Favourite Play: Zangoora
A performance which I can go for repeatedly (and have gone and seen seven times already!) is Zangoora which is presented at the Kindon of Dreams. The show takes the audiences through a fascinating journey of drama — there’s some fabulous dancing incorporated with aerial acts, gymnastics, pantomime and acrobatics, all this enhanced with mind blowing special effects through modern hi-fi tech projectors and lighting effects. It’s almost like a dream watching this show, it completely transports you into another world! I’ve been enthralled each time I’ve seen it. It also provides for a high quality benchmark of top-of-the-line productions infused with fabulous performances by the artistes. Shiamak Davar is responsible for the choreography and previously, even Gauhar Khan has been a part of this production.
Favourite Book: The Grapes of Wrath
It has it be The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck, which won the Pulitzer Prize for fiction in 1940. Set during the Great Depression, the book is a story about the Joads, a family of farmers who are witnessing a drought, economic hardship, agricultural industry changes and bank foreclosures forcing tenant farmers out of work. What works for me is that very few books have been successful with this form of narrative setting. That raw intensity is hardly seen in any books. I read the book 10 years ago and it is still fresh in my mind.
Favourite Film: The Abyss
One film that I would recommend everybody to watch is The Abyss by James Cameron. I still remember that I was about 18 when I watched the film for the first time on the big screen at Sterling Cinema, Mumbai. For me it redefined cinema. It is a larger than life film. It has action, adventure drama, but at its core, it is a simple love story. I think the best thing is that you cannot classify this film into any genre because that will be a grave injustice to the film.
Favourite food: Kulchas
One of the most memorable meals I’ve ever had could be at a small place on a street in Old Lucknow called Haaji Saabs, at Akbar Gate. Chef Ranveer Brar took me there to mark a memorable end to a daylong food hop across the city. I had the most iconic kulchas — made with equal proportions of flour, while milk and ghee. They were buttery, flaky and like nothing I had ever tasted! The kulchas acted like the perfect soaking agent for the rich Indian gravies and famous nihari we got to go with it.
I would take a trip to Lucknow again, specifically for this! Diet... What diet?
Favourite song: Fix You by Coldplay (2005)
I have been a big fan of Coldplay — the best part is that I discovered them accidentally. I usually listen to a lot of Hindi songs. When I was in the ninth grade, I copied my brother Amaal’s playlist to my iPod and since then I have been a huge fan of the band. I think Coldplay’s vibe is different and something that cannot be replicated. The song Fix You means a lot to me — so much so that I have even performed it during college fests. It has influenced me and of course, finds a place in my play list even today. I also recommend Abhi Mujhme Kahin by Sonu Nigam, I think his voice is magic.
Favourite TV show: Seinfield
Seinfeld is one show I’d recommend everybody to watch if they haven’t already. In fact, I like it so much that I think it should be introduced as a subject in schools! I think the four major characters were sketched so well, that they didn’t seem outlandish. I watched the film when I was in the states in 1995. I think it has to be among the best sitcoms of all time, and can be watched over and over again. Today, I also watch a lot of drama-murder series. Fargo and Criminal Minds are a few of my favourites.