Posts Tagged ‘Mumbai’

Hooray for Bollywood…

Monday, June 3rd, 2013

 

This month marks the centenary of Bollywood – the garish, larger-than-life dream factory that enraptures Indian audiences worldwide. Five years ago I was commissioned by the Sunday Times Magazine to photograph Ronnie Screwvalla, the millionaire film producer and founder of the UTV group over a couple of days in Mumbai. Screwvalla proved charming if extraordinarily busy. I photographed him at home and at his studios but realising that he would make a good potential cover, pursuaded his nervous PR staff (they’re always nervous aren’t they?) to let me have twenty minutes with him at a Mumbai beach near where he grew up. Originally, I’d wanted him walking along the beach but it soon became clear that that wasn’t going to happen. I arrived early and had my star-struck driver hold a single strobe as Screwvalla emerged from his limo. The picture lasted no more than five minutes before he had to leave. It never made the cover but I’ve always liked it.

 

 

India - Mumbai - Ronnie Screwvala, CEO of UTV, at Sea Face Bay  in Mumbai (formerly Bombay), India..As a producer and businessman, over the past five years Screwvala has led the transformation of India's prolific but chaotic film industry to become a crossover figure in Hollywood and Bollywood...

India – Mumbai – Ronnie Screwvala, CEO of UTV photographed at Sea Face Bay. As a producer and businessman over the past five years Screwvala has led the transformation of India’s prolific but chaotic film industry to become a crossover figure in Hollywood and Bollywood.

M F Husain

Thursday, June 9th, 2011

It’s with great sadness that I heard this morning that the rather wonderful Indian artist MF Husain passed away during the night. I wrote about him last year as he’d taken Qatari citizenship but continued to keep a house in London. Doubtless those shrill self-appointed, hateful voices from the Hindu religious right will be celebrating his demise – and how brave they were from keeping a old man from dying in his own country. I remember him as a courteous and thoughtful subject, delightfully playful during the evening I spent with him in apartment in Mumbai a decade ago. A charming man and an astonishing talent.

 

India - Mumbai - MF Husain, India's greatest modernist painter at his studio in Bombay. Before him is a picture of his muse Maduri Dixit, a film actress

 

Intolerance

Sunday, March 14th, 2010

It appears that the great Indian artist, MF Husain has accepted citizenship from Qatar after having to live in exile in London and Dubai since 2006. It may well close one of the saddest episodes in secular India: Husain, now 95, has been the target of Hindu fundamentalists after his depiction of naked Hindu goddesses. The Indian government has been unable to protect either his property or his personal safety and so one of India’s most famous sons is now unlikely ever to return to his home. I photographed him in Mumbai (then Bombay) about a dozen years ago for the Independent on Sunday Magazine. He was as charming as he was extraordinarily talented.

India - Mumbai - MF Husain

India - Mumbai - MF Husain with an image of his muse, Maduri Dixit


India - Mumbai - MF Husain with an image of his muse, Maduri Dixit