Master Takes

Compiled by Aradhna Wal & Naina Manjrekar

A work by Ashish Soni
Monochrome A work by Ashish Soni

Rohit Chawla On Art
I generally don’t go for exhibitions twice. However, I broke that rule for Ashish Soni’s installation Absolut Soni: 20 years in Fashion — Retrospective Exhibit, at the Aman Hotel, New Delhi. A first-rate show, it could easily be in The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, or any other internationally renowned gallery or museum. It makes mincemeat out of the mediocre exhibitions by other, usually better, artists. It showcases 20 years of his life in the fashion industry, and incorporates some of his greatest work. The colour palette is black and white with a superb finish. It is one of the best things I have seen by a designer.
Chawla Is A Delhi-Based Photographer
The Age of InnocenceUsha KR On Books
Edith Wharton’s scintillating The Age of Innocence is set in turn-of-the-century New York, a diamondhard society that lives “in an atmosphere of faint implications and pale delicacies”. The love triangle recognisable even today — a couple disrupted by a sophisticated, irresistible outsider’s allure of forbidden experience. Wharton manages to be evenly sympathetic to all her characters.

‘The couple in love gets disrupted by a sophisticated and irresistible outsider

Usha Is The Author Of A Girl And A River
George Mathen On Music
I’ve been listening to the 1970s progressive rock these days; King Crimson, Yes and GenesisGenesis was truly great when Peter Gabriel was part of the band. All three bands never had any hit singles at the time, but gathered a cult following because of their concept albums and kick-ass album art. They had weird music and time signature changes. Phil Collins was far more interesting as the drummer of Genesis, than as a vocalist.
Mathen Is The Drummer Of Bengaluru-Based Lounge Piranha

A still from Goodbye
Fin A still from Goodbye, Dragon Inn

Ranjan Palit On Film
Tsai Ming-Liang’s Goodbye, Dragon Inn is a film about oddballs watching an old martial arts movie in a theatre about to shut down. It is about lost connections, isolated souls, bygone times and the demise of celluloid. Two old men from the audience lament the fact that their films aren’t watched any more. We realise that they were the combatants in the old martial arts movie. In the last scene, the usher pulls down the shutters, walks out onto the street in the rain and Tsai’s static camera, holds the frame as she walks away: a passing on…
Palit Is A Kolkata-Based Documentary Filmmaker
Ritu Dalmia On Food
Zambar is one of the best places for south Indian coastal cuisine in Delhi. Located in Vasant Kunj’s Ambience Mall, its USP is the food’s home-cooked-like freshness. The person in charge of the kitchen is ex-filmmaker Arun Kumar, who left his old career for his love for food. My favourite dishes are the meen moilee, the thick dosas that are to die for, and achamma lamb curry. They also experiment with Parsi and Andhra food. The flavouring and spices are always very well executed. The clientele is generally people who love food, like big Punjabi families. It’s not a place to be seen at, but to eat your heart out.

Dalmia Is A Chef And The Owner Of Diva, New Delhi