Compiled by Aradhna Wal
Arijoy Bhattacharya On Art
New York-based watercolour artist Walter Ford is a self-professed ‘maximalist’, a trait that shows clearly in his creations. They are stupendous. He paints on a massive scale. The detail and complexity is as incredible as it is perplexing. A perfect example is Falling Bough, which is my favourite work. The narrative behind the art concerns a species of pigeon that were, at a point of time, quite numerous. Legend goes that if a flock would sit on a branch, the branch would break. Ford harks back to the Raj era. His is the foreigner’s eye in India. His style looks antiquated. It resembles old lithography, yet is very post-modern.
Bhattacharya is a Delhi-based artist
Brinda Charry On Books
Kathryn Stockett’s The Help is a sensitive portrayal of African-American maids serving wealthy white households in mid 1960s Mississippi, the bastion of the ‘southern’ way of life. These women tell us exactly what they think of their employers. Well-written, without being preachy, it speaks directly to our contemporary social Indian experience, in which ‘servants’ play a large role.
‘The book speaks to the social Indian experience where servants play a large role’
Charry is the author of Naked In The Wind
Vinay Venkatesh On Music
I found the Norwegian metal band Kvelertak through their album art. They sing only in Norwegian, even though they tour countries where no one understands them. They are a fun band. Their music is in your face, and their vibe is incredible. My favourite song is Ulvetid. I have no clue what it’s about but I still love it.
Venkatesh is the vocalist Of the Mumbai-based band Bhayanak Maut
Sanjay Barnela On Film
Offside is an endearing classic by renowned Iranian filmmaker Jafar Panahi. In a soccer-crazy nation, that bars women from watching live sports events, the film is a delightful 90-minute narration of Iran’s glorious win in the World Cup qualifying match against Bahrain in 2005. A small enclosure, where girls dressed as men have been arrested, serves as the commentary box for the match. Here emotions interplay between the girls and the soldiers watching them, emotions steered by the trajectory of the football match inside the stadium.
Barnela is a Delhi-based documentary filmmaker
Tapash Bhattacharya On Food
The one place that I keep going back to is Set’z, in DLF Emporio, Vasant Kunj. They have a great spread. It is multi-cuisine so there is something for everyone. The restaurant works with the concept of live counters. That is easily the best thing about it. Customers can pick and choose their food, decide precisely how they want it cooked, and the chef makes it for them. It is custom-made food. Being a Bengali, my favourite is naturally the seafood counter. Try the prawns there. The place is not exactly fine dining, but it is very lively, and the service is friendly and excellent.
Bhattacharya is the chef manager at Machan, Taj Mahal Hotel, New Delhi