Get your list of what to read, listen, eat and watch from the proven experts in the field.
1 Call of the Valley (Pt Shivkumar Sharma): When I was growing up, I was heavily involved in music shows during college. At one point I got into Indian classical music for a bit and this particular album made me realise that music is what I want to do.
2 A Portrait of Lucy (Jaco Pastorius): I also grew up listening to a lot of Jazz. Jaco was an American jazz artiste and this one song I have played and listened to over and over again. It’s got a beautiful melody line.
3 Welcome to the Jungle (Guns ‘N’ Roses): I idolised classic rock bands and that is one of the reasons I love performing on stage live. This song has brilliant energy.
4 Kashmir ( Led Zeppelin): Why not!
– Sharin Bhatti
Owner Elbo Room
1 Mahesh Lunch Home: This is one of the best seafood restaurants. There is an extensive variety to choose from. From the Gassis, the fish fry to Sol Kadi and Neer Dosa you get to relish the fabulous spices that go into the making of these exotic tastes. Their USP has to be the Bombay Fried Duck. The squid, prawns tossed in garlic, butter and pepper are to die for. The service is impeccable and ensures a great dining experience.
2 Indigo Delicatessen, Phoenix Mill: From the moment you step inside you are impressed by the incredible wood-work, softly lit tables, wine shelves and the show-kitchen. I particularly enjoyed the variety of cheeses (which are otherwise hard to find elsewhere) – Fourme d’Ambert and Pont l’Eveque. Apart from that I simply love the Gazpacho deli-fresh sandwich and the peanut butter and jelly for dessert. The staff is attentive and well-trained.
3 Kala Goda Cafe: It is a small, yet extremely cosy place to enjoy a few cups of coffee. Their sandwich and dessert of the day, are usually nice. I prefer the rocket leaves and cheese sandwich. After that the little chocolate square accompanied with coffee is the perfect way to end an afternoon meal. It is a great place to catch up and chill out with friends.
4 Royal China, Bandra: The place is elegantly done up and you will get melt-in-the-mouth kebabs. For authentic Indian food with good ambience, this place is just perfect.
Author, Of Love And Politics
1 The Insider (Narsimha Rao): The author gives us rare insights into India’s socio-political life spanning a period of over six decades. Moreover, written in a ‘quasi-fiction’ format, the book is fairly readable for even those who don't have a specific interest in the subject.
2 Great Speeches of India (Random House India): The rich collection of speeches throws light upon the psyche of our leaders and their actions that were instrumental in influencing our recent history.
3 The Moth Smoke (Mohshin Hamid): I like the way he blends the personal with the political — a style that I’m personally very fond of. The book is set in the Pakistan of late nineties and is about a man, for whom nothing goes right. External political and societal changes impact his life in a strange way. The book makes a compelling read.
4 The Sari Shop (Rupa Bajwa): An amazing first novel from an Indian author. With her stark style and a strong narrative, she has succeeded in making a wafer thin storyline a great read. I have also mentioned this book because it came out at a time when I was reading a lot of new Indian authors to understand what worked and what did not.
- Nidhi Dugar
1 Pather Panchali (1955): Satyajit Ray understood that book so well, that this movie is like a great human document. This film is cinema, not a big story. It’s a simple story, an event… but how he builds those characters and how he makes the nuances make people feel for them is amazing. People misunderstand it by calling it a story of poor people and poverty. It’s a song of the road.
2 La Strada (1954): Federico Fellini ‘s poetry in his films is what touches me. The acting is fantastic. I always cry when I see this film. The relationships are so beautifully told.
3 All About My Mother (1999): The director of this film (Pedro Almodovar) is a very gutsy man. What I really like about him is how well he knows his culture and his women characters. He never sold out to Hollywood, even after they bribed him to try and come to them. He always refused.
4 Inception (2010): The kind of stuff this director can deliver in the commercial space is so different, yet he manages to do it. I know the kind of pressures these people are under in the studio system, yet he delivers a blockbuster such as this and create something mind blowing. To have that balance and say something complex
at the same time on a commercial level is astounding.
– Serena Menon