Feb 18th
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Home Eminent Columnists Arvind Chenji

Arvind Chenji

Arvind ChenjiArvind Chenji. Warm hearted, humble and a great sense of humour to moot. Oh! And by the way he also happens to be the most famous, talked-about and happening photographer in town…if that's not known by all the fashion gurus and aficionados by now. Chenji also holds the credit for being one amongst the few photographers from India who worked for the much-acclaimed National Geographic Channel.

He is an Image Engineer who can not only create the right image mood and setting for any brand, but also visualize the impact and returns that an image will get for his clients, in the long term. And this comes from having been doing just this for over two decades with remarkable success

There’s something about Indians

I’m not talking about their accent here. Nor am I talking about their unique capability of brushing their teeth in buses and also spit ‘paan’ leaf juice accurately at places where no one else in their right mind would not want to.

Nor is it their habit of making anyone who looks a year or so older than themselves their uncle or aunty depending on their gender.

No, I’m not talking about their manic obsession for cricket, movies or Amitabh Bachchan either.

And it is a well-established fact that while they are good at living in abject poverty and great at computing, they are not well endowed ‘down’ there. Particularly, and obviously the men take the blame for it.

And, I’m not the guy who is saying this. It’s the well-known stand-up comedian Russel Peters. I can hear a lot of Indian men out there growling “Speak for yourself Russel...”.

So, what is it that I am talking about?

It’s their ability to pull off some surprises. Winning one gold medal at the Olympics [other than in hockey], after decades of being also-rans. That was a surprise. But then Abhinav Bindra did not have to win it for running the fastest over a distance or hammering all others senseless in boxing. He won it where the prime talent is in standing still. If you just look around, you will find millions of Indians practicing that art. They can gaze steadily at nothing while chewing ‘paan’ without twitching a little finger for hours together. It’s all in the gene structure. We are good at standing still. Except at night, when we heave, huff and puff and try our best to overtake China as the most populous nation in the world.

The thing about Indians is, that they can pull off the most astonishing surprises for sure.

Analysing the current situation, we have pathetic rich to poor divide, our sense of designing beautiful streets and buildings died out ages ago when the soap box came into existence. All buildings, homes and offices were subsequently modelled on the lines of a soap box.

In fact, for the recent Deepavali, I almost had to apply for a bank loan to buy a few crackers for my young son. And the rockets in the small bag of crackers managed to go past the top floor of the two-storey soap box next door. That was a success. The noise from the bombs wouldn’t have scared a baby.

The buses that we import at a great cost explode with fatal consequences. The economy is in shambles. People do not mind buying cars, but it is the fuel price that kills them.

Roads have been strategically created with enough pot holes, open man holes and drains so that any enemy coming in to invade will have their tanks falling into these hazards routinely.

Should one want to buy a train ticket to somewhere, he would have to plan the journey a few months in advance.

And, amidst this whole scenario, they pulled off a surprise again. They have successfully managed to launch a space ship to Mars! What it will do there is anyone’s guess, but it feels good to know that we have sent a space ship to Mars. While our roads are bad, administration is awful, food costs a bomb, we have still managed the launch. The satellite will definitely send some pictures of Mars back to the earth in a few years.

By that time, pictures of the Mars from American satellites will be available on image banks for a couple of dollars each.

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