Thursday, September 1, 2011

Dancing forever...

“Dance is a meditation. It’s everything to me. It makes me happy…,”says Rajeev Surti, the 36 year old Bollywood Choreographer who has made stars like Salman Khan, Shahrukh Khan, Priyanka Chopra and those in their realms groove to his choreography and has hits like Aaj ki Raat, Moriya re and Love me to his claim. After tedious two days of work, the Hip-hopper relaxes on a comfortable black couch in his cool and cosy Oshiwara office, stretches his legs and gives us an insight into his world.

Ask him about his journey from being a Zoology Graduate to climbing the ladder of success as a master of dance and he takes you down the memory lane sharing his childhood, prodigious teenage years of following and fulfilling his passion, excelling with every move, endless victories, an adulthood of ups and downs and finally the Big break in Farhan Akhtar’s Don. Life at the other side of Don has been booming with multiple offers from the film industry, keeping the man immersed and engrossed in his art. His day begins at 5.30 engaging in some workout followed by a proper diet. Past 9 am he attends meetings or goes to his office or leaves for his rehearsals as according to his schedule. If he is ever back early from his work, say at 6 or 7 pm he catches up for a movie with his family. Time on the sets or at rehearsals is spent working hard, perfecting every line and step, taking breaks, laughing, sharing and resuming back the job. When you question him about when he usually gets back from work he gently replies, it’s unpredictable. “I remember once I was rehearsing from 7 in the morning and it went on till 7.30 the next morning,” explains Rajeev emphasizing the labour and dedication with an expression of utmost sincerity.

Trying to explore further into the artist’s world, it soothes his heart and those dimples go deeper as he expresses his fondness to perform on stage. “I love that feeling when the lights are all over me and I see thousands of tiny faces all looking at me. I love to perform on stage. I feel very good.” What makes him most happy about stage performance is the fact that it is three to five minutes of thrill and then it’s over. For him his joy lies in that tiny span, in those few moments. He also includes that it doesn’t works you up as much as reality shows and Film choreography do. As a performer he enjoys the stage, as a choreographer the film. When asked what a performer must do when he or she does a mistake on stage. He replies calmly saying “Mistakes happen on stage. The performer must bounce back and dance graciously. And that is real art.”

Desiring to close on a personal note, making those finishing touches as a painter with brushstrokes one is keen to hear the final words which reveal the aspirations of the self-made choreographer. Rajeev playfully replies, “I never plan anything. It just happens. I want to make a good film. Till I can dance I will.” The dimples go still deeper with a tinge of pink on the cheek augmenting his beauty.

A Floral Escapade:Colours, Scents and Smiles

Before sunrise when the streak of light hits the grave, dark skies, Dadar flower market is abuzz with the cacophony of flower vendors, customers, trucks and taxis. Dadar flower market is Mumbai’s largest and cheapest wholesale flower market which comes alive at 4 in the morning. Truckloads of flowers are emptied every day which come from Satara, Sangli, Nagpur and various parts of Maharashtra. As soon as one proceeds towards Dadar west in the early hours of dawn, the fragrance of fresh, sweet-smelling flowers fills ones nostrils and the eyes are captivated by the beauty of a multitude of colours.

Majority of flowers are available at the Dadar flower market which include roses of every kind, lotus, marigolds, champa, jasmine, orchids, chrysanthemums, gladioli, asters, lilies, gardenias, gerberas, carnations and many more. In addition to this there are delicate and beautifully hand-made gajras made from mogra, crossandra and jasmine. Garlands are another fascination of this floral paradise and make for a highly profitable business. Flowers from here are picked and transported in plenty all over the city to prominent florists as well as those with small businesses purchase their share from the market. It is extremely difficult to walk without dashing against someone and it’s impossible to save your feet from landing into muck.

The street is crammed with vendors who are bidding at the top of their voices in interesting ways in order to attract attention to them. It’s usually the loudest and cheapest selling vendor who triumphs in this challenge. The florists display amazing skill and within seconds make bouquets selecting the perfect combination of flowers, ribbons, glitters and other decorative substances. One can buy a bunch of flowers at nearly half the price as compared to anywhere else in the city. A basketful of marigolds can be bought as less as Rs. 20 and a bunch of roses at Rs. 10.

It is not just the flowers that are captivating about this place. The simple attitude, beaming faces and polite nature of the ladies and gentlemen selling flowers add a beauty to this place that cannot be taken away. The little boy with the basket, the shy lady weaving gajras, the youngster making the bouquet and the old man requesting and calling out to come, see and purchase his garlands and a couple of flowers etch pleasant moments in one’s mind. The atmosphere makes one happy and it is one place to come if one wishes to break the monotony of an early morning in Mumbai. For once abandon the honking train and the jammed compartments, immerse in the delightful aura of the Dadar flower market.

Review: Crawford Market

Crawford Market in Mumbai is a wholesale market and provides one with variety of things. Just think of what you want and it is available here. This huge market houses fruit market, vegetable market, meat market, pet market and other retail products.

The fruits are in rich variety which includes apples, mangoes, bananas, and all kinds of berries, plums, papayas, watermelons, muskmelons, custard apples and many more. The beauty of this place is that you can find any fruit here even if it is off season. Vegetables are also found in great variety and it will not be an exaggeration to say that all kinds of vegetables are found here.

The meat market provides a huge amount of poultry meat to famous hotels in Mumbai. It is quite affordable to buy meat here in bulk. Other variety of meat is also sold here including those which are rare such as rabbit and turkey.

The pet market offers you a variety of pets to choose and purchase. Prices are a bit expensive but compared to other pet shops in the city are quite reasonable. One can find different breeds of dogs here. The pug and pomeranian are the breeds that are sold the most. Apart from that, one can find a variety of birds such as pigeons, lovebirds and parrots of various kinds. Cats and mice are the other pets found in here.

Speaking of retail products, one can find soaps and perfumes of almost every brand. Also there is a huge sale of dry fruits such as almonds, walnuts, cashew nuts, raisins, figs and apricots. Crawford is a huge market and can easily entertain someone who loves to shop for a long time. One must definitely visit this place at least once in a lifetime and purchase any thing they desire at prices which give them a reason to smile.