April 24, 2009 1:39:24 am
Heroes,Gundas,Vamps & Good Girls,no,this isnt a C-grade movie,but the title of a collection of postcards,launched by Chennai-based Blaft Publications,that have appeared on the cover of Hindi fiction over the years. Mustajab Ahmed Siddiqui or Shelle,the artist who has painted the eye catching covers of women sporting luscious red lips,and brandishing guns for thousands of Hindi pulp novels has been doing it since 1971. He says he has never read any of the books completely. Who has the time? They are over 500 pages thick. I can either do the painting,or read the book. But I speak to the authors to get a feel of the story, he smiles. The brief,sometimes can be as short as three lines. I remember making a cover for an author called Raj Hans for his novel Kadva Sach. He just said Woman and a dustbin ,This is not true and The bitter truth. And I had to make a cover with this in mind, says Shelle,a tad wryly. But with his formidable experience of almost 40 years,he does get the point,no matter how tiny the brief. Shelle remains prolific,taking barely two to three days to design a book cover,and picking up more work with Raj pocket books. Its not just the pulp formula,even the cover,is down pat.
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