Renuka Sondhi Gulati on art
Mexican artist Frida Kahlo was famous for her self-referential realistic works, mostly in the form of self-portraits. She reflected upon, and revealed her life, which was full of struggle and pain — her accident as a teenager, health problems and her troubled marriage to artist Diego Rivera. Though she used colours simply, they imparted a certain richness and lushness to her canvas, setting her apart from her contemporaries. She drew from the sordidness of her life, yet the end results were always a thing of beauty, incorporating elements of surrealism and Mexican culture.
Gulati is a Delhi-based artist
Habib Faisal on Film
Garam Hawa, directed by MS Sathyu, highlights the futility of conflict and its adverse effects on human relations. It was one of Balraj Sahni’s last films and the debut of Farooq Shaikh. It is about a family struggling with the dilemma of where to live after the India-Pakistan Partition, and the torment when relationships, friendships, occupation, ideology are all at stake. There is no jingoism in this movie, and its beautifully written scenes and the theme of unnecessary violence still strike a chord.
Faisal is the director of Ishaqzaade
Timson thomas on Music
Singer Jason Mraz is a pop and soul musician who experiments and takes risks by working with minimal instruments — an acoustic guitar and a darbuka — without fusing with other sound systems. His sound is delightful in its contemporariness and youthfulness. There is neither auto-tuning nor forced mechanism and his music emphasises its simplicity. His tracks Lucky, What a Beautiful Mess and 93 Million Miles are brilliant.
Thomas is the lead vocalist of the band Bandish
Mishti Chhawra Tapur Tupur is a collection of 50 rhymes compiled by the Paschimbanga Bangla Academy. They have been part of West Bengal’s oral tradition for centuries, whose writers had long become ‘anon’. In Pronobesh Maity’s illustrations were children whose worlds were paracosms I wanted to inhabit. I saw the same innocent world manifest in re-readings of Tagore’s Sahaj Paath; the boys in the Lord of the Flies; RK Narayan’s Swamy.
Roy is the author of Love in the Chicken’s Neck
‘These rhymes have been part of West Bengal’s oral tradition for centuries’
Sanjeev Kapoor on Food
As soon as you enter Sura Vie Lounge, New Delhi, you notice its vibrant décor and its stunning double height of 30 feet. The food includes a variety of dishes from around the world, north Indian, Italian, Continental and Chinese. I recommend Italian simply because of the live pizza kitchen. It produces freshly baked wood fire pizza, made with a thin crust that maintains the authenticity of the pie’s flavour. I also suggest trying the cuppa biryani, which is biryani served in a cup. The food at Sura Vie is innovative, yet it is also familiar enough so as to not alienate customers.
Kapoor is a celebrity chef and star of the TV show Khana Khazana