening to ‘The book of love’ by Peter Gabriel. I heard this song in the film, Shall We Dance. There is no high meaning, nor any difficult words in it. It is just a plain, simple way of saying what love is.
1 Masoom (1983): I saw the film in a theatre as a kid. The songs on this album by RD Burman are absolutely beautiful. The music always takes me back to the first time I saw the film. The entire album is superb and the songs have stayed with me.
2 Tears in Heaven (Eric Clapton): This is the first ever English song that I was introduced to. I heard it when I was in third grade and in the school choir. So, it’s a very special song to me and it continues to remain an all-time favourite.
3 Shaam tanha (Agnee): I can listen to this song anytime. It will always manage to set the mood right. Also, I am good friends with the band members Arijit, Koko and Mohan. I have had jam sessions with them, which were cool.
4Bombay(AR Rahman): I am a huge AR Rahman fan. This album in totally beautiful. The songs are superb. Songs like Kuchi kuchi rakma..., Tu hi re...and Hamma hamma... are each different from each other, yet the album as a whole is amazing.
- Manali Shah
Ravi Sharma: Director of Crepe Station
The last place I ate out at was the Yellow Tree Café in Bandra. The service was very bad and the waiters were really rude. We ordered a cheese platter, which I didn’t like at all, and a lasagna. I didn’t try it but my friends said it was good. Overall, I thought it lacked ambience and I won’t go back because of the rude staff.
1 Olive Bar & Kitchen (Mahalaxmi): I go there for their Sunday brunch. It has a really nice atmosphere. They have more outdoor seating than any other place in Mumbai. They also have a large selection of cocktails available. That makes it worth the money. It’s mainly Italian and continental food, with lots of salads, so it’s healthy and reasonably priced for what you get.
2 Out of The Blue (Khar): It’s a very chilled out place where you get Mexcian food and sizzlers. It’s got the same vibe as the Crepe Station and you don’t have to dress up to go there. The food is good and the staff are very attentive. I especially like their fondues, as they have a whole range of flavours.
3 Mahesh Lunch Home (Juhu): They are famous for their Indian- style seafood. Tiger Prawns is the dish I like the best. It’s very much a family-style restaurant. The décor is quite simple, but the food is really good.
4 Sandwichwallah, (Santa Cruz West market): This roadside sandwich stall is always packed. I don’t think it has a name, but he serves all types of grilled sandwiches — jam, chilli, garlic, Sichuan, mayonnaise and cheese. My favourite is the Veg Mayonnaise. They are also really cheap, about Rs 35 each. They are very spicy. My foreign friends find it too spicy, but Indians love it.
— Naomi Canton
Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni: Author of One Amazing Thing
I’m reading My Name Is Red by Orhan Pamuk. I love the innovative structure and the many voices in which the story is told.
1The Mahabharata : The story is detailed and fascinating, with complex characters, who are admirable, despicable, and everything in between. It has deep themes and the female characters are especially powerful. I have read it many times and have reinterpreted it through a woman’s eyes in my novel, The Palace of Illusions.
2The Lord of the Rings Trilogy: I love magical worlds, especially the multi-faceted ones that Tolkien creates here. When I read it for the first time, I fell in love with all the characters. I wanted to live in Rivendell with the elves!
3Anna Karenina : What a heart breaker this book is! Tolstoy is a master of character sketching. He knows humanity so well with all its flaws, yet he is such a compassionate portrayer. Halfway through the book, you suspect the beautiful, unhappy Anna is doomed and you so want her to find some joy.
4The Bhagavat Gita:
It never gets old… The truths in it are eternal. Whenever I open it at random, a verse appears that is completely relevant even today. It gives me comfort. As Gandhiji said: ‘When disappointment stares me in the face and all alone I see not one ray of light, I go back to the Bhagavad Gita.’
— Jayeeta Mazumder
Imran Khan: Actor
I saw Love Sex Aur Dhokha. It’s the new voice of Hindi cinema. Dibakar (Banerjee) did not make a film about what we are and what we like. He made a film that was about what real life is. When two friends are talking, they could use a phrase like, Tu kaali hai, tar jaise, without even realising it. It’s when you hear the same line in a movie, that it suddenly becomes shocking.
1The Dark Knight: I think this film did not get the acclaim it deserved, because it was looked on as a movie based on a popular comic strip. But it was the superior filmmaking that took the cinema a step forward. I’d say it was a landmark film, like The Godfather.
2Lord Of The Rings trilogy: It was the sheer scale of the three films that impressed me. In the golden age of cinema, films like Ben Hur had the audience literally gasping out loud at the action unfolding on screen. When I was watching these films, I also went, “Oh my God, this is awesome!”
3Life Is Beautiful: World War 2 movies are a dime a dozen. But Roberto Benigni took this done-to-death theme and made a movie that was really beautiful. Pre-interval, it was a touchingly romantic film. The second half took on a darker undertone but even then, the director was shielding us from the terrors of war, playing the protective parent to us children, without us realising it till the end.
4Some Like It Hot:
It was a comedy made back in the 1950s, but what makes it special is that it can raise laughs and is as relevant even today. Of course, Marilyn Monroe was great, that goes without saying.
— Roshmila Bhattacharya