French’s book offers an insight into what made Naipaul
Read: Rabi Thapa, Author, Nothing to Declare
This biography of VS Naipaul is fascinating - for the intimate insights into what made this great writer, his remarkable sense of destiny, and his comically exaggerated arrogance.
Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov
A potentially distasteful theme made beautifully tragicomic, to the extent that anyone who has ever been hopelessly obsessed with anything can relate to the protagonist.
A Confederacy Of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole
The misadventures of Ignatius J Reilly, described in the foreword as "slob extraordinare, a mad Oliver Hardy, a fat Don Quixote, a perverse Thomas Aquinas rolled into one."
The Storyteller by Mario Vargas Llosa
A Peruvian writer is convinced that a picture of the Amazon, depicting a traditional storyteller, is actually that of an old school friend who abandoned civilisation to join a tribe. Llosa’s prose is like the rainforest for the disappearing tribes.
The Famished Road by Ben Okri
An otherworldly tale of a spirit child who struggles to stay in his impoverished world, palpably infested by mostly malevolent spirits. If reading the sequel, Songs of Enchantment means starting all over again, I wouldn’t mind.
–Manali Shah ‘I love The Prodigy’s dedication to their own unique style’
Listen: Arfaaz Kagalwala, drummer and music director
Bonobo (Black Sands)
It blends electronic beats with eclectic live instruments such as African percussion, horn sections and acoustic instruments from around the world. This album is just pure class and can be appreciated by a wide range of listeners.
Frou Frou (Details)
If God is in the details then this album has been created in heaven. The thought-provoking lyrics, addictive melodies and production genius creates a lasting impression on any listener.
The Prodigy (Invaders Must Die)
The band’s latest album has been criticised by many, but I love it because of their dedication to their own unique style without giving a damn about the critics. It’s hard-hitting and gets my adrenaline flowing.
The Beatles (Revolver)
I love their entire discography, but this album is the best example of their song writing skills and production genius. The last song makes you realise that they were instrumental in kick-starting a revolution we now call electronica.
Soundgarden (Down on The Upside)
This is my favourite grunge album. It’s a mix of pure aggression, classy instrumentation and powerful vocals.
‘I suggest you try all of the pastas at Yellow Tree Café’
Eat: Ajit Tapaswani, Owner, Yoga House
Pali Village Café (Bandra)
They handle vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes with equal finesse and quality. I recommend the veg pasta spaghetti agli olio and the classic roasted chicken, which is a personal favourite. The interiors are designed to give the place a very European feel.
Mia Cucina (Bandra)
It is probably one of the only places around serving authentic and excellently made Italian pizzas. The service is great too.
Punjab Sweet House (Bandra)
A traditional sweet shop that also happens to sell some great Punjabi food. The food is authentic in every sense. The paneer bhurji with phulka is an amazing dish.
Soam (Girgaum Chowpatty)
An all-vegetarian restaurant that adds it’s own twist to Gujarati, Jain, and South Indian cuisine. The food is simple, authentic and healthy. There are some interesting dishes like the palak and cheese samosa and the turiya patra biscuit bhakri. Tasty and reasonable, it's a must-visit for any vegetarian foodie.
Yellow Tree Café (Bandra)
They serve up some delicious food that can be enjoyed in the great atmosphere. The pastas here are especially well-made. I suggest one try all of them.
Watch: Krishna DK, co-director, Shor In The City
The Fighter (2010)
I underestimated the film, having already seen Rocky and The Wrestler several times. But I was blown away by how the film puts across the sentiments of its characters. Christian Bale’s performance is top class.
Jean-Pierre Jeunet’s film has several layers. It’s a simple, funny story, but talks about several other things too. The performances are captivating, especially Audrey Tautou’s. The movie and its cinematography spawned a very different kind of cinema in later years.
City of God (2002)
Its narrative structure and strong cinematography set new standards for filmmakers to follow. Performances stand out, but the film has very strong direction by Fernando Meirelles and Katia Lund. The way it goes about unravelling one structure of the story to another is amazing to watch.
O Brother, Where Art Thou? (2003)
Brilliant execution of a gripping screenplay, and great cinematography. The Coen Brothers are my favourite directors but the screenplay and story make it a must-watch.
This Telugu film showcased how action, storyline and characters can be merged strongly. The emotional connect and RGV’s grip over his craft is too strong, and makes the film a classic for all times.