1 Khwaja mere khwaja from Jodhaa Akbar : This is a very beautiful composition by AR Rahman. I generally listen to Sufi songs and love the Sufi poetry in Khwaja Mere Khwaja. I like the ambience this song provides to the film. I also love the wonderful feel of this song.
2 Dillagi bhool jaani padegi by Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan: I love all of Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan’s songs. It is very difficult to name only one. This song has a beautiful message saying that you have to forget everything. Songs that have a meaningful thought or message in them appeal to me. It is the words that are important and remembered.
3 Do kadam aur sahi from Meenaxi : This song has been composed by AR Rahman and sung extremely well by Sonu Niigaam. I love the feel of this song. The words are beautiful. I recently met Sonu for a show in Ahemdabad and I told him how much I like this song. He was surprised since it is not even a very popular track. He has sung loads of songs, but I especially liked this one. He was very glad to know I like it.
4 Yeh duniya agar mil bhi jaaye toh kya hai from Pyaasa : It is a very old song, but remains one of my all time favourites. Guru Dutt’s way of perceiving life was different. This song carries a unique message with it. Even after we acquire everything, we are always searching for something else and something more. I absolutely love this song.
— Manali Shah
Chef, Two One Two
1 San Qi (Four Seasons Hotel, Worli): The Otoro Steak (tuna belly) they prepare is delicious; they make it really well here. The food here is normally good. Since it is an open kitchen, it is nice to see the methods and the ingredients they using for cooking. Being a chef always seems interesting.
2 Delhi Darbar (7 Bungalows): One must definitely visit this place to try out their Mutton Mughlai Chap with Reshmi Paratha. I love Indian food, plus I have been here a while now and have discovered that all the spices and breads are very fresh and tasty.
3 Punjab Grill (Lower Parel): This the place to go for all types of kebabs. The portions, too, are good. The kebabs are delicately flavoured and some of them literally melt in your mouth. The paan shot is something to look forward to.
4 Wasabi (Taj Mahal Palace & Towers, Colaba): I really enjoy the food at Wasabi especially, the Sashimi. When you enter this restaurant, you know you should expect something great. The ambience and decor come together and the overall experience is really memorable. I love Japanese food so the more the better.
— Collin Rodrigues
Author, Ouch! Cried Planet Earth
1 84 Charing Cross Road: A simple, easy read by Helene Hanff, about a 20-year correspondence between an American writer and a British seller of used books. Though they never meet, a deep friendship develops through their common love for books. A happy, soothing book, one that leaves behind a fragrant aftertaste.
2 Becoming a Writer : It is a serious look at the life of the author, Dorothea Brande — the travails, the constant basis of worry and discontent. For someone who gobbles up every book on technique, construction, plot and character, this book stood out and demanded my attention. It tells you that the ‘writer’s magic’ can be taught and that, I feel, is what every writer has to believe in.
3 The Giving Tree : Being a children’s writer, I am inspired by this Shel Silverstein’s book in many ways. The simple story of unconditional loving and giving is a lesson of life relevant to everyone. The evocative line drawings on stark white paper complement the dramatic impression that the few impactful words create.
4 Luka and the Fire of Life : After the magical Haroun and the Sea of Stories comes Luka, another beautifully visualised book of wondrous tales by Salman Rushdie. Twelve-year-old Luka encounters the most magnificently imagined obstacles in his quest to steal the fire of life for his father, the storyteller Rashid, who is lost to the world in an impenetrable slumber.
— Shweta Mehta
Director, Band Baaja Baarat
1 Kabhi Haan Kabhi Naa (1993): I was quite young when I saw this film and no other film has made me choke as much as Kundan Shah’s Kabhi Haan Kabhi Naa. Sunil was such a passionate guy and did things he believed in. He was not your usual ‘hero’ and it was a great story that mixed reality and fantasy. It’s my favourite Shah Rukh Khan performance till date.
2 In the Mood for Love (2000): The most poetic love story I have ever seen. The pining of the characters is so graceful that you are transfixed by it. Wong Kar Wai’s filmmaking is breathtakingly gorgeous and the music adds magic and takes the romance to another level.
3 Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge (1995): This is the most impressionable film for me: It made me want to make films. I loved the way Aditya Chopra’s traditional and modern values were mixed so organically and I remember each and every dialogue of the film backwards.
4 Pulp Fiction (1994): Besides the novel use of nonlinear storytelling, eclectic dialogue and ironic mix of humour and violence, I love the film for it’s unabashed attitude. Quentin Tarantino’s film is a buff’s dream. You discover something new, something surprising in every new viewing.
— Priyanka Jain