Master Takes

Compiled by Aradhna Wal

Grand narratives  A painting by Badri Narayan
Grand narratives A painting by Badri Narayan

Seema Kohli On Art
I first came across Badri Narayan when I was in college. He has often been categorised as an illustrator and a folk artist. However, there is so much more to him. His expression veers more towards a vision. I’d call it painting a vision with some technicalities. There is a lot of himself in his work, which is why people can connect with it. It’s a wonderful narrative. He once said that his wish to paint incorporated the urge for imagining, for dreaming, for going beyond the fact of surface reality for receiving occult intimations. I paraphrase, of course. However, that best describes how his painting is a communion between work and himself.
Kohli is a Delhi-based artist
Joshua Newtonn On Books
If you’re a writer dashing out of a building on fire, save Stephen Koch’s The Modern Library Writer’s Workshop: A Guide to the Craft of Fiction. Koch erases your fears by asking you to go ahead and write a “shitty draft”. That really sets you off. He knows your worries, escape routes and embarrassments. He serves delicious solutions for most of your writerly hiccups.
‘The book has solutions for most writ erly worries, fears and escape routes’
Newtonn is a Kochi-based writer
The man on the moon Neil Young
The man on the moon Neil Young

Sumit Sharma On Music
Neil Young is popularly known as an electric/grunge guitarist. However, the album I’ve been listening to, Harvest Moon, is largely acoustic, with hardly an electric guitar. Despite that, it has an extremely strong character. There is a lot of symbolism, and it sounds like his own personal album full of private emotions. It’s not made for the market.
Sharma is the rhythm guitarist of Heavens Down
Mythical mad men A still from Om-Dar-Ba-Dar
Mythical mad men A still from Om-Dar-Ba-Dar

Pankaj Butalia On Film
Nothing prepared me for the iconoclasm of Kamal Swaroop’s Om- Dar-Ba-Dar. Ostensibly about Om, a boy from a fictional Rajasthan small town, entering adolescence, the film heads off in multiple directions as dream, fantasy and reality explode simultaneously on the screen and in Om’s head. Myriad images come alive — the mixed history of cinema stares us in the face — small-town struggles to take centrestage anticipating a move two decades before its time. The film, defying gravity, holds together in a way Indian films have not been able to.
Butalia is a Delhi-based filmmaker
Samir Choudhary On Food
Mamagoto in Delhi’s Khan Market is a must visit. It fulfils three important criteria — good food, good service and a good location. Unlike a lot of other eateries that Indianise their food, this place serves authentic Japanese cuisine. Customers actually get to learn about what they are eating. The food is light, flavourful and tangy. Try the chicken shumai. The drinks too are fun and innovative. The warm and cosy decor is as interesting as the menu. It is the best place to lounge. The staff is attentive and welcoming. It is expensive, like all other restaurants in Khan Market, but worth at least one visit.

Choudhary is the manager of The Yum Yum Tree, Delhi