Frontman and guitarist, Blackstrat Blues
1Beatles - Revolver: A lot of people call Sgt. Pepper’s the finest album by The Beatles. But for me, it was Revolver that marked the band’s transition. From a cute mod band, they became the rock n’ roll foursome. In this album, they cover a variety of genres from hard rock to melodic ballads and even early electronica. I wouldn’t skip a single track.
2Steely Dan - Royal Scam: It’s a really nice album in terms of the production value. Larry Carlton’s guitar solos are a treat for any guitar player. It’s one of those albums you would like to take with you on a desert island. I wouldn’t call it easy listening. Rather, it takes its time to grow on you.
3Led Zeppelin - Presence: It’s hard to choose one Zeppelin album. I pick Presence simply because nobody seems to pick it. The first and last songs are masterpieces, to say the least. Achilles last stand’ is an achievement in its self. The composition is a work of genius. I’ve made a career out of playing the same key chords.
4Pink Floyd - Wish you were here: Do I need to say anything about it? The album’s got Have a cigar, Shine on you crazy diamond and Wish you were here. For me it’s the outro that really works. Even the introduction transports you to another world. It’s an album that you soak in entirety. And I promise it’ll give you a trip that no substance can induce.
- Megha Mahindru
Master India Chef, Courtyard by Marriott
1Nawab Sahab, Renaissance, Powai: This place is great for sea food. They have set meals in vegetarian, non-vegetarian and seafood options. Their pepper pomfret is absolutely delicious. However, it is only open during the evenings. The price is a little on the higher side.
2Toto’s Garage Pub, Bandra: A great place for weekends. It is built like a garage with a calm ambience and relaxing music. They serve chilled beer with Chinese and Indian starters as well as salads. However there is no main course.
3Cafe Mondegar, Colaba: It’s the best place to hang out in a group, and if you are in the mood for some fast food. You get very good pizzas, pastas and garlic bread here. The ambience is very casual and it’s great value for money.
4Vindhyas, Vile Parle: They serve the best South Indian food. The Malabari fish curry along with neer dosa and the South Indian rice are absolutely delicious and a must have. The price is on the higher side but the food is great.
Managing Director, Hachette India
1The Good Soldier Svejk and The Go Between: I like reading fiction mostly. The first one I’ve mentioned is one of the greatest anti-war novels ever and an absolute masterpiece of comic satire by Jaroslav Hasek. LP Hartley’s The Go Between, with its brilliant opening line “The past is a foreign country; they do things differently there” is another favourite.
2Emil And The Detectives And The Fire Engine That Disappeared: Erich Kastner’s Emil… is arguably amongst the best children’s books ever. Simple, endearing and brilliant. Maj Sjöwall and Per Wahlöö’s Fire Engine… featuring detective Martin Beck is a crime great. If someone loves graphic novels, one should read Berlin-city of Stones by Jason Lutes.
3A Taste for Death and Ender’s game: The best in the unputdownable and now cult Modesty Blaise series rendered particularly special because the late author, Peter O’ Donnell, became such a good friend. Though there are deeper works of Orson Scott Card, Ender’s Game remains one of his best works ever.
One of the greatest literary achievements of India by Thakazhi and one that deserves a fresh translation. Another favourite is 30,000 on the Hoof/ Zane Grey, which is one of the best westerns I’ve read and one I rate above his classic Riders of the Purple sage. A special mention to The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet by David Mitchell that should have been this year’s Booker winner!
Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra
1Do Aankhen Barah Haath (1957): V Shantaram’s film made an indelible mark on my subconscious. It’s a brave film, extremely imaginative in its plot. The story line is crisp and dynamic, yet audacious. It’s about 12 murder convicts who are taken to an open jail, inspired from a real life incident at Yerwada jail. It won the Golden Bear at the Berlin film festival.
2Guide (1965): With this one movie, Goldie Anand immortalised himself. The story telling is lyrical and deft. There is no buffoonery, no extra shot in the film and restrained performances from the actors. I completely fell in love with Waheeda Rahman. If you personify this movie as a woman, I would say she was easy with herself, and confident of sensuality and sexuality.
3Garam Hawaa (1973): This film was India’s answer to the masters of world cinema. Directed by M S Sathyu, it told the conflicting tale of the ethnic partition of India in a calm manner. It wasn’t over-the-top cinema. The quieter it got, the more attention it grabbed. Balraj Sahni was fantastic.
K. Asif’s vision had grandeur and elan. In an era that wasn’t digital, it had longer scenes and better war sequences than any action film I have seen. It had drama and romance. Despite Prithviraj Kapoor, Durga Kapoor and Dilip Kumar’s royal characters, this costume drama was relatable to the common man. You don’t feel cold towards the king, you feel like embracing him.