Back to Arakkal
It’s near impossible to separate Yusuf Arakkal from Bengaluru, his home, and the city where he established himself as an artist. The airport’s arrivals hall reminds you of the connect through Flight, a stunning 20ft-tall abstract rendering of an aircraft, the parts carefully cast in stainless steel and bronze, that saw the late artist draw on inspiration from his years at Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd. Fittingly, the National Gallery of Modern Art, Bengaluru, is now hosting a retrospective of his work, curated by his wife, Sara Arakkal. The show, on till 30 November, is a fabulous way to understand the progression of his ideas and marvel at his willingness to adapt to new mediums and forms. My favourites: Sketches of friends, family and relatives—some of them famous, all of them untitled. —Shalini Umachandran
On my birthday this year, a friend who knows about my love of stationery presented me with a stationery set from Ekatra Handmade. Beautifully packaged, the set was laid out in a recycled plywood box and consisted of everything that would delight the heart of a stationery lover. Bound in handmade, block-printed cotton material, the set contained an A5 journal, a small pen pouch, a “To do” checklist pad, a bookmark, a roll-up case for pens and brushes and a small pad with tear-off pages, printed with cute minimal motifs. The “then some” part of the set came with a small fragrant candle and a tiny bottle of flower seeds. The set has become my go-to for a variety of tasks—especially the to-do journal. No app can quite replace the feeling of putting down tasks on paper by hand. —Shrabonti Bagchi
Tempeh schnitzel, anyone?
Vegetarian butchery? The term may seem like an oxymoron but there is a deep thought behind it. Meat The Green, a book by Rolf Hiltl, fourth-generation owner and director of Switzerland-based Hiltl AG, explains it. In 2013, he came up with the idea of opening a vegetarian butcher’s shop at Hiltl—the world’s oldest vegetarian restaurant—after a trip to Shanghai, where he saw people queuing up for a seitan skewer, tempeh schnitzel and tofu burger. At a time when people are looking for alternatives over concerns of factory farming, use of antibiotics and animal cruelty, vegetarian versions of tartare, steaks and sausages seem palatable. The book features simple recipes and offers options to flexitarians who might want veggie options for hard-core meaty dishes. —Avantika Bhuyan
Navya gets talking
Here’s one of the most endearing bits of information about a celebrity that I have come across recently: Navya Naveli Nanda considers her grandmother, the actor Jaya Bachchan, one of her best friends, and the two of them watch Turkish TV shows together. It is such unfiltered and unscripted bits of conversation that really stand out in the IVM podcast What The Hell Navya. The show, available to stream on all major streaming platforms, is now six episodes old. Also co-hosting the show with them is Nanda’s mother and Bachchan’s daughter, Shweta. Listening to 24-year-old Navya talk about her path in entrepreneurship becomes especially interesting given continued nepotism and its consequences in most big film industries in the country. —Debasree Purkayastha