‘City of Djinns is a great book to understand Delhi’s splendour'
Read: Lourdes Tirouvanziam-Louis, author, The Pondicherry Kitchen
The Outsider Albert Camus
The protagonist is an outsider to himself, he suffers and seems indifferent to whatever happens in his life. I connect with the book because I myself am an introvert when suffering is concerned. Maybe it’s my mother’s influence as she was Buddhist. They don’t show any emotions, both joy and suffering must be controlled.
City of Djinns William Dalrymple It is a travelogue by William Dalrymple about Delhi. It culminated as a result of his six-year stay in New Delhi. This is a great book to understand the splendour that was Delhi and discover all the unknown places of old Delhi.
The Little Prince Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
This book can be read many times and every time it will leave a message. I’ve read it more than 10 times and every time I find something new.
Midnight’s Children Salman Rushdie
I love the style of writing used in this book, it is complex but very enticing. Salman’s novels are a challenge to your concentration.
Nine Lives William Dalrymple
It is about the lives of nine Indians, a Buddhist monk, a Jain nun, a lady from a middle-class family in Calcutta, a prison warden from Kerala, an illiterate goat herd from Rajasthan, and a devadasi among others, as seen during William’s Indian travels. The book explores the lives of nine such people, each of whom represent a different religious path in nine chapters. The story of the Jain nun really moved me.
‘Mukti became the sonic landscape on my visits to India’
listen Talvin Singh, producer-composer and tabla player
The Unforgettable Jagjit-Chitra Singh This was one of the very first albums I had purchased on vinyl format as a kid. It is no doubt the best produced album of India — the arrangements, sound and production are stunning. It was a huge influence on me in terms of aesthetics in the recording world.
Natural Elements Shakti I had been given a cassette of this album with handwritten titles in the early ’90s. The combination of tabla and ghatam was so uplifting that it took me towards south Indian percussion. This album got me interested in jazz music.
Dubnobasswithmyheadman Underworld This was one of the first British techno albums which never got off my headphones. Having a narrative and voice-over techno requires a rare art and this album proves that it is achievable.
Anahata Shwetha Jhaveri This is the most amazing contemporary album I have ever listed to by an Indian classical vocalist. Shwetha’s voice is deep and yet strikingly beautiful. The group harmonises the raag structure in a free jazz style, yet with a careful choice of notes and tones to display dark and light emotions.
Mukti Pt Hariprasad Chaurasia I purchased this album on cassette in New Delhi. It became the sonic landscape on my visits to India in my early youth. I think the studio musicians weren’t aware that they were using a Roland 808 drum machine — the most hip drum machine, to provide rhythm to this music. The drums were used in early hip hop music production. —Petrina D’Souza
‘The menu at The Table is expansive and diverse’
eat Geoff Simmons, executive chef, Shangri-La Hotel
Café Zoe Lower Parel It is one of the few places that effortlessly transforms itself from a cafe in the day to a bar in the evening. They have their occasional live performances too, both of music and stand-up comedy which are great accompaniments to a fine meal. It is a simple concept with good energy and a great location.
The Table Colaba This was one of the first restaurants that I visited when I came to Mumbai. It is a great place to dine, being classy, elegant and yet unassuming in its ambience. The menu is expansive and diverse; their cuisine seems quite focused on ingredients, minus the brouhaha. I’m partial to The Table Burger, bacon being a personal favourite.
Olive Bar & Kitchen Mahalaxmi It is a great location. The outdoor area is perfect. The prawns verde in a herb harissa marinade is something no sea food lover should miss.
The Golconda Bowl Bandra They make delicious butter chicken. Also, the Nawabi decor is fascinating; it makes you feel like royalty.
Yauatcha Bandra The contemporary décor at Yauatcha stands out as soon as you enter. They have an extensive dimsum menu — the Crispy Prawn Cheung Fun is something I never miss when dining there. The tea wall and pastries are a must try too! —HTC
‘Avengers is the ultimate superhero extravaganza’
watch Darsheel Safary, actor
Avatar 2009 This is a 3D spectacular and a must watch film. The film has created a new landmark in visual effects. In fact, 3D was redefined by Avatar.
Transformers: Dark of the Moon 2001 This is one of the most spectacular 3D action films of all time. The film’s background score by Steve Jablonsky is outstanding. The battle scenes in the film are worth watching and looks more superb in 3D. This film is a personal favourite.
The Dark Knight Rises 2012 Actor Tom Hardy’s performance as Bane and the sleek Batmobile are some of the reasons that I consider this film as one of my favourites. The background score by Hans Zimmer is amazing and the Batmobile is super awesome.
Terminator 2: Judgment Day 1991 I love this film simply because of actor Arnold Schwarzenegger and his performance. The film is a must watch for the stupendous performances of Arnold and Robert Patrick.
Avengers 2012 This is the ultimate superhero extravaganza. If you ever watch it, then keep an eye on the interesting characters Iron Man, played by Robert Downey, Jr., and the Hulk, played by Mark Ruffalo. All the superheroes are portrayed superbly by their respective actors. Also, the story goes well with the action sequences. — Kavita Awaasthi