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Masters Choice

Get your list of what to read, listen, eat and watch from the proven experts in the field.

entertainment Updated: Nov 14, 2010 15:29 IST
Hindustan Times


Salman Ahmed
Frontman and Lead Guitarist, Junoon

1. The Beatles — Seargent Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band: The Beatles transformed pop music forever with this diverse collection of pop songs. From ragas to western classical and vaudeville to cutting edge rock, this album blows my mind. My favourite tracks are A day in the life and Lucy in the sky.

2. Led Zeppelin — Led Zeppelin IV: Few people would differ with this all time favourite. Stairway to heaven and Jimmy Page brought the power of rock into my DNA and changed my life forever.

3. Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan with Michael Brook Night song: Addictive and infectious melodies, which have the power to hypnotise me and take me to a higher consciousness. It’s the music of the soul, an album that gave me the raw material to write a song like Sayonee.

4. Radiohead Ok Computer: Thom Yorke’s songwriting defies labels and Radiohead’s songs come from a very mysterious and sensuous place. I can’t stop listening to the melodies and the groove.

— Megha Mahindru


Prathmesh Divecha
Food and Beverage Manager, Peninsula Grand Hotel

1. Lotus Café, Juhu: Situated inside JW Marriot, the place is clean and has a nice ambience. If you have a sweet tooth then the mud cake is for you. A little bitter but more on the sweeter side. If you want to go to a royal place and don’t mind spending the extra buck, this place is for you.

2. Mainland China, Andheri: I have visited all branches of this restaurant. The Andheri outlet has the best cooks. But the others have not lived up to the standards. Don’t get me wrong. The food is still well-prepared and the service impeccable. But the touch of awesomeness is missing in the Powai outlet. The Corn & Waterchestnut Dumplings are excellent. Thick Lemon Broth was strictly average.

3. Vividh, Sakinaka: The Bar at Vividh helps you savour the very best of Indian cuisine complemented by the finest wines and cocktails. The pairing of new world wines with traditional Indian preparations lends the experience a rebellious charm that is irresistible. From the rugged North to the tangy South, and from the sweet and spicy West to the intriguing East, you’ll find all the flavours here at Vividh.

4. Blue Water, Andheri: Awesome place! If you are looking for a nice dinner in an exotic location but not too far, Blue Water has it all. No doubt the food is good. I have gorged on the varieties of starters, which are quite filling in itself. The fish tikka and chicken tikka are not to be missed.

— Shweta Mehta


Susmita Bagchi
Author of Children of a Better God

1. Cancer Ward by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn: I first read this book when I was 17. I loved it, but did not quite understand the allegorical reference to the Soviet Union. That realisation and the true essence of the book dawned on me when I read it again, years later. I always smile when I read the part where one of the characters sings Mukesh’s song Awara hoon, immortalised on screen by Raj Kapoor.

2. Hawaii by James A Michener: I could not put this mammoth book down when I first read it. It encompasses thousands of years and makes you realise that one lifetime is not even a speck in the larger scheme of things. And here we are wasting away, fretting over inconsequential things and filling our lives with avarice, jealousy and malice. The detailed historical, cultural, and geological research that has gone into this book is incredible.

3. Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell: This is my all-time favourite for comfort reading. The lavish plantation lives, chivalry, civil war and romance are all that you need on a gloomy day with a steaming cup of coffee. I find it difficult to relate to the characters of spoilt Scarlett O’ Hara and scandalous Rhett Butler, but this is what a good popular novel should be. I enjoy it every time I read it.

4. Paraja by Gopinath Mohanty: Jnanpith Award winning Oriya writer Gopinath Mohanty is among my all-time favourite authors. His heart wrenching account of exploitation of innocent tribal people is a must read for every politician, policeman and policy maker who is involved in dealing with the growing angst between urban India and the hinterland.

— Manali Shah


Udita Goswami

1. Autumn In New York (2000): I’m obsessed with good love stories and that’s why Autumn In New York is one of my favourite films. It’s a love story between an older man (Richard Gere) and a younger girl (Winona Ryder).

2. Masoom (1983): This is one film revolving around children that I love the most. Till date, Jugal Hansraj is the cutest looking kid we've seen in Hindi movies. Every time you watch Masoom, you feel sad for the small boy. Needless to say, you also feel happy for him when everything turns out well in the end.

3. Kuch Kuch Hota Hai (1998): I was very young when it released and found it so sweet that I watched it too many times. Even though today it seems like a typical Bollywood film, it’s nice to see how Rahul and Anjali get back together. My best friend’s name is Rahul and I remember teasing him, ‘Rahul is a cheater’, just like Anjali teases Shah Rukh Khan’s character in the film.

4. Taare Zameen Par (2007): This is one movie I completely relate to, because I could identify with Ishaan Awasthi, portrayed so brilliantly by Darsheel Safary. I call myself Taara Zameen Par and Goldfish because my memory is not so great. I have a blockage of roads, so I know the way to very few places. Seeing the film and Ishaan’s predicament, it felt good watching this film and at the same time it was comforting too.

— Hiren Kotwani

First Published: Nov 14, 2010 15:02 IST