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Picking order

Here's this week's celeb pick in books, music, food and films.

entertainment Updated: May 29, 2011 13:29 IST
Hindustan Times

‘I liked the artfulness of weaving 3 cities in Shadow Lines’
Arun Kumar, Author, Plain Truths

I am currently reading Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese. This novel tugged at my heartstrings for its humanity. It is moving and lifted by humorous observation. To my mind, it is a twenty-first century Great Expectations.

Great Expectations by Charles Dickens
This book appeals to me for the innocence of its emotions of love, gratitude and hope, and contrasts the uplifting nature of these with the sadness that comes with their absence. I read it once every few years to savour the writing right from its memorable opening lines.

A House For Mr Biswas by VS Naipaul
I found this story intensely moving as it explores a man’s quest for a house of his own, a basic human desire. The novel also traverses the pathos of a man’s yearning for independence and as it does so it is lifted by humanity and humour.

Waiting for the Barbarians by JM Coetzee
The brutality and brilliance of the novel get seared in one’s mind. It explores colonialism and oppression, and what it does to the ruler and the ruled.

Shadow Lines by Amitav Ghosh
I like the artfulness of this novel. The three cities of Calcutta, Dacca and London are woven together in space, time and imagination in an artful manner.
—Manali Shah

‘Beatles’ Sgt Peppers’... is a bible on music production’
Ranjit Barot, Percussionist and composer

I’m currently listening to the composer Alexander Desplat. I liked his score for the film Ghost Writer. It’s the impeccable orchestration that makes the music so brilliant. The cultural context of European composers is what makes their work so interesting.

Sgt. Peppers’ Lonely Hearts Club Band (The Beatles)
It’s a masterpiece. Everything about it defined modern music. It’s the bible on music production as we go about it today.

Thiruda Thiruda (AR Rahman)
I think this is Rahman at his peak. He struck fame with Roja, which is also beautiful, but Thiruda is fantastic. Rahman was more than just a musician when he wrote this, he was a visionary.

The Works (Nik Kershaw)
It’s somewhat British pop. Kershaw comes from a jazz background, so it’s anyone’s guess that the music is harmonically more complex than his contemporaries, but it’s as comprehensible to the not-so-seasoned ear. That’s a hard and commendable thing to do.

(Michael Jackson)
I can say more than enough and I can’t say anything. Even John McLaughlin said that the world just isn’t going to be the same without MJ. This is pop music of the highest standard.
—Nikhil Hemrajani

‘Indigo Deli has the best hamburgers in town’
Pierre, Antonia, Jérémie, Owners Suzette, Nariman Point

We happened to go to Shree Thakker Bhojanalay in Kalbadevi. It’s not easy to find, but worth the trip amidst overloaded handcarts and honking cabs. The food is amazing. Visit the place in the winters to taste their undhya. It’s our favourite place for a Gujarati thali here.

Pratap Lunch Home (Fort)
We found Pratap by chance on our first day in Mumbai while wandering in Fort and have become regulars since then. Come to Pratap for fantastic seafood — fresh rawas tawa fry, salt and pepper prawns or crab — at unbelievable prices.

Swati Snacks (Tardeo)
One of our favourite places to taste Indian food and especially the Indian snacks that you can’t eat in the street. Here, the service is fast and the food fresh and clean. My favourites are the Pani Puri, their Pav Bhaji and the Panki Chutney.

Brittania (Fort)
Love the Mutton Berry Pulao. This place is a Bombay institution and it is always a pleasure to be greeted by the old owner who is taking the order while telling stories of the time he spent in France. Make sure you also keep space for their caramel custard.

Indigo Deli (Colaba)
Despite the large and very tempting menu, we always go there for the same thing: the best hamburger in town. You'll see us there very often on Sundays when Suzette is closed!
—Rochelle Pinto

‘Butch Cassidy... strongly influenced my debut film’
Milan Luthria, Filmmaker

I recently saw The King’s Speech. It is an intimate and heart-felt film. Personal yet spectacular, dark yet uplifting, it shows the power of the personal film. Screenwriter David Seidler pens from deep personal experience, and Tom Hooper directs with a sure hand.

Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969)
A classic in all respects. It had a strong influence on my debut film, Kachche Dhaage. The pace of the film is relentless, the photography flawless, the background score superb, and the ending terrific.

Rocky 3 (1982)
It connects with something very primal in the viewer, and yet makes you cheer like a schoolboy. The emotion brims over as the fighter’s desire to win engulfs you. A must-watch when you’re feeling low.

Carlito’s Way (1993)
Brian de Palma’s moving tale of love, loyalty and desperation. Penelope Ann Miller throws in a super effort as Pacino’s “girl”. And De Palma shows what a master of the genre he is, and blends action and romance, hope and despair, almost

Raiders Of The Lost Ark (1981)
Spielberg, the international “Manmohan Desai” in tandem with George Lucas creates movie history with the oldest of tales — the hunt for hidden treasure. This film is larger than life in every way, and stars the most underrated and perhaps the most successful actor in recent times, Harrison Ford.
—Prashant Singh

First Published: May 29, 2011 13:22 IST