1. Sapnon Mein Agar Mere Tum Aao Toh So Jaon:
Composed by Madan Mohan, this is one of my favourite songs. The composition is wonderful and Lataji’s soft falsetto touches your soul. I feel deeply connected to its melody. Listening to this song is like an addiction.
2. Jaane Jaan: This song from Jawaani Deewani is exciting in many ways. It’s one of the first songs in which the bass guitar was introduced and played wonderfully. It is beautifully sung and still sounds modern. I love the counter-harmony that Asha ji sings when the mukhda is being sung by Kishoreda. The melody is very powerful and the instrumentations have been done beautifully.
3. Mujhe Tum Nazar Se Gira To Rahe Ho: This ghazal is by Mehndi Hassan, a maestro whose singing is flawless. His voice is mesmerising. I like listening to his music when I am traveling. It makes me feel like a part of that era.
4. Babul Tere Baghban Di Main Bulbul: I am reduced to tears whenever I hear this song. It is beautifully written by Bakshi saab and powerfully sung by Lata ji. RD Burman’s composition is a master stroke. The music that touches you is always the best music, so although I dread hearing this song, I love the fact that it always manages to stir my emotions.
Chef de cuisine, Mezzo Mezzo
1San Qi (Worli): They offer a wonderful fine dining experience. They serve north Japanese cuisine. Their noodle soup and sushi are very nice. The tuna I ate was as soft as butter. I tried three different desserts and each was better than the other.
2Mahesh Lunch Home (Juhu): I like them for their home-style Indian seafood. It is very close to where I work, so I eat there often. I like that they allow you to choose what fish you want to eat.
3Bade Miya (Colaba): is a joint I chanced upon while shopping at Colaba. The kebabs are amazing. I pick up something from there every time I travel that side. Their naan is very different from other places, it’s so soft. The chutney, too, is really good.
4Hard Rock Café (Worli): They serve the best Western meals in Mumbai. Being a foreigner in this city, I crave steak all the time, and here, they make it very well. It is big and tender, just the way I like it.
1. The Old Man and the Sea: A very clichéd choice, but still it’s a perennial favourite. I love the way Ernest Hemingway has expressed so much with so little. There is a line in the book which goes, “the old man knew that pain doesn’t matter to a man”. Something so simply put can capture a life philosophy. What I especially like about the book is that it’s concise and pithy, and yet unfathomably deep.
2. A Star Called Henry: This book by Roddy Doyle is set in the time of the Irish Revolution. It traces the life of a street kid who gets caught up in the struggle to free Ireland. The writing is crisp, muscular and incredibly funny. This book is perhaps not as well known as Doyle’s Booker bagging effort, Paddy Clark Ha Ha Ha, but, to me, vastly superior.
3. The Road: Intensely poignant and thought provoking, this novel traces the journey of a father and son in a post-apocalyptic scenario, where the world they lived in has been decimated by a cataclysmic, and yet unnamed occurrence. Their struggle for survival in a land peopled by cannibals, roving gangs and wasted, ghoul-like creatures is keenly described. Cormac McCarthy has written this book that is very relevant, especially in the current era of nuclear muscle flexing.
4. Animal’s People:
I absolutely loved this book by Indra Sinha, and I was very disappointed when it didn’t win the Booker prize. It is a lot more relevant now, in the aftermath of the Bhopal verdict.
1. Kala Patthar (1979): It is India's best film based on a natural disaster. This is the first action film by Yash Chopra, who is known for romantic films. He got Shatrughan Sinha and Amitabh Bachchan to work together when they weren't on talking terms, and even capitalised on the tension between them.
2. Limelight (1952): I like this tragic love story for its hope and the will to survive. Charlie Chaplin plays Calvero, a failed comedian. He rescues a starlet who wants to commit suicide because she hasn’t tasted success yet. In spite of being a loser himself, he stresses on why it’s important to go on despite failures. “Life can be wonderful if you are not afraid of it,” is the most memorable line from the film.
3. Kannathil Muthamittal (2002): I love the simplicity with which Mani Ratnam has taken a political issue of refugee children and beautifully converted it into a family drama. A Chennai couple, played by Madhavan and Simran, adopt a Sri Lankan refugee girl who later wants to find her parents. Madhavan takes her to a war torn Sri Lanka where they find that her mother is an LTTE agent. The child is shown as very mature for her age and the raw emotions are portrayed realistically.
4. Gladiator (2000): It has all the elements - drama, sequences, good music and a great story. I love the way this period film has such a contemporary context. I am impressed by the journey of emotions of this man who is thrown out of his job, how he takes revenge and what he went through during that period.