i recommend

Editor’s note

Since it’s our birthday month, we decided to do a team edition—where we offer recommendations of all of our favourite things. There’s plenty here for budding artists, bookworms, binge-watchers, tea-drinkers and more!

Ragini Puri recommends...

With my graduation and the pandemic happening at the same time, for the past year and a half I have exclusively been living in the past. Here is a list of things that kept me hopeful for the future.


Because watching Om Shanti Om for the 876th time felt silly: My favourite part of visiting home during the holidays was going to the cinema with my parents. In the first few months after moving back, I found gangsofcinepur on Instagram and I am so glad I did! The page is run by Basundhara—a physicist by day who simply loves talking about films of the Indian subcontinent. My fav post is the one where she compares filmmaking to academic research. The page is a perfect blend of cinematic analysis and movie masala!


Because I did not want to let go of childhood interests just yet: The first few months of lockdown were also spent rediscovering 2015 youtube content from Lilly Singh and AIB. While I couldn’t get into that anymore, I stumbled upon an amazing youtube series called Internet Analysis by Tiffany Ferguson. She does deep dives into internet culture and has a great understanding of how online content has evolved. A great intro to her series would be the video called ‘How Vine Shaped a Generation’ but my fav is the one about propaganda and PR


Because I miss happy hour: As September hit and things started opening up, my friend decided to have a small gathering for her birthday. This is where I discovered ready made cocktail mixes (handy list here). Just replace your mixers with these and you’ll be getting sloppy off of fancy cocktails instead of boring rum and coke. We went to her terrace with a jug of Cosmo and blasted music on her speakers. It was better than any birthday spent at a club!

Because I miss being a student: I may be late to the party but I just watched Cosmos on Disney + Hotstar and WOW! I am a humanities kid out and out but I was surprised by just how much I loved this series. It was the first time physics didn’t completely go over my head (except for the episode on electromagnetic induction) so if you’re a social science type looking for a soft intro to science, this is your series!


Vagda Galhotra recommends…

One: Stuff for the creative you:


  • A crash course in art: If you didn’t study art or don’t get what the deal with it is—with these invisible sculptures and bananas taped to walls, the Art Assignment is a great starting point. The channel is not posting any new videos but it remains a repository of over 200 videos about art and art history that I go to every time I am feeling curious in life. 
  • A book that saved me: There was no better year than 2020 to read the Lonely City by Olivia Laing which explores the connection between isolation and creativity. Olivia Laing is an art writer and critic, and wrote this book as a part memoir and part treatise on art—addressing loneliness through the lives of iconic artists like David Wojnarowicz, Andy Warhol and Edward Hopper.
  • A watercolours artist: Painting with watercolours is hard because you have to get it right in the first go and can’t fix it with a second stroke! Someone who does get it right—my mother Neeta Galhotra. She loves to paint birds, but my favourite is her heritage architecture collection. She exhibits annually in Delhi and Jaipur, but until you visit a gallery, find her work here. Personal note: watching her paint with smooth jazz playing in the background is a sure-shot cure to my anxiety.


Two: Stuff for your shallow self lol!: 


  • A fitness coach: If you’re looking for a fitness and lifestyle coach who helps you build strength and balance through functional training, look no further than Tanya Rawal. She also guides you into better posture—which, let’s be real, we all desperately need. Bonus: her super fun and educational videos on IG! Personal note: I have not found a better personal trainer than her and it helps that she was my flatmate for two years! 💪🏽
  • A pick my face up: Not that you need it with the new Zoom makeup filter around, but in case you’re looking, the Estée Lauder Quiet Riot is the perfect shade of red, one that’s a killer but not too bright. Shout out to the person in charge of naming the shade—it is exactly a quiet kind of riot. Unfortunately, I wore it to only one real party before lockdown hit, but rest assured I wore it to every virtual wedding that I attended over the year. Hell, I wore it in my pyjamas for consolation (and sometimes to sleep! 🙈) as it neared its expiration date, lol!


Kavin Malini recommends…

  • The Take has the potential to become every pop culture lover’s best friend! Their video essays cover a variety of intriguing themes. Think: Endings Explained, Toxic Takeaways, Character Studies and so much more.
  • Feel Good—a semi-autobiographical show by Mae Martin—is messy, honest and utterly beautiful. As Mae and George navigate their whirlwind of a relationship, I couldn’t help but grudgingly relate to them and quietly root for them. Streaming on Netflix now!
  • Care of Kancharapalem is arguably one of the Telugu film industry’s finest movies. Replete with remarkable characterisation, this indie film exposes our society’s fault lines along caste, class, religion and gender in its own charming way. It is available on Netflix.
  • The Bowl Company always helps with the pandemic blues. I associate their warm bowls of food with comfort and familiarity—they transport me right back to my chaotic college hostel, even if only momentarily.


Sara Varghese recommends…

It’s been a while since I lived alone thanks to the pandemic but here are my top recommendations for anyone who plans to move out and set up a single gal’s home: 


  • A screwdriver set: This is the least obvious but also most practical item on my list. You’re going to be super glad for it when you realise just how many screw-jointed devices you’re surrounded by. Check out Miniso’s handy set
  • A bullet blender: This is the single reason I had any breakfast through college—from cold coffee to all kinds of smoothies, this blender by Wonderchef has had my back. 
  • A compact vegetable chopper: I use the one by Pigeon and there isn’t much to say except that it makes cooking on the regular a breeze! Say bye to all the tears caused by the sheer number of onions every Indian curry demands. 
  • A swiss army knife: This one by Victorinox is brilliant—from a bottle opener, to a corkscrew to scissors to a knife—it has it all! 
  • And last, it’s not really an appliance but I would still suggest this for every house—alone or not: An essential oil diffuser (my fave fragrance: Aroma Magic’s lemon grass). It’s my go-to for a relaxing weekend.


Adya Goyal recommends…

Here are my favorite comfort drinks from detox teas to the yummiest hot chocolate!


  • Rose Oolong Tea: Let me start by saying that I love Tea Trunk teas and would recommend you try them out in general because they’re full of both flavor and health benefits. The best part about this one, though, is its versatile nature—enjoy it hot or iced! The mild sweetness of rose keeps it light and refreshing, and is especially glorious in the summer. 
  • Trung Nguyen Instant Vietnamese Coffee: I was a fan of this coffee from the first sip! Our parents got an uneven number of sachets and I remember my sister and I physically fighting for the last one. It ended well with me winning lol! But really, this Vietnamese coffee satisfied all my coffee and dessert craving. Disclaimer: It’s sweeter than your average cup of joe—but so totally worth it!
  • Mocha Hot Chocolate Mix: Do I really need to sell you on hot chocolate?! This one is especially divine—because of the mocha addition that makes it just sweet enough—on a rainy evening when you wanna cozy up on your couch with a feel-good book. Hot tip: Do not use one whole sachet all to make that one cup… (yep, learnt it the hard way). 
  • Thai Iced Tea Mix: I’m the biggest bubble tea fan ever. You will find me almost always craving/talking about my undying love for bubble tea. So, I was delighted when my best friends found this for my birthday! Definitely best enjoyed with condensed milk and boba, ofcourse. 
  • Saffron Kahwa Green Tea: Considering the heavy drinks I’ve recommended above, I thought it fit to end with a detox tea. It’s my go-to quick fix for a post-heavy meal coma. Best enjoyed with a spicy book! Tip: Add a dash of honey for max satisfaction.
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