I’m right now listening to All along the watchtower by Bob Dylan. I’m a big Dylan person and keep revisiting his music every now and then. This song is like my anchor and I revisit it often.
The Doors by The Doors : Break on through the other side really rang in adulthood for me. I must be around 14 and it was the same time I was discovering new things. An older friend played the track and I was hooked.
Amnesiac by Radiohead : They are by far the definitive alternative band. The sound is simply unique and unmatchable. Even their earlier albums, Bend and OK Computer were something.
Appetite for Destruction by Guns ‘n’ Roses : I remember taking my dad’s Contessa out with my friends for a little drive around town. I used to listen to a lot of Guns ‘n’ Roses and a constant companion was Welcome to the jungle.
Off the Wall by Michael Jackson: Oh, Don’t stop till you get enough simply freaks me out. He is ‘the’ man really. There is no one like him. His sound production is simply brilliant.
- Sharin Bhatti
Food and beverage manager, Holiday Inn Mumbai International Airport
Lotus Café at the JW Marriot. I went there for their buffet. The spread was great, and the ambience was good. The service is always good. They have a great choice of dishes, everything is there and the chefs are very helpful.
Café Mondegar (Colaba): It’s a nice place to hang out with friends and have a few beers. I used to work at the Oberoi and the staff always used to go there. The food is really nice and it has a different ambience. It’s really relaxing.
Mezzo Mezzo, J W Marriot Hotel (Juhu): The pizzas and the Beef Carpaccio are out of this world. They have authentic Italian food and it even has an Italian chef. You have a nice view of the sea and the pool, so you can have a good time there.
Mahesh Lunch Home (Juhu): They are famous for seafood and are well known across Mumbai. They have amazing crab preparations. My favourite is the stuffed crab, which is stuffed with crabmeat and stir-fried vegetables. The décor and ambience is not that great, but the service is prompt and the food is really tasty.
Dynasty (Santa Cruz): Several Bollywood celebs come here. It’s always full and so you have to wait to dine. I have seen Boman Irani there and lots of TV actors. They serve Indian Chinese food, the best in the city. I like the spicy crab soup and the stir-fried rice the most. The food is quick and tasty and not too expensive. It’s a very simple small joint, nothing flashy.
— Naomi Canton
Author of Keep Off The Grass
I’m reading the first print of my own novel, Johnny Gone Down, which releases on May 1.
Forrest Gump : I’ve loved this book since I first chanced upon it almost twenty years ago. The novel has everything I think makes for great fiction: a life-affirming message presented in a dramatic, almost bizarre story which stretches the boundaries of believability but doesn’t completely break it and arouses deep emotions in readers without resorting to clichés.
The Bangkok Series : I dig these novels both because of its gritty take on Thailand’s underbelly — snuff films, drug cartels, tantrik practices etc — as well as the spiritually confused Buddhist detective protagonist of the novels, Sonchai Jitpleecheep. I’m an unsuccessful armchair spiritual seeker, and I found myself relating very closely to the protagonist who is unsuccessful in his quest for Nirvana.
English August : There is great tragedy in this comic novel as you watch Agastya Sen, the novel’s cynical, lost protagonist (my favourite character in Indian literature) reflect on the futility of everything.
Moth Smoke and The Reluctant Fundamentalist : Both novels feature conventionally successful protagonists who destroy themselves and those around them with their ill-considered, but meaningful actions. And I tend to enjoy writing with self-destructive, wasted youth themes.
— Jayeeta Mazumder
Filmmaker and Ad-man
A set of films that I recently saw and have gifted to a lot of people is The Kabir Project by Shabnam Virmani. These are four documentaries and two folk music videos and ten CDs about Kabir. Priceless.
Secrets and Lies (1996) by Mike Leigh: I saw this film when I was in Sydney shooting a commercial. I remember coming out of the theatre not wanting to speak to any one and going for a long walk. I had not seen this level of reality on screen ever. My film Let’s Talk, evolved from some of the methods he uses to get his actors to act.
Three Colors Blue (1993) by Krzysztof Kieslowski: Kieslowski is a poet. The way the camera and visual language are used to heighten emotions is to be studied. I saw Three Colors Blue first and remember going to the Kolkata Film Festival to see the remaining of the trilogy (Three Colors White and Red) with knots in my stomach. Three Colors Blue is visual, moody, atmospheric cinema at its best.
Pather Panchali (1955) by Satyajit Ray: Nothing remains to be said about the Master. In Hindustani classical music when the name of a Guru or Ustad is taken, the musician touches his ear in respect. That’s what I do when Ray’s name is spoken.
2001 A Space Odyssey (1968) by Stanley Kubrick: I cannot imagine the power Kubrick must have had to pull off this big-budget personal film. What would the studio executives and the crew have said when they first saw it? We receive the film now as a classic and so we already believe it is great. But how do you convince a team of people to have faith in this vision while you are making it? So imagine a question from one of the crew: “Errr Mr Kubrick, what is 2001 about?” And imagine Kubrick replying “It is about spirituality and the meaning of life.” And then to pull it off!
— Sharin Bhatti