Get your list of what to read, listen, eat and watch from the proven experts in the field
‘Veronika Decides to Die shows how being alive is a gift’
READ: Neeta Shah, Author, Bollywood Striptease
Lust for Life by Irving Stone: Though biographical, it is a fictional novel on the life of the famous Dutch painter, Vincent van Gogh and his hardships. The book describes the origins of many of Vincent's famous paintings. It’s a sad yet really beautiful life narrated wonderfully in this novel.
Norwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami: The novel is a nostalgic story of loss and sexuality. The story’s protagonist and narrator is Toru Watanabe, who looks back on his days as a college student living in Tokyo. It’s a doomed love story which could be why it’s so much more touching than a
normal love story with a happy ending.
Veronika Decides to Die by Paulo Coelho: This book is partly based on Coelho’s experience in various mental institutions. It is based around the subject of madness. The book’s a reminder that just being alive is a gift that should not be taken for granted.
The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger: The novel is a great combination of science fiction and romance. In particular, it uses time travel to explore miscommunication and distance in relationships, while also investigating deeper existential questions.
Harry Potter series by J K Rowling: The books are a right mix of fantasy and coming of age with elements of mystery, thriller, adventure and romance.
‘Tum jo mil gaye ho has got meaningful lyrics’
LISTEN: Madhushree Bhattacharya, Singer
Tum jo mil gaye ho Hanste Zakham: This song sung by Mohammad Rafi is one of my favourites and has got meaningful lyrics. Rafi sahab had a lovely voice and sang this song beautifully.
Unbreak my heart Secrets: A beautiful song by American singer Toni Braxton, taken from her second studio album, Secrets (1996). Toni is an outstanding singer and the feelings she expressed through this song cannot be justified by any other singer.
Ei raat tomar aamar Deep Jele Jai: I saw this Bengali film when I was very young and I can never forget it. This song worked so well with the film. It’s a beautiful romantic song sung by Hemant Kumar.
Aao huzoor tum ko Kismat: This song is sung by Asha Bhosale. Ashaji is a versatile singer and she has sung this song beautifully. She brings out the emotions and attitude of this song brilliantly. Being a singer myself, I have learnt a lot from her.
Mera naam chin chin chu Howrah Bridge: Singer Geeta Dutt had a different kind of voice altogether and I liked it a lot. There are many female singers who have beautiful voices, but no one can match Geeta’s. Her voice is unparalleled.
‘Fratelli Fresh is the place to go for Italian food lovers’
EAT: Nishant Pawar, Executive chef, Meluha The Fern Hotel
Souk at The Taj Mahal Palace Colaba: The place serves excellent Mediterranean and Arabic food. The large glass windows with a breath-taking view of the harbour ensure a time of comfortable and enjoyable dining. The delightful mezzes, grills and fresh bread are a treat for the senses.
Fratelli Fresh at Renaissance Hotel Powai: If you are fond of Italian food, this is the place to go. The restaurant serves authentic home-style and simple Italian food. The picturesque view of the lake is an added attraction.
Global Fusion Bandra: It serves oriental fusion cuisine. The mode of service the restaurant adopts is one of choosing your food by clipping it with your table number. The service personnel serve it thereafter. The name does justice to the food served.
Gajalee Vile Parle: It specialises in coastal seafood. Clams, oysters, bombils and crabs are my favourites. The place does justice to your expectations of great coastal seafood with a contemporary ambience as the backdrop.
Golden Dragon at The Taj Mahal Palace Colaba: The Golden Dragon caters to your appetite for Sichuan cuisine and does justice to the uniqueness of the cuisine. Dishes like beggars chicken, peking duck and konjee crispy lamb are classics.
It is the place to treat yourself to some delectable Chinese cuisine.
‘The depth and intensity throughout Pakeezah is strong’
WATCH: Ragini Khanna, TV actor
Pakeezah (1972): The movie is perceived and depicted in a very picturesque format. Scenes that don’t have much dialogue also have a language and communication of their own. The depth and intensity throughout the film and the narrative is very strong.
Chupke Chupke (1975): Hrishikesh Mukherjee’s comic caper is a movie that really stands out due to all its characters — my favourite ones being the ones played by actors Dharmendra, Om Prakash and David Abraham Cheulkar.
Apna Apna (1994): This is one of my favourite movies. Every character stands out — Amar, Prem, Crime Master Gogo, Raveena, Karishma etc. The best part is that this movie didn’t do well on its release, but it has become so popular and picked up so many fans that people watch it every time it is aired on TV.
Gol Maal (1979): The Amol Palekar-Utpal Dutt combo was a feast to watch in the movie. All of the sequences where they interact have a subtle punch
of underlining humour to them.
Chhoti Si Baat (1975): This movie saw actor Ashok Kumar in a completely new avatar and Amol Palekar, as always, has a comic timing like no one else. The complete course of winning over a girl, the tricks of the trade and the way Amol’s character has to undergo the training makes this film a must-watch.