Thursday, April 9, 2009

Thanda Thanda Paani....

That is all I can think of ... and drink.... thanda, thanda paani. Gallons of it. Delhi had cooled down somewhat thanks to a thunder shower, and the people I met were strictly apolitical. Which was quite a relief. Dilliwallas can be seriously annoying with their sab jaanta hai attitude and gyaan giving. Instead, I met the sort of people who are relaxed enough not to let the garam hawa (literal and metaphorical) get to them. This was the first time I was staying at hotels in Gurgaon ( which is definitely NOT Delhi - it is as Delhi as Khopoli or Navi Mumbai is Bombay). With monster malls and futuristic high rises, it is frequently called the poor man's Singapore. The Radisson, where I spent my first night is very proud of its brand 'The Great Kebab Factory'. Since I am not a kebab fan I concentrated on a chilled Pinot Grigio and giggled mindlessly, unable to watch the others at the table wolf down platters of galouti and tangdi kebabs with a variety of wickedly layered parathas. Since I was there on an exhaustive shoot ( 8 changes, new photographer, unknown make- up and hair people), I wisely decided to concentrate on getting the job done as swiftly and painlessly as possible. Just then a shoe was hurled --- yes, again! It missed Chids by a mile. But cost Tytler his nomination. And Delhi woke up briefly to tch tch... before switching to the latest gossip - political and social. Every Dilliwalla is obsessed with BOLLYWOOD . Since John Abraham was expected, excitement levels were exceedingly high. Shoe or no shoe. Chidambaram's joota moment did not stand a chance next to The Butt's arrival.

As always, I caught up with Manoj Kesharwani, an outstanding photographer who could put the best international paparazzi to shame. Manoj has the magic touch, and is one of the hardest working photo journos in the biz. He rarely gets home before 3 am and calls it a night after a frugal dinner of chai and bread .His powers of persuasion are legendary, and he is on best buddy terms with all the top stars who always but always let him know when they are in the Capital - from Aishwarya to Akshay - Manoj is their main man. With good reason. His eye for a photo- op is uncanny. Like a hunter stalking his prey, Manoj waits. And waits. And then he pounces. His pictures always tell a story, and he is perhaps the only guy who gets away with outrageous instructions to his subjects. He once told Michael Douglas to prop up a pillar by yelling out, "Arrey Michaelbhai -- pillar, pillar. You hold. You hold." Too startled by this person jumping out of the shadows armed with a camera, Michael did as he was told! Well... Manoj has made me do a few crazy things over the years, too. But the results have always been fun. Manoj deserves wider recognition and acknowledgement. His retrospective may see half of Delhi leaving town - thanks to those delicious stories his photographs tell!!
*

On another note, I have been asked by a representative of Rolex, to nominate an individual between the age of 19 to 29 years, who is engaged in a worthwhile project that helps communities to improve the ir lives. It is for a programme that comes with a $100,000 aid package to take the project forward in a more meaningful way. If any of you guys would like to put on your thinking caps and suggest names ( with details about the project ), please do keep me in the loop. Here's the chance to transform lives. We can make it happen. Let's do it.

19 comments:

Shachi said...

Hey Shobhaa,

I agree with your take on Gurgaon....it is definitely NOT Delhi - I visited in 2006 and saw the huge commercial development...but could not find much to shop actually :)

Does Manoj have a website? would like to see his work....

cmpershad said...

"Manoj deserves wider recognition and acknowledgement."
How can that be! He is an Indian in India.:)

introspection said...

Gurgaon to me looks like some village, and you can tell by just entering it, what a crime ridden place it is. I was there in 2006 too. Will not venture there again if I can help it. Well said though 'it is as Delhi as Khopoli or Navi Mumbai is Bombay'. I so agree.

You must have read all the bricks and bats that flew around as comments on your last blog about the big B etc. I think guys went over board.

So where can one see some of Manoj's magic ?

I Hope you find a really deserving bachaa/bacchi to nominate for the Rolex people.

Priyadarshini Karanjai said...

Ya...those comments were more provoking than thought provoking!! Anyway, alls well that ends well:-)

zobin said...

Why do you get so defensive about the media? Even if half of the facts about Indian English Media's connections are false, why is it that the media is extremely sentimental about that moron in BJP called Varun Gandhi but is silent on the perjury committed by Rahul Gandhi a.k.a "Raul Vinci" who holds an Italian passport and is touted to be India's future.. ahem ahem PM?

Oh you want references, don't you? Why don't you start with these-

http://bit.ly/3BEbv5

http://bit.ly/CM5j5

Rahul Viswanath said...

Manoj Kesharwani ..... good to know about him in your post ....

Please do let us know the source to find his work ..... An educative post De ..... Adios !!!

Shiva S K said...

Dear Ma'm
Its nice to have u back.. meanwhile the whole election rona-dhona and wat d media does wid it is so nauseating.. i actually felt a multitude of emotions regardin it but i've kind of tried to streamline it and posted it in my blog, since it wud be way too long to be a comment.. its in http://shiva-expresses.blogspot.com/2009/04/system-1.html
jus wanted to share it wid u..Cheers & Take Care!!

kala said...

Why not give this Rolex project to some educated hijda to make the communities life more meaningful and less speactacular?

kala said...

Why not give this Rolex project to some educated hijda to make the community's life more meaningful and less speactacular?

shruti said...

it shows tru feeling npure heart of mam shoba de

athi said...

Post some photos of the shoot if it is not like copyrighted (assuming it will be)
I wish I could look like you when I'm 60, really.

But come on.. Delhi is not full of 'sab jaanta hai attitude and gyaan giving' people. Although I agree yea Dilliwallas do have an attitude problem. But they are also very warm and extremely friendly and genuine people.

Hmm... I think I might know some people who could use that Rolex help. Will send you a detailed mail regarding that.

*Aham* said...

what a boon to creative minds, the shoe was...

the newspapers were flooded with new and innovative gestures... "
"Shoe Me A Way" "Shoe Shaa".. People used to shooaway scribes, now it is the other way round, the politicos are just a shoe throw away... Ha Ha HA.. so much drama.. Im Luvin it.

And chiddu is so sensible, to have reacted in a matured manner at that time.

Any Time John... Any Time. The world stops, when the Butt Stops here. :)

*********************
Regarding Manoj... leme google him... Im super excited.

******************************

Rolex... wow! thats nice.. I turn 30 on 16 April... else i without hiding in fake modesty would have submitetted my "Acts Of Random Kindness" project details.

I will still... and also look around for my friends who are genuine. I know of a few who are popular, but I cant exactly say the same about their genuinity.

Will keep you posted. Email Karoonga.

Mayank said...

Thanks Shobha,
So u enjoyed your visit to Delhi,All people are not same "dill wallon ki dilli" and the type of people you said one can find everywhere they are not specific to one place,and GUR GAON is no longer the same huge and big buildings everywhere not a place for poor,one can rarely find a lower middle class there,
That Rolex one,its my humble request make sure it goes to someone who can really make a difference,
thank you
Mayank

Another Kiran In NYC said...

Arrey what is this, Gurgoan is all Malls and high rises? The Gurgaon I remember was full of scrubby stony fields and a few Dhabhas that my dad would motor us to for Sunday Lunch, in the family Ambassador Gaadi. Our family and the neighbours children and Pammi-Unti and Harbans-Unkil all squashed together in elaboratly adjusted layers. Adults sitting on the seats and the children in assorted layers above, based on our body weight and the amount we kicked around on longish car trips.

After our meal the car would be redolent with the smell of fried Bhature and roasted jeera and the crisp cholrophyll tang of green green chillis. Oh and the sweet starchy smell of our mothers very crushed cotton saris!

For me that is the smell and memory of Gurgaon.

Now does it smell of dusty bricks and cement wall plaster and and the acrid smell of freshly applied paint?

Smells make the place and memory for me. Do they do that for you too?

So many people doing exemplary work in popular and not so popular issues. Does the issue have to fit into a certain rolex imagery? I ask because most corporate prize giving has to tie into thier publicity materials. I will certainly rack my brains for suggestions. Does it have to be a person or could it be an organization? Does it have to be seed money or to carry on an existing issue forward. So many questions about critera no?

Sidhusaaheb said...

I hope Mr. Kesharwani takes some vitamin supplements.

Gajendra said...

not sure whether this will help, but hey...check this out...

http://specials.rediff.com/news/2008/jul/28sl1.htm

http://coffeewithsundar.com/coffee-with-naga-naresh-karuturi-an-inspiration-for-many/

a special guy....

ShataRaja said...

Thumbs up if Nira Radia tapes brought you here..

ShataRaja said...

Thumbs up if Nira Radia tapes brought you here.

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