Favourite play: The Crucible
Arthur Miller’s The Crucible directed by Yael Farber is one of the most compelling plays I have watched in recent times. I saw it at the Old Vic Theatre in London. The play is a brilliant account of the dangers of superstition, illiteracy and mob hysteria. Yael has directed and designed it in a way that hits you hard. I think it’s also a relevant play in the context of the current socio-political scenario in our country where information, poverty, communal bias and mass hysteria are creating unfortunate social situations like the Dadri beef lynching. The Book of Mormon — a musical was another excellent, provocative satire on religion that I saw in London.
Divya Khosla Kumar
Favourite show: Friends
With a lot of things on my plate, I don’t get much time to watch television but in my spare time I really love watching Friends. I have the entire DVD collection of all the seasons, so I watch it at my own convenience. I’ve been hooked on to the show for the longest time. I realised how much the show can apply in real life, so in some ways, Friends has moulded my views on love and relationships. It is funny, touching, meaningful, and filled with catchy one-liners — everything a show should be.
Favourite book: The Beautiful Tree by Dharampal
I would strongly recommend every Indian to read The Beautiful Tree by Dharampal, a Gandhian scholar. There is a common (and wrong) assumption that education was not widespread in India before the British took over. Sustained by the local economy, the then education system in the country taught subjects like mathematics, science, ethics and religion. And there were schools that served practically every village in the country. This education system was destroyed by the fiscal policies of the British. Dharampal visited England many decades ago, trawled laboriously through British archives and based this book (and many others) primarily on British records, written by British officers of the East India Company, who had just begun ruling their newly conquered lands of India (and the British did maintain copious records). This is a must read.
Favourite cuisine: French
One of my best food memories is that of relishing a cheese soufflé in Langhams and Chinese food at Wonk Kei’s, both in the United Kingdom. The food served there is delicate and yet powerful. I would recommend French cuisine. It works on subtle flavours and the precision involved in French techniques is what makes it exciting for me as a chef.
Favourite Film: Deewar
My favourite film is 1975’s Deewar, which starred the icons, Shashi Kapoor and Amitabh Bachchan. I remember watching it in a movie theatre in Punjab and have been hooked on since then. I strongly believe that this movie has the best screenplay and is the best film ever shot. I think audiences must add this to their movie list if it isn’t already. It is important for every filmmaker and actor to watch Deewar.
Favourite album: Dark Side of the Moon by Pink Floyd (1973)
One album I’d recommend to anybody, if they aren’t a fan of Pink Floyd already is The Dark Side of the Moon. The song Time is my personal favourite. My mother was a huge Pink Floyd fan and her music choices had an impact on me too. I am still a loyal fan — they have a place in my playlist even today.
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