Deolali/Devlali, Maharashtra – India

My memories of Deolali:

I have been more of a Deolali man than of Mumbai. Deolali is very dear to me. Most of my childhood holidays and vacations have taken place in Deolali than at my village “Kudachi”.

Fatmabai Sanatorium

Fatma Bai Sanatorium – owner Fatmabai Abdul Rehman Moledina

As I am a half  ‘Kutchi Memon’, we used to stay in this beautiful sanatorium called “Fatmabai Sanatorium” which was built in 1934 by Fatmabai Abdul Rehman Moledina who belonged to Kutchi Memon Jamat. Right now the sanatorium is being taken care of by her father Abdul Razak Saeed sister’s son Abdul Ahad Saaz who also happens to be the trustee of the sanatorium.
The sanatorium has 10 blocks

Main 6 big blocks of Fatmabai Sanatorium

Main 6 big blocks of Fatmabai Sanatorium

6 big blocks and 4 smaller blocks.

Smaller Blocks

4 Smaller Blocks of Fatmabai Sanatorium

The sanatorium also has its own small Mosque as well.

Fatma Sanatorium Mosque

Fatma Sanatorium Mosque

Fatma Sanatarium Mosque

Fatma Sanatarium Mosque

We the kids had a great time playing cricket, local games like Kabaddi pakdam pakdi and cycling. In the evening there were gole walas, ghodewalas and oonthwalas coming over to give us the happiness of our life time.

There was a a very close relative of ours called Hanifa Maa, we all use to call her ‘Ammijan’.

All the mothers and the aunties use to gather in her block and make delicious Paaya or Khichda. I can vouch for this that the best period of Fatmabai Sanatorium was when Ammijan used to come and stay at sanatorium. She unfortunately has expired but the people who has stayed at the sanatorium with her at that point of time would vouch that those were the glorious days of sanatorium when everything was just bubbling with excitement and happiness. We all miss you Ammijan. Allah bless you where ever you are. Amen.

The evenings used be in the famous and popular restaurant of Deolali called “Bharat cold drink house” gulping down faloodas. The Bharat Cold Drink House was estd in 1948 and is owned by Gopal and Deepak.

Bharat Cold Drink House Estd: 1948

Bharat Cold Drink House Estd: 1948 – Owner Gopal and Deepak

We use to stuff ourselves with cakes and pastries from the ‘Empire stores and bakery’ which is just round the corner of ‘Bharat Cold Drink House‘.

Empire Stores and Bakery - Quick Bite

Empire Stores and Bakery – Quick Bite

Occasional evening stroll at the Deolali Railway Station or

Deolali Station

Deolali Railway Station

at the ‘Shri Khandoba Maharaj Temple‘ would be best way to end the day.

Shri Khandoba Maharaj Temple

Shri Khandoba Maharaj Temple

History of Shri Khandoba Maharaj Temple
Shri Khandoba Maharaj is an incarnation of Lord Shiva and this temple dedicated to him is reportedly over 500 years (Five hundred) old. As per mythology, the incarnation of Lord Shiva into Shri Khandoba is because two brothers amongst the demons Malla Daitya and Mani Daitya pleased Lord Shiva with their prayers and obtained his blessings that nobody on earth could kill them. Brothers after getting the boon from Lord Shiva however became power drunk and started harassing the common people, saints and sages. This could not be tolerated by Lord Shiva and he himself incarnated as Shri Khandoba and killed both the demons. After killing them, Lord Shiva relaxed on this hill and hence this temple is called ‘Vishramgadh’.

Shri Khandoba Maharaj Temple

Shri Khandoba Maharaj Temple

There is also an ancient legend centering this hill is that during “Shiv Kaal” ‘Chhatrapati Shri Shivaji Maharaj’ while traveling on his mission towards the north relaxed on this hill.

Shri Khandoba Maharaj Temple

Shri Khandoba Maharaj Temple

The management of this temple is with the Amale family since its inception.

Shri Khandoba Maharaj Temple

Shri Khandoba Maharaj Temple

This religious landmark of Deolali is also known as “Temple Hill”.

Oh those were the days when fun and frolic was the order of the day. As some one put it .. childhood is the best period of one’s life.

That was about my childhood, now I have my own kids and even though I have my small little house in Deolali but still me and my family prefer booking the sanatorium and staying at “Fatmabai Sanatorium”.

There is that same serenity, peace and calmness even now in the sanatorium. The fun and frolic  .. laughter and the smiles are all there intact.

It’s just that the generation has changed. Earlier there were we now there are our own kids. As I remember probably they too will remember all this.

Its been 3 years that I visited this beautiful town ‘Deolali’. Last when I visited I was not into photography. This time though it was quick visit, I didn’t want to miss opportunity to shoot certain landmarks of this town whose memories will always be etched in my mind forever.

Apart from my personal association with this beautiful hill station .. a little brief about Deolali is that it was set up in this hill station as a Military Sanatorium by the British army, about 100 miles northeast of Bombay.

One of its functions was to act as a transit camp for soldiers who had finished their tours of duty and were waiting for troop ships to take them back to Britain. Deolali is what the British used to call Doolally once.
Deolali is a census town in Nashik District in the state of Maharashtra, India.
Deolali is home to the School of Artillery, the premier institution for imparting training to all ranks of the regiment.
Also the great legendary actor Shri Dilip Kumar has his childhood link with this town. Before becoming an actor, his family had a fruit business and he used to come down from Deolali to Mumbai for his business purpose.
Other celebrity actors who are associated with Deolali are Mr. Vinod Khanna, Mr Arshad Warsi, Mr. Arjun Rampal and Ms. Bhumika Chawla. As per my knowledge they all studied in Barnes High School.

Photography: Humayunn N A Peerzaada

Dementia

Elders just need a little understanding and lots of love from loved ones.

Dementia

Elders just need a little understanding and lots of love from loved ones.
The photograph above which I have shot myself, is just a small way to spread awareness on this dreaded and probably lesser known ailment called “Dementia”.
Dementia is a neurological illness in which the patient suffers progressive loss of
memory, judgment, and awareness. It may be accompanied by problems with
speech, social behaviors, toileting, waking up in night and walking.
Many a time they feel and imagine visuals of people in and around their room and house. They develop their own imaginary characters, develop stories around their characters and keep seeing them during days and nights.
The patient is frequently unaware of changes that family members notice as declines in daily living skills and memory, or alterations in personality and reasoning ability.
Since there are many different kinds of dementia, accurate diagnosis is important.
Some forms of dementia are treatable, while others are not.
Alzheimer’s Disease is the most common cause of dementia in the elderly.
The dementia patient requires progressively intensified care and management by the family or other caregivers. As patients lose the ability to remember important events and people, manage finances, navigate and drive, prepare meals, and maintain safety, family members must provide assistance.
Often, patients are unable to comprehend their own inability to function, and may exhibit emotional and behavioral symptoms, which are difficult for loved ones to understand.
Strong support and education of the caregivers enables the patient to remain in the home as long as possible, with enhanced quality of life for everyone in the family.

Author & Photography: Humayunn N A Peerzaada

Finer Points on Modeling

Sky is the limit

Sky is the limit

Sky is the Limit but do we have the “direction” to reach sky-high? Finer points of Modeling is an effort to give the “right direction” to all new entrants in the field of modeling. It might also clear webs from the mind of upcoming & existing models.

Modeling is selling and a Model is a link between the client and the product and helps to sell clients product.

A model should be:

1.  Positive in attitude  2. Self reliant  3. Strong at will  4. Perfect at decision-making  5. Organized  6. Ambitious  7. Disciplined  8. Intelligent  9. Confident  10.  Must have a poise  11. Move in style  12. Excellent at carrying oneself  13. Capable of traveling alone  14. Knowledge of self 15. Know the best angles  16. An athletic body  17. Capable to say no to bad habits 18. Should Be Trained

A Model should know:

Modeling Requirements, Camera Facing Techniques, Diet And Nutrition, Body Shaping, Catwalk, Dressing Right, Using Accessories, Attractive Body Postures, Carrying Oneself, Best Looks, Make-up Techniques, Creating Expressions, Choosing The Right Agency, Public Speaking, Choosing the work, Wining Attraction, Staying Power / Holding Power.

1: Self-Assessment: Before entering/jumping into action, take some moments & think where you are good at. Ask people whom you trust & also from the industry, about your looks, appearance & then what kind of roles you can do, etc. Some people think that anybody can become a commercial model. But commercial modeling still has one very important requirement – you must have an acting talent. So, ask yourself: What kind of modeling is good for me? What is my market? What can make clients choose me to promote their collections and product? Give yourself honest – I repeat – the honest answers and you can avoid many problems and save a lot of time and money. Without this you’ll be in a stormy ocean without direction.

2: Portfolio Shoot: Portfolio is a set of professional pictures that helps you in getting the best assignments. Who are the good & reasonable photographers. Get their rates.. Try meeting them around 2 to 3 times before the folio, so that chemistry with them comes through. Otherwise, at the day of the shoot you’ll be totally blank. Before doing the portfolio one should know about one’s personality and to which age bracket suits or fits you. Then accordingly ons should get trained in camera facing techniques, poise and posture, expressions and other modeling techniques like finding  a “role model” and study his/her poses, body language, expressions, clothing, etc in magazines/internet and see how he/she poses. All this will help you immensely during the portfolio shoot.

Important feature while shooting for a portfolio is “Locking”. How to lock oneself and use the right body language while posing. Most of the upcoming models don’t know what locking is. One should know how to lock each body part – especially face, eyes, neck, chin, hands, fingers, etc. When a photographer says “CHIN DOWN” many a time we find models lowering their shoulders/eyes and vice versa. So keep control of your body parts. Listening is very important. Listen to the photographer / director. What he says and then accordingly move or pose. Photography or a folio pictures consist, mainly of close ups or mid shots, so a centimeter here or there can ruin the picture.

One more important thing is how to regulate your smile, just like we regulate a fan. In some advertising layouts the requirements is of broad smiles and in some very less. It varies from product to product and sequence to sequence, so while shooting the model should know how to keep track of his or her smile and keep regulating according to the dictates of the photographer or the ad director.

One more important set back models face while their first exposure to the camera is “Lights” / more precisely the “Hard Lights” and the consciousness of people around.  Hard Lights – A person should train himself / herself to the lights and avoid shedding tears / blinking eyes / squirming of eyes / etc.

Keep adapting to changing times & fashion.

Sometimes, work immediately starts flowing after the distribution of the pictures and many a time, days and months pass and there are no signs of either an audition call or video test, leave alone getting work. In such times of gestation, access yourself & the situation one is in. Have patience, don’t lose hope, rethink, update yourself and start again. The list of addresses which I have been giving and distributing to upcoming models has around 100 media addresses, including Model Coordinators, Production Houses, Agencies & Serial Makers. All of them have to be distributed at one go and not give the pictures to those listed in installments. All the 100 offices should get your pictures in one go. That was and is my way of functioning.

Always remember “Patience thy name is modeling”.

3: Portfolio Distribution: Apart from mine, most of the photographers also have their own listings of media addresses where there are numbers and addresses of Model Coordinators, Advertising agencies, Production Houses and Serial producers.

Download my list of selected media addresses

(The list is updated to date but subject to change at any point of time, so please keep updating on your own as well).

Model coordinators are a link between the agencies and the models, most of them work from their homes. They make their money by charging you a commission (20-25%) on the contracts they negotiate for you. If you don’t work, they make nothing. As a model, one should courier them and not visit them in person. In opposite to this one should personally visit Production houses. While one is out for grab work as a model, the model should be well groomed and also being hygienic is very important. Apart from looking fresh, he needs to have good footwear along with fresh socks. My advice would be to keep separate pair of clothes for distribution of pictures / meetings and shootings. Dental hygiene too is very important. So make an important inclusion in your kitty bag.

At this point, some of these points may seem unimportant/foolish, but when one you really start meetings, you will come to know how much they matter. When you enter a Production House, ask as to whether u can meet the “In house model-coordinator/Casting director”.  Accordingly he or she will come and meet you. Firstly, introduce yourself and hand over your portfolio pictures (Print should be PC size i.e. 3.5” by 5” and should be in Matt finish. Glossy pictures gets thumb marks easily and also gets stuck to each other during monsoon).

Also, your initial portfolio must be: for female – not more than 7 photographs, for male – 5 photographs is enough. Do not carry pictures in big albums. It’s a complete NO. Carry your pictures in a small envelope and keep the set ready when you enter the office, with your name and contact number written or a sticker already stuck much before you enter the office. If you are not using a sticker, use a CD pen to jot down your details. According to coordinators choice, 2/3/4 pictures will be kept from the set or the entire set will be taken. The moment he/she takes the pictures, bid good bye by saying “Looking forward to work with you. Thank you”. Always leave office & person by smiling & saying “Thank you”.

Nowadays, in the fast changing world of communication one can email the soft copy of your pictures to the Production Houses, etc.

4: Audition Calls: Modeling can be divided into “Press” & “Commercials”. Mostly a Press ad is casted and the shoot is fixed without an audition directly by model coordinator. But for Commercials “audition” is taken. So, when one gets a call from a model coordinator for a test, ask the dress code / look for the audition. Always go with the specified dress code/look, fresh and clean. Carry toiletries like fresh ones, Comb, Deos, etc. And yes, never accept same product audition from 2 different coordinators. You will have to pay commission to both if selected for the shoot.

During auditions, consciousness is a general thing seen amongst the new comers. Overcoming it may differ from person to person. However, regular practice and repeated auditions will surely help.

3 Important points in Auditions / Video Tests

A. INTRODUCTION can be in Hindi, English or “Hinglish”. It’s a brief about who you are and what have you been doing in the field of modeling or acting. I have seen models going on & on with their achievements as to how many plays they have done, how many ads or serials they have acted in, some even mention pilot episodes as well. Production house is not bothered as to how many ads, plays and serial or pilots you have done or acted in. Be very brief in your introduction. Tell about your body of work but in minimum 2 or 3 sentence. Don’t make it a monologue. Always end your introduction with thank you & smile. Also when one is auditioning there are 100’s of models watching you, so don’t get baffled or conscious and be focused and do the best.

This is a sample of an ‘Introduction’ in an AuditionPress the Black HD icon on the youtube panel to watch this video in high resolution HD format.

B. PROFILE is a media jargon or a regular term used in auditions / video test / look test. Few new comers don’t know what a giving ‘profile is all about. In fact while giving an audition, I remember a model was asked to give his ‘Profile’ and he replied “I haven’t brought my profile with me”. Be well versed with the media terms to avoid being a laughing stock.

This is a sample of ‘Profiles’ in an AuditionPress the Black HD icon on the youtube panel to watch this video in high resolution HD format.

C. PERFORMANCE or RECITING small or lengthy dialogues according to the concept of the commercial.Could be solo or could be with male / female model as per the script. If you are new, and happen to land at the studio early, never try to give your audition first. Let some other guys or girls perform first. You see them & then you perform. Don’t take too much time also, otherwise they will start thinking about your in capabilities as a model or actor or if it’s a dialogue based audition then your capabilities as to by hearting the lines.

5: Getting selected: Model Coordinator will call you and will ask for rate or will directly tell you that you will get this much amount for the particular ad they have called you for. According to me to build professional relation with Model Coordinator & Production House, one shouldn’t argue or stick to one amount, try to come close to the amount he/she says. Or negotiate on an amount, which suits both. The more you work the more you will know more about the media. Confidence and rapport both will develop and in no time the money will start rolling. With money – right attitude and style will follow. So focus first on work first and then on money. Ego shouldn’t let you think “I am the best”. Why should I work for less? This attitude might not work and will stop the growth process. Already the media is over-populated and there are thousands of models / actors waiting for “just one chance”. One miss from you and these thousand are waiting to leap towards the offer you left. Never show ATTITUDE to Model Co-coordinators & Production Houses while negotiation of money or while shooting. “It’s a close circuit media” one gets the tag of being “unprofessional” very soon. Behave well on and off the set. Communicate with the director, cinematographer and also the make up artist. All the 3 holds important place in creating a talented and a good-looking model in you. If there is female model or a kid model in the ad, communicate or gel with them to break the ice.

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SOME NOTIONS WHICH MAY HOLD YOU BACK

Most of the fresh models or acting students think that they have many faults and will rectify them and then start struggle or start meeting people. For example, I m thin/fat/black/pimples/bad physique/bald,etc. I think that in the process of meeting people and gaining knowledge all the faults will keep getting cleared. The media and their trends change so quick that one has to be in the profession and keep perfecting oneself being inside the media and become an onlooker. So if you want to make a place for yourself, don’t waste time. Hurry up before you exhaust your valuable time.

• Many newcomers, be it models or actors compare themselves in their looks and acting with the big stars / celebrities of the Indian cinema and behave, act and even meet people in the garbs of the stars they follow or emulate. Making someone an icon is good, but imbibing his or her traits is dangerous for any actor. Its like losing ones own identity, both as a person and as a performer. The actor or model should decide beforehand whether he or she wants to become Actor or mimicry artiste.

• Models or actors have a conceptualization that making a good body / growing hair / beard / some other physical changes will help them getting a good portfolio done / fetch work – An absolute NO, since in audition your true self will come out which will mismatch your pictures & hence rejection is not far away.

• Once you have got your portfolio done, don’t keep it with you. Nobody will know you exist. You have to get the prints done & start distributing immediately. Best period to shoot a portfolio is when the winter sets in and that’s also the right time to distribute as most of the media work happens around the festival season.

• After portfolio shoot & distribution & getting audition calls, some model feel that even without going for an audition, they will get work. Since in today’s time auditions or video tests is the only way of showing your prowess as a model or as an actor and also of getting work, not going to auditions is like oneself getting invisible in the media and a time will come when you wont even get an audition call.

• People wearing spectacles have to get into lenses immediately if they want to come into media. Unless the role demands for specs, you don’t have to wear glasses. • Once you have your portfolio done & distributed it, start wearing the right professional attitude of a model.

• Many want to jump into acting media straight and look down upon modeling. I feel one should start with modeling, gather little bit of experience working in ad films, giving auditions, becoming more camera friendly, cultivating and improving their language and then finally venturing into the field of acting. This is what I feel. • Monetary comparison of Films, Serials, Ad Films & Theater – Check it out and then decide which media you want to be.

• Now, we all have faults, nobody is perfect, so don’t worry & be happy… What I want to say is start the running around and to use a filmy term then start ‘struggling’ as u meet different models//as u audition/as u get work, you will automatically start cultivating yourself & slowly faults, if any will vanish.

• Every model or actor who enters this field of entertainment has this fear lurking deep inside in him and he keeps thinking that there is lot of competition, there are so many models and actors already, auditioning and working. What will happen to me? So to end these points on a very positive note. The destiny is always written beforehand by the almighty up there. If success has to come it will come anyhow and nobody can snatch that from you. Its all destiny, hard work and luck all put together. “Koshisho ke pedon par hi kaamyaabi ke phal lagte hai”.

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Sir Johny Lever’s view on ‘Struggle’

Press the Black HD icon on the youtube panel to watch this video in high resolution HD format.

Here in this clip, Mr. Johnny Lever, an ace comedian, badshah of comedy, philanthropist and a great human being from Indian movie industry, whom we fondly address as Johny bhai, has put across his view on the ‘struggle’ in the media industry. He has given hope for the new comers and a clear message of keep going ahead, success will surely be yours.
We – Naresh Nagda, Imran Khan and Humayunn Peerzaada appreciate and thank Johnny bhai for being so cooperative and generous towards the making of our short film “Strugglers” and sharing his knowledge with all of us.
This clipping is from the short film “Strugglers” and is the sole property of Imran Naresh Productions.

The short film is directed and edited by Humayunn N A Peerzaada.

Please visit www.rajshri.com to watch the entire short “Strugglers”

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Why an academy for Acting and Direction? By Mr. Kamlesh Mota

In the short clip above Mr. Kamlesh Mota (Kamlesh bhai is a veteran theater actor, director and the director of programmes (Bhartiya Natya Shikshapith – (Actor Academy), P. Munshi Marg, Chowpatty, Mumbai) has thrown light on acting as a fine art and the role of an acting institute for the same. The Natya Shikshapeeth teaches basic acting and direction for stage, TV and films.

We – Naresh Nagda, Imran Khan and Humayunn Peerzaada appreciate Kamlesh bhai’s gesture towards the love for the craft of acting and sharing his knowledge with all of us.

This clipping is from the short film “Strugglers” and is the sole property of Imran Naresh Productions.

The short film is directed and edited by Humayunn N A Peerzaada.

Please visit www.rajshri.com to watch the entire short “Strugglers”

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These views of mine are on the basis of the experience I have gained and gathered as a model and as an actor in the past decade. And I am putting these points up only for freshers and newcomers who need guidance and knowledge before they jump in to this glittering world of entertainment. Many will agree on the points mentioned above and many won’t. It’s my opinion and this is just sharing of my knowledge over the years to the young guns entering this glittering world of Advertising and showbiz.

Author & Photography: Humayunn N A Peerzaada

Disclaimer: –  The points mentioned in the blog above are my experiences and observations in my travel as a model and I am sharing with you all as a friendly gesture and sharing knowledge. They may be relative from person to person and region to region, etc. Though utmost care has been taken for the content in the blog, I do not take any responsibility – either written or implied, for misconsequences arising from the same. Best of luck .. Have great modeling career ahead.

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