Actor

SHRIYA PILGAONKAR

Shriya Pilgaonkar

Natural, striking, and charismatic, best describes Shriya Pilgaonkar on-screen. The actress leads the hefty cast of Amazon Prime Video’s Guilty Minds with experienced ease. Rubbing shoulders with the likes of Kulbhushan Kharbanda, Benjamin Gilani, Satish Kaushik, Suchitra Krishnamoorthi, and co-lead, Varun Mitra (who is also exceptional in the show), Pilgaonkar stands tall in this young, idealistic lawyer, burdened by legacy, and traumas of her past. Here’s to seeing her more often on our screens.

Eat

FRESH CATCH, BANDRA

Mahim’s iconic Fresh Catch by Francis Fernandes has made its way to the suburbs. Nestled in a competitive Bandra space, Fresh Catch is bringing its old school hospitality with a menu that offers home-style North Kanara delicacies — specifically — with fresh produce sourced from the docks. Coral pink walls are adorned with memorabilia of the restaurant’s journey, old doors, menu boards don the space, along with tiny details such as beverage glasses embossed with fish, and plates that represent the sea. The food, then, takes the overall experience a step up.

Start with the deshelled version of crab meat drenched in a butter garlic sauce — soft, smooth like butter, and flavourful. As a bombil lover, I recommend the Bombil Tawa Fry — a masala delight. For the mains, pick the coconut-based Prawn Rossa Curry with rice or poee, and a big piece of mint-based green Hara Bhara pomfret. The homeliness of the family’s secret spices comes through in every dish — and the best way to end this meal is with some Bebinca, which is brought in every week from specialised makers in Goa. A no-frills, hearty meal. — Samreen Tungekar

SAZ AMERICAN BRASSERIE, BKC

After its successful debut in Mumbai with the Lower Parel outlet, SAZ American Brasserie has now graced the suburbs at Jio World Drive — a bigger, better space than the town one.

Comfort classics is what the restaurant does best. Salad lovers, do not miss the wafu garden salad — with hydroponic lettuce, crunchy lotus root chips, and some vinaigrette, it’s the best start to a long meal ahead. The ricotta and chilli toast could do with more cheese, but biting into blistered cherry tomatoes as the juice blends with the ricotta is worth the experience. The Hasselback Potato is the winner in the appetisers — a big, sliced baked potato with quest hollandaise, sour cream, and bird’s eye chilli leads to a plethora of flavours in your mouth, citing familiarity, but with its own twist. If you’re a fan of grills as mains, the Norwegian Salmon with caper lemon sauce, tomato  taste of the well-grilled salmon really ups a meal. Not a seafood person? The pasta section (all handmade pasta, mind you), has a Black Truffle Tagliatelle, which is loaded with umami. End the meal with a Basque Cheesecake, and I promise you’ll need a nap.

ARTIST

RUDRANEIL MUKHERJEE

Portraiture

It is always exciting to see an artist marry modern themes and pop culture with traditional styles or schools of art. Not only does it make traditional styles relevant for newer audiences, it also celebrates the fluidity of art, and how, style can lend itself to substance across time and geography. Studio Joyeeta’s female-focused art reminds us of old Bengali magazine art, and French caricatures. Hyper-detailed, portraying slices of livelihood and romance, her works are unabashedly feminist, romantic, and lovably old-school. Rudraneil Mukherjee uses Bengali folk and Kalighat Pat painting styles to reinvent renowned artworks and pop culture figures with a desi twist. From The Beatles and Powerpuff Girls to Grant Wood paintings and Shakespeare, Mukherjee’s art is vibrant, laden with a wicked sense of humour, and are fabulous conversation starters about art, feminine identifiers, and the universality of Indian-ness.

JOYEETA

BINGE WATCH

Heartstopper: Sweet, easy, and undeniably lovable, Heartstopper is a soft and sensitive coming-of-age teen LGBT teen drama — thankfully minus the shock and drama of Elite and Euphoria and makes for a wonderful weekend feel-good binge. Based on a popular webcomic, and starring queen Olivia Colman and Kit Connor (Rocketman, His Dark Materials), this is the show everybody’s talking about. Sweet, charming, proudly gay, stellar performances, and a killer OST, this Netflix show’s a winner. Need a high-octane miniseries for a quick watch?

Anatomy of a Scandal: A legal and political thriller, starring Sienna Miller, Michelle Dockery, and Rupert Friend, should be on your list. Part-psychological-thriller, part-courtroom-drama, the show dissects the affair of a British MP, the very public scandal, the importance of consent, and the politics of sex. Taut and superbly-produced, this Netflix miniseries is definitely going to be an award season favourite. 

Deep Water: When the director of Unfaithful decides to make an erotic thriller with Ana de Armas and Ben Affleck, you sit up and take notice. Deep Water, a twisted thriller about a couple’s open marriage and the disappearances of the wife’s lovers, is a deliciously satisfying watch. Based on a 1957 novel, this one makes for a neat movie night watch. Available on Amazon Prime Video.

Guilty Minds: After years of binge-watching Boston Legal and Suits, does India finally have an entertaining legal drama in Amazon Prime Video’s Guilty Minds? Following the case-per-episode with an overarching master plot format, the show boasts of solid writing, top-notch performances, and the ability to hold your attention, which is a big win, given how many legal dramas we have watched over the last two decades.

Gullak: Everybody’s favourite middle-class family is back. Sony Liv’s Gullak is back with a third season, and it is as pertinent, heartfelt, and engaging as ever. A microscopic study of a north Indian middle-class household that has slowly evolved — and grown-up — the show has been able to create dynamism while portraying socio-economic stagnancy. Possibly the best of the three seasons, Gullak is the perfect example of how nostalgia, human emotions, and relatability can sometimes soar above plots and twists.