Plan A, B and C: What India’s most creative people will be doing in 2018
Indian cricket captain Mithali Raj will be moving into her own flat. Comedian Mallika Dua wants to go to Portugal. Writer Kiran Nagarkar hopes to live another year...india Updated: Dec 30, 2017 14:51 IST
A family holiday in Portugal, driving all over Australia, writing a big book, catching a musical at the opera, being lead writer for a digital platform, piloting a plane, shifting to a new fitness routine, the high of performing before an international audience…. Personal goals, a list of pick-me-ups, renewing travel plans that never got off the ground last year, a big buy; if 2017 was the year of knowing their minds, 2018 will be the year of resolutions, say India’s most creative people.
Kiran Nagarkar, author
First of all, let’s see if I can make it to the next year. I am 75. At my age, I don’t take things a day at a time, I take them a minute at a time. Assuming I do make it to next year, I would like to finish at least four projects that are in my mind even though I haven’t scribbled a word. I would like to finish reading many books; John Gielgud: the Authorized Biography is the first thing I want to read. I plan to catch up on Salman Rushdie’s older book, Shalimar the Clown. I want to read a lot of Marathi books too, which I have completely lost touch with. I also want to watch every Oscar-nominated movie next year.
Mithali Raj, Captain, Indian women’s cricket team
I am looking forward to moving into my own house by February end or early March! I booked a three-bedroom apartment last year because I really wanted a space for myself. However, it was important to me that the house be near my family home in Hyderabad. I am not sure how much time I will get to spend at the place, given my hectic schedule, but I do want to decorate it with good furniture, a nice TV set and art. I want to get a stylish rocking chair near my book rack, which is packed with crime thrillers; I want a swing in another room.
The coming year is packed with cricket for me. I am really looking forward to the Australia and South Africa tours.
Dayanita Singh, Artist
What I am really looking forward to next year is teaching a Shoe-Box Museum workshop, an idea that is similar to the mobile and pocket-museums I have been making in recent years. I will be conducting this as part of the education pavillion at the Dhaka Art Summit in February, 2018. With this workshop, I will test this new concept and hope to travel with this idea and reach out to people who might be curious to build their own shoe-box museums. Imagine, one day we might have a museum of shoe-box museums! The bare bones of the concept is this: suppose you take a shoe-box as if it were your own museum, what would you display? How would you arrange that display? How would you manage the reserve collection, the catalogue? What do you want to keep there? It’s a way to evaluate what we value in our own lives, and what we might wish our own museums to be.
Mallika Dua, comedian
The goal for 2018 is to be physically strong. I’m looking forward to stronger calves next year! I’ve been training for a while now, and working hard towards it as I want to go on a hike. At some point in my life, I want to hike up Machu Picchu in Peru. I’ll be doing a lot of strength training, plus yoga, Pilates and brisk walking next year. I may also venture into merchandising and production. And finally, I want to travel more. I haven’t been able to make any time for travel in 2017 as I have had a busy schedule. I’ve mainly been flying between Delhi and Mumbai. I really want to go to Portugal, and take my parents with me. But hey, they are busy too, so maybe it’ll just be me and my sister. And once I get there, I want to eat authentic pastel de nata (a Portuguese egg tart).
Tapsee Pannu, actor
I am a travel addict and a beach bum. But in 2017, for various reasons, I didn’t explore as many places as I should have. My goal for 2018 is to travel to New Zealand and South Africa as they have amazing coastlines. On the professional front, I want to do movies that give more importance to subjects than stars. It will help me build the image I want to portray in 2018 and in the future.
Varun Grover, lyricist
I look forward to the first Indian Netflix original series, Sacred Games, for which I am the lead writer. Writers run the show on digital platforms and I love the freedom it gives me to do long narratives, fiction and non-fiction. The shooting is on and it will be streamed in 2018. I am a big fan of the Vikram Chandra novel on which the series is based. Very few works match Sacred Games in capturing the nuances of Mumbai. The book looks at the lives of Bombay’s cops with great sincerity. The show, starring Saif Ali Khan, Radhika Apte and Nawazuddin Siddiqui in the lead roles, is co-directed by Anurag Kashyap and Vikramaditya Motwane. Apart from this, I will make sure that I write at least two short stories for children. I have not done that for more than a year now and I feel guilty about it.
Swapan Seth, writer
I am looking forward to Season 3 of Billions. It is my favourite television show ever. I have always been deeply interested in knowing all I can about the hedge-fund stalwart, Steve Cohen and how Preet Bharara did all he could to bring him to justice. Billions is based on that. It is about the battle between billionaire hedge-fund operator Bobby ‘Axe’ Axelrod (Damian Lewis) and US attorney Chuck Rhoades (Paul Giamatti). I have a bromance with Bobby Axelrod. After seeing this show, I changed my office table to look like the one Bobby has in his office. I also started wearing sneakers. And in a sheer fanboy weak moment, I tweeted him to send me a signed photograph of his, which he did. It now hangs in my office. I have an alarm set for both January and February 2018 for Season 3.
Stefan Kaye, artist
2018 promises to be a particularly eventful year for me. Most exciting of all will be the birth in January of my first child with my partner Ritika. Soon after that, I will be putting the finishing touches to a sound installation project I am working on for artist Subodh Gupta to be unveiled at an exhibition in Paris. In January, I will also perform works especially composed to accompany select poets at the Jaipur Literature Festival. Perhaps my band ‘The Ska Vengers’ biggest achievement to date will be representing India at the Commonwealth Games in Australia in April. I hope that I am able to attend these events overseas and others like it, and that I may remain in my adopted home, Delhi, with my Indian family as my long protracted legal battle with the Home Affairs Department is resolved. This would be the second ultimate gift for me next year!
Zakia Soman, Co-founder, Bharatiya Muslim Mahila Andolan
2017 was a great year for me as our long-drawn battle to get instant triple talaq banned, succeeded with the Supreme Court decision. But only the legal battle has been won. A lot needs to be done in terms of social reform and building awareness and that is our aim for the coming year. Also, though instant triple talaq only impacted Muslim women, our cause was supported by women of all religions. So maybe it is time to widen the scope of our work and enlist the support of and work for the cause of all women. I have learnt a lot during this period about the lives of the women who would come to us for help. In the coming year I want to share their stories. I have only written articles and columns so far. But there is so much of lived experience that needs to be told. Maybe I will write a book and write about it in 2018.
Kalki Koechlin, actor
In 2018, if I am free during the day, I don’t want to waste it on social media. Instead, I want to know more about cultural programmes in the city. There are so many good events happening in Mumbai, whether at the NCPA [National Centre for the Performing Arts] or the Royal Opera House. I want to make time to attend them. I want to be at the pop-ups and poetry festivals. I think I need to get better at time management, both professionally and personally. I need to take breaks so that I can read, watch plays, attend concerts. I need to know what is happening in the art world. I want to explore my creative side more, and in order to do that I need inspiration. We tend to stay busy all the time, travelling non-stop and living in a bubble. I want to find time for all these things.
Suneet Varma, fashion designer
I would love to go to Australia. I have pretty much exhausted all the information there is on the internet about it – I know when it has the best climate, its best beach season, what is its deadliest animal….I somehow feel it is the last free place in the world in the sense that much of it is still untamed and too large for the comprehension of an individual. You can’t wrap your head around it all at once, something you can do about places in Europe or in southeast Asia, or even in India. My brother has driven all over it. If I go to Australia, I will visit Melbourne as it has a great jazz culture and Queensland for its sense of space. I’ve made umpteen number of plans to go to Australia but I always end up going to Europe on work. Hopefully in 2018, I will get to Australia. Another 2018 aspiration is to resume my singing lessons.
Amit V Masurkar, director of Newton, India’s official entry to the 2018 Oscars
I’d really like to take up terrace gardening in Mumbai. Apart from that, my 2018 goal is to read more books. I would also like to travel to the Northeast and Kolkata.
Gul Panag, actor
I’d like to fly more often. I’m a licensed pilot, so my aim is to fly out at least three times a month. I also really want to spend more time with my family. We generally go on camping trips to the mountains, where there’s no mobile network. We all get together and eat together – it’s a lovely way to spend quality time with each other. Some years, we skipped it. In 2018, I want to make sure I spend more time with my parents and parents-in-law. The thing is, as you get older you realise these were truly the moments to cherish. I am also excited to finally pick up Krav Maga in the new year. I also hope to travel to Vietnam and Cambodia.