Monday, Feb 06, 2023

Unfashionable calendars

For the last 10 years,it's the beauty of Leh and Ladakh in various hues and seasons that Ravinder Kalra has been capturing with his camera,which he has translated on calendars,posters,maps and post cards.

For the last 10 years,it’s the beauty of Leh and Ladakh in various hues and seasons that Ravinder Kalra has been capturing with his camera,which he has translated on calendars,posters,maps and post cards. “I’ve been doing the Ladakh calendar for six years now and for the 2012 calendar,I have extensively shot the Ladakh-Zanskar-Nubra region,” says Kalra,who gave up a cushy job as a lecturer to pursue his passion as a photographer.

Each year,Kalra sits down and gives shape to the entire calendar on his own — in wall (Rs 150) as well as table (Rs 250) formats. Kalra,who runs Himalayan Photography Company and HPC Publications,travels to Leh-Ladakh four times a year to build an archive of photographs and is happy that 75 percent of the calendars are sold there itself. “I don’t compromise on the quality of paper,printing and designing,and so,my calendars are picked as souvenir item by foreigners. Now,I have found a good market for my work in Chandigarh and Delhi as well,” says Kalra,who has captured monasteries and views near Zojila Pass,Zanskar for this year’s calendar. He is already working on the 2013 calendar,which will feature the Leh-Ladakh markets. Realistic photography,says Kalra,works for calendars and he is happy with the success and appreciation that his work elicits. Soon,he plans to head to Bhutan and Sikkim to build a bank of pictures for future calendars.

A far cry from bikini-clad damsels shot in exotic locations,many such 2012 calendars reveal that gods,nature and aesthetics are still liked as calendar art. Take Zee’s Dance India Dance Season 2 winner Shakti Mohan,who has posed for a calendar called ‘Nritya Shakti’,depicting the new year in 12 innovative dance postures. The calendar has been conceptualised by her and shot by well-known fashion photographer Pravin Talan.

The ancient Mayan calendar also makes an appearance on religious-themed calendars in this market. The misinterpretation of the Mayan calendar is the basis for a widespread fear that a cataclysm will take place on December 21,2012. Fortunately,a sane reading shows that this is merely the day when the calendar will go to the next b’ak’tun,or the next cycle.

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Every time Dr Anshuman Kapoor,a city-based urologist,gets a break from his hospital routine,he heads out with his camera to unwind and relax. What began as a hobby is now a serious passion,with Kapoor taking interest in the technical know-how of cameras,choosing various lenses and finding off-beat angles to capture nature. Three years ago,he thought of using these photographs to design table-top calendars (Rs 150) for family and friends as a new year gift and also as a corporate gift from the hospital.

Kapoor printed about 3,000 copies,putting up some for sale and the calendars sold out soon. “My theme is nature; there’s so much to capture. It was gratifying to know that people appreciated it,” says Kapoor. His 2012 calendar also has nature as the theme. “I’ve sold more than 1,600 copies this year. I do only table calendars and like to keep it simple. I guess the joy and fun I have in doing it,reflects in my work,” says the doctor.

With inputs from Prajakta Hebbar

First published on: 18-01-2012 at 00:27 IST
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