Monthly Archives: December 2007

My photo session

The other day, I spent an hour in front of the camera rather than behind it. It was my very first proper photo session. The Man magazine wanted to crown me by getting a professional photographer to take my picture for their next issue. The occasion? I had won an international essay contest on The Rape of Nanking (you can read it on this blog). Though I had been taking pictures for the last many years now, I still got to learn a lot from photographer Bhanu Prakash Chandra. To begin with, what I assumed to be a 15-minute shoot took more than an hour. From a staid picture of me sitting on the staircase to raising my eyebrows and being naughty in front of the camera, I tried them all. And kept doing until Bhanu felt he had enough pictures to satisfy his boss. You can see some of the pictures in ‘About asterix786′ section.

Here is what I learnt from the photo session:

1. Lighting is everything. And one has to try out various angles, settings and postures to capture the Kodak moment.

2. Doing photography is about stretching your body all over the place: window sill, wardrobe, compound wall, underneath the chair… the list is endless.

3. You need to be yourself and also be game to pose in a variety of ways… you never know what the camera can capture. What you thought was the stupidest posture will turn out to be the best of the lot. Case in point: The shot where I wink at the camera was a beauty!

4. Photography is a never ending race to perfection! And that’s the thrill of it! So what are you waiting for? Grab a camera and go ‘click, click!’

The hand of Al Qaida!

Okay, the suspense is over. So it’s the Al Qaida who executed Benazir Bhutto! Looks like Osama’s deputies have taken over from him as this operation points out (his deputy ordered her killing according to Al Qaida’s spokesperson). Killing one Osama isn’t going to do any good. But killing one Benazir does (for the terror outfits). There are many Osamas around, but very few dare-devil Benazirs who could risk their family and themselves in the service of the nation.

Who will chop the hand of Al Qaida and many such fundamentalist outfits? Musharaff? Manmohan Singh? George Bush? Or will there be infighting within these terror outfits like it happens in underworld wars, and they will extinguish themselves? Even if this scenario doesn’t shape up, our spies could infiltrate these terror outfits and cause bad blood within the ranks. The best way to take the enemy by surprise is to shoot them from under their nose.

A scam called Innovative Multiplex in Bangalore

It’s a four-screen multiplex on the city’s Outer Ring Road that opened more than three years ago. When it opened, the food, picture and sound quality seemed quite good, but now it’s becoming progressively worse. Here are my grouses:

1. The management is corrupt. On opening days of big movies, the man at the ticket counter hands out ‘advance receipts’ as ‘entry tickets’. The scam: the advance receipts are not taxed as there is no rate of admission stamped on it. Thereby, the management is defrauding the income tax authorities.

2. Even on week-days when the fare is supposed to be less, the management charges exhorbitant rates. Just last Wednesday (Dec 26), it charged Rs 250 for a balcony ticket for Welcome. And mind you, even the best multiplex in town, PVR, charges only Rs 200 for weekend shows (and Rs 250 for advance booking). Whereas here, I was being charged Rs 250 for a show that was to begin in the next 15 minutes.

3. Unlike other multiplexes, there are no special rates for morning shows before 12pm when even a market leader in Bangalore like PVR has such a policy.

4. The soft drinks given here reek of smell resembling kerosene. Obviously, it’s diluted and yet, they charge Rs 40 for a small can when PVR dishes out the best Pepsi you could ever get anywhere for Rs 50 (regular) and Rs 60 (large).

5. The sound sucks big time. There is no Dolby stereo. And even if they claim to have one, it appears to be of inferior quality. Movie-watching should be a well-rounded experience. Even if one of the things go missing, your experience is that much more hampered. AndĀ  Innovative fails on more than one count. Will the management sit up and take notice?

6. To think that it’s the same management that’s going to run the upcoming Innovative Film City in Bidadi, one wonders how bad that experience would be. If things are going so wrong in the heart of the city, god help those who venture all the way to Bidadi. Cheap tactics might add to the coffers in the short term, but in the increasingly consumer-drivenĀ  society, entities like Innovative will be shipped out if they don’t shape up.