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Masters' choice

Get your list of what to read, listen, eat and watch from the proven experts in the field.

entertainment Updated: Feb 06, 2011 13:54 IST

Literature
Sarayu Srivatsa
Author, The Solitude of Prime Numbers

The Great Gatsby: This beautiful and simple tale by F Scott Fitzgerald is about the American dream— money, ambition, greed and the promise of new beginnings. Set in the Jazz age, it captures its decadence and excess through Gatsby’s obsessive love
for Daisy Buchanan. The writing is spare and elegant.

The Grapes of Wrath: This novel by John Steinbeck is about the grim struggles of those affected by dust bowl as they fled to California at the height of the injustices being fraught upon the migrant workers there. The simple, primary feeling of ‘hunger’ elsewhere in the world is perceivable and understandable, but hunger in America brought about by corruption, and the greed of large companies is what this book explores.

The Ash Garden: This book by Dennis Bock focuses on the ways in which war and illness take away the very things that make life beautiful and fulfilling. The very premise of the novel is at once universal and poignant. The story is told against the backdrop of the bombing of Hiroshima. Reading this book made me want to explore the wrongness of ‘right’ and vice versa. This is the kind of book that would help people to cope with acts of terrorism.

K – The Art of Love: This novel by Hong Ying is like a Chinese rendition of Lady Chatterley’s Lover – a sort of collision of cultures. Set in 1930’s China, it is based on a true story of a strange encounter between two very different, rather alien people.
- Manali Shah

Music
Ehsaan Noorani
Musician

The Dark Side of the Moon (Pink Floyd): This is one of my all-time favourite albums. I’ve heard it so many time that I end up promising myself not to hear it again. But it’s very short-lived. Every time I hear one song from the album, I end up listening to the whole album over and over again. That’s only something that a superb album can do.

Band on the Run (Wings): Recorded by Paul McCartney and Wings, this album is superlative in terms of the song writing. It’s no wonder that such a superb album till date continues to be one of the most celebrated works by McCartney, post his Beatles days. The album was also reissued with a 25th anniversary edition, which I personally feel is a treasure.

Abbey Road (Beatles): Personally, I think it’s one of the best albums by The Beatles. Every album by these guys was a game changer, but what sets this album apart is the fact that it was recorded at a time when the band was almost disbanded and barely worked as a unit. This tightly constructed album showed a completely different side to their music and how they approach it.

Sowing The Seeds of Love (Tears for Fears): This album was released in 1989. It was out when the British pop group was at its zenith. They had hits like ‘Everybody wants to rule the world’ behind them and they were all set to go to town with their music and production. The content of the album was top-notch, many of the songs became their greatest hits and the album managed to have a universal appeal.
-Megha Mahindru

Food
Gauri Tejwani
Owner, Barcode 053

Royal China (Bandra): Surely the best and only authentic Chinese restaurant in India. The food is always consistent and of the highest standard compared to any other Chinese restaurant where I have eaten. The service is quick and efficient and the ambience is great. For special occasions like birthdays and anniversaries, I wouldn’t think twice before going here.

Mangi Ferra (Ville Parle): This place is awesome. Excellently designed, with a great ambience and unmatched food, I have no words to describe it. One of the few places in town which serves really genuine Italian food, I love their thin and crispy pizzas. The service is super and attentive and the food is delicious, especially the linguine pasta and risotto.

Pan Asian (ITC Hotel Grand Maratha Sheraton and Tower): The food is excellent. The tom yum soup is great and balanced, without an overpowering taste. The dim sums are light and melt in your mouth, and go well with soya and garlic sauce. I also like the noodles and the veggies here.

China Garden (Khar): I do miss the old glory of China Garden and Piano Bar but I guess everything changes eventually. Thank God that’s not the case with the food at China Garden. I still make it a point to either dine in or take out food from here atleast thrice a month and have not been disappointed yet. Their service is superb. I’d do anything for a portion of veg teppan soba noodles, steamed wantons, their paneer in red pepper and the corn starter!
-Rochelle Pinto

Cinema
Nikhil Advani
Director, Patiala House

Godfather (1972): A film can rarely define a genre, but that’s just the case with Godfather. Strong performances, solid directing, and a tight script all contribute to The Godfather’s success. With his raspy voice, deliberate movements, and penetrating stare, Marlon Brando (Don Vito Corleone) created a large-than-life persona .

The 400 Blows (1959): The look and feel of the film, the way it is shot and edited, is what makes it so powerful. François Truffaut has redefined everything we knew about cinema with this movie. Everything that we consider ‘new’ about filmmaking today, is something he experimented with, back then.

Shawshank Redemption (1994): Frank Darabont’s direction is impeccable. He has created a thoughtful character study of two men serving life sentence. What attracts my attention in the film is that it manages to maintain the true sense of the human spirit’s ability to triumph. Tim Robbins and Morgan Freeman bring to life this wonderful script by their performances.

Sholay (1975): Hindi cinema simply cannot be discussed without the unforgettable characters in Sholay. Each character has made a mark for themselves with their idiosyncrasies, whether it’s the popular catchphrase “Kitney admi the” or “Ye hath hamko de de thakur.”
-Priyanka Jain