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

india Updated: Jul 01, 2012 15:25 IST
Hindustan Times

My Indian professors advised me to read An Indian Summer
Julian Crandall Hollick, Author of Ganga, Apna Street

The Secret Agent Joseph Conrad This short novel is a marvel of style: every sentence, every word is perfectly placed. I never tire of the story with its unexpected twists. Hitchcock’s film isn’t bad, but the book is far better.

An Indian Summer James Cameron Cameron was a political journalist with a well-worn face and a gravelly voice. When I began to report on and from India in the mid ’80s, my Indian professors advised me to read his book. Even today, it rings truer than many of the famous writers who pontificate about India.

The Thirty-Nine Steps John Buchan I first read this novel in my teens. It is pure boy’s own for men between 17 and 77. The book is what they used to call a rattling good yarn about murder and espionage before 1914.

The Memory Chalet Tony Judt Judt is better known for his magisterial surveys of Twentieth Century Europe, but this short memoir has always appealed to me because he has the same memories as I of a world that has now disappeared: steam engines or the adventure of crossing the English Channel in a heaving dirty ferry.

The Discovery of France Graham Robb It is about how the idea of a country called France was formed and imprinted on a collection of tribes/clans and valleys as late as the 19th century. Before that, France as we know it did not really exist and in the corner of south eastern France where I now live, it really still does not.

—Amrutha Penumudi

I love the simplicity in Badi dheere jali
Shalmali Kholgade, Singer

Kehna hi kya - Bombay (1995) I’ve always felt that this song displays the perfect marriage between its melody and words. The bridge between its antara and mukhada brings a feeling of transportation from one world to another.

O pardesi - Dev D (2009) The song marked the advent of a new flavour to the existing genres of Bollywood music. The Punjabi words in it add a stark contrast to the overall arrangement of the song.

Badi dheere jali - Ishqiya (2010) The khayal gaayaki employed in this song, with Rekha Bharadwaj's piercingly melancholic voice, brings together such a peaceful and yet powerful rendition. I love the simplicity in this song.

Kaahe chhed mohe - Devdas (2002) Pandit Birju Maharajji’s voice in this song, doing the padhant and singing just makes everything so real about the song.

Chhalka chhalka re - Saathiya (2002) The song has that feel good melody. The words being regional add that extra Indian-ness making it aurally colourful.

—Soumya Vajpayee

Yauatcha has the most amazing bar
Shashank Kadam, Owner of Corniche, Bandra Indigo Deli Bandra

This is a personal favourite as it serves amazing food and has a superb ambience. Everything it offers is perfect, including the desserts. It is my all-time
preferred place for breakfast, lunch, brunch and dinner.

Don Giovanni Juhu
They serve delicious pastas and the ambience of the place is very good. The fact that they have come a long way comes across in their food. You just cannot go wrong with Don Giovanni.

Yauatcha Bandra
Even though it has a short and selected menu, the food this place offers, especially the dumplings and the desserts, is delicious. It has the most amazing bar.

Café Moshe’s Juhu
Chef Moshe is an amazing chef. The food served here satisfies your taste buds. The desserts, especially the cheesecake, are sinful and have been consistently good through the years.

Bombay Baking Company at J W Marriott Juhu
It is my favorite place to de-stress. The place breathes and the ambience is such that it seems as if the place has a life of its own. They serve amazing coffees and their teas are also very good. They have the best sandwiches, their tuna sandwich is my personal favourite. Even their salads, pastries and breads are awesome. I think they have the best bread in the whole of Mumbai.

—Shweta Mehta

My fascination with Star Wars is huge
Rana Daggubati, Film actor

Star Wars series 1977
I wish I had the chance to play Luke Skywalker’s role. The film steered many things in my life. From being a crazy kid in school, I went on to doing visual effects and understanding it. My fascination with this film is huge.

The Godfather 1972
I read the book when I was in the 11th standard and have read it innumerable times since then. Each time I read it, I discover something new in the plot and understood a deeper level of the story. The characters are so larger than life that many Indian films and films around the world and even many talents have got inspiration from the film.

Sholay 1975
I have seen it so many times that I remember almost all its dialogues. The film is so relevant that it would make sense even if it was released today. Cinema of that time, if viewed today may feel outdated, but not Sholay.

Nayagan 1987
This Tamil film starring Kamal Hassan is a big favourite as I love the characters and the performances in it. It was remade as a Hindi film, Dayavan (1988), starring Vinod Khanna which I liked as well.

Thevar Magan 1992
Another superb film starring Kamal Hassan, which was remade as a Hindi film titled Virasaat (1997), starring Anil Kapoor. The subject was so powerful that it worked in both languages. It has emotion, drama, love and action.

—Kavita Awaasthi

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