Best of Weekender: From a candid chat with actor Piyush Mishra to the dazzling beauty of the Bollywood Art Project

Read our exclusive interviews with actor Piyush Mishra and chef Tarun Sibal, and find out what singer Kailash Kher did on World Environment Day

If you spot a burst of colour splashed across rickety old houses and colonial bungalows, with SRK’s regal sea-facing mansion ‘Mannat’ just a few feet apart, you are viewing an array of radiant murals that will suck you right into Mumbai — the home of Bollywood — says our writer, who managed to capture many of these paintings on her camera.

These giant pop art creations are the handiwork of internationally acclaimed street artist Ranjit Dahiya, who moved to Mumbai in 2008 after graduating from the National Institute of Design.

Ranjit with Amitabh Bachchan at the opening of the Dadasaheb Phalke mural

Stuck in a monotonous job as a UI designer at an internet firm, Ranjit craved ‘innovation,’ and wanted to do something more than just designing brand logos. A self-confessed Bollywood buff — who's named his cats after filmi characters — he was also appalled by the fact that India’s entertainment capital had almost no public displays of movies or filmstars.

Ranjit wanted to remedy the situation. So, he started the Bollywood Art Project (BAP) in 2012.

Read all about this urban art project that seeks to revive the city’s glorious cinematic history, and pay homage to its many cultural icons.

Piyush Mishra

Film buffs and movie lovers will always adore Piyush Mishra, actor, music director, lyricist, singer, and scriptwriter. From his role in Maqbool (2003) to Gangs of Wasseypur (2012), and his new web series Illegal, Piyush is known for his extraordinary talent and versatile roles.

But not many know that after graduating from NSD in 1986 and moving to Mumbai, Piyush couldn’t find work anywhere. So, he came back to Delhi and started a theatre group called ‘Act One’ with NK Sharma and Manoj Bajpai. He moved to Bollywood in 1998, when he bagged the role of a CBI officer in Mani Ratnam’s movie ‘Dil Se,’ and after that, there has been no looking back.

In an exclusive interview with YSWeekender, Piyush speaks about his Bollywood journey, and what he has been doing during the lockdown.

Tarun Sibal

Whether it is adding the final touches to a plate of Mushroom Vol-au-Vent, or crafting the intricacies of a Chocolate Semifreddo, or rustling up a pot of Duck Madras curry, Chef Tarun Sibal works with the precision of an artist. He is meticulous about plating, pays great attention to flavour, and is known for his incredible talent.

With 18 years of experience behind him, renowned Chef Tarun Sibal is a product specialist with core competence in food and beverage category across production, operations, formats, food heritage, and food and liquid culture. Today, Tarun is a chef entrepreneur after he co-founded One Fine Meal – an award-winning catering firm.

Don’t miss this interview with the renowned chef as Tarun talks about the future of the F&B space after the lockdown is completely lifted, and his culinary journey so far.

Coronavirus has no race or religion, as depicted by artist Eduardo Kobra (Image Credit: thedesitimes)

The world has witnessed a drastic lifestyle shift, owing to the coronavirus pandemic. Frontline workers, medical staff, and delivery executives are putting their own health at risk to do whatever they can to ease social functioning.

While these individuals are the real heroes of today, the lesser-known unsung heroes that need to be acknowledged are the street artists and painters who are depicting coronavirus-themed artwork.

With murals and artwork depicting lifestyle changes, cartoon sketches of the coronavirus, and individuals and characters from movies wearing protective wear, street artists and muralists are doing all they can to spread the message of hope.

Don’t miss reading all about these unique artists, and their exemplary art that was created during the lockdown.

Kailash Kher

During the pandemic, when the world as we knew it, came to a standstill, life around us changed too. The rivers turned blue with fresh water, the birds emerged from their hiding places, and animals strolled fearlessly down our streets.

Every now and then, a peacock would preen on a sidewalk, dolphins danced along the coastline, an elephant was spotted strolling through Dehradun, an Asian antelope walked through Noida, and a spotted civet was spotted in Kozhikode. The animals arrived to reclaim their spaces, and nature grew lovelier without any pollution or litter to mar its beauty.

On World Environment Day this year, renowned singer and composer Kailash Kher launched his latest single 'Ek soch hai jaagi.' This song brings to focus nature’s abundant resources, its power to recuperate, and show us how to be more responsible for sustaining this healing process.

Don’t miss reading all about Kailash’s new song, and what we can do to save our planet.

Lalit Keshre

Are your favourite writers Nassim Taleb, Bill Bryson, Michael Lewis? Do you think that discipline is the most overrated virtue? Is your greatest fear getting bored of what you love doing?

If so, meet Lalit Keshre, Co-founder, Groww, who feels the same way.

An engineer by profession and entrepreneur at heart, Lalit looks after the overall business and operations at Groww, and simplifies investing for its users.

An engineer in Microelectronics from IIT Bombay, Lalit has more than 10 years of rich technical experience in building products as a founder, product manager, and engineer. His motto is ‘It's better to burn out than to fade away’, famously said by Kurt Cobain, and he believes that this is the best way to lead a life that is fruitful and useful till the end.

Don’t miss reading all about Lalit’s heroes, loves, regrets, and more, in his responses to our Proust questionnaire.

Edited by Suman Singh


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