Not long ago I was contacted by JWT New York and asked to write something for their Worldwide Blog, something I agreed to do without hesitation. Finding a suitable topic for a potentially quite wide audience, while keeping it personal, was a bit tricky, but I ended up choosing the dramatic curve of the expat as my topic. It was a bit of a balancing act since I wanted to write about both what an expat goes through in general, and my experiences in particular. But I think it turned out ok.
You can find the post at the JWT Worldwide Blog, however I’ll post it here as well to include it in my journal.
Today we had some proper photoshoots. The need for new photo material came up when we were putting together a snazzy showcase of the things we do here in India – and being an avid photographer I was more than eager to play around with some good lighting equipment. A few phonecalls and we had the address of a shop that rents out all kinds of awesome gadgets for photo and video use. A drive to Koreagon Park later we had the trunk in Sidd’s car loaded with goodies.
For lighting we used two Elinchrom 400 FXR studio lights, equipped with softboxes for smooth shadows. They were a lot of fun to set up and worked hassle-free, came with a hotshoe remote trigger too. Photos were taken with my own Canon 5D mk3, with 24-105 and 70-200 lenses. You’ll find more of the photos in our showcase presentation, soon.
Here’s a making-of video that Bhushan shot:
Fun times! Maybe we should get some of that equipment to the new office and add photography to our service offering?
By the fourth time the office network router shut off its lights, from a sudden lack of power, a few profanities escaped my mouth, at high volume. Maintaining a good work momentum is difficult if stuff keeps shutting down around you.
That’s when Pratik exclaimed his sudden insight: Today is Thursday – Special Electricity Day!
You see, around here electricity is somewhat rationed. Every area or city has its own time when the knobs at the power plant are turned down a bit in order to provide the rest of the sector with a steady current. And every Thursday it’s Pune’s turn – hence the term Special Electricity Day!
The new year is off to a thrilling start on the work front: we’ve moved to a new location! The old office, a space in a business centre, was beginning to feel like it wasn’t the right environment for our creative needs.
This new place is awesome! It used to be a rooftop café and currently features one room, one semi-open space (picture left) and a big terrace looking over the main street in Baner. We have some plans for adding sliding glass doors to the semi-open space to create a well-lit and flexible working space. When it comes to interior decor, I’m rooting for a 80’s Miami Vice / Cuban style with nut wood furniture, palm trees and neon signs – but we’ll see how it turns out. I’ll keep you posted!
Speaking of cafés, I finally found one! It’s a block away from the new office, a nice little Italianesque one. For over three months I’ve been looking for a place like this, where I can sit down, outside, watch people walk by or read a newspaper, while waiting for a cup of proper coffee. I mean, the foul liquid the other restaurants here call coffee is Nescafé instant coffee, for crying out loud! This place, on the other hand, has lattés, espressos, cold coffee, taste syrups – the works. Absolutely wonderful, I became an instant regular.
Today we had our off-site day with the work crew. Sidd had planned some sightseeing in nearby Lonavala, a hillstation turned weekend vacation spot.
Our first destination was Tiger Point, a cliff-top up at 650 meters. The view was quite nice, and as you’ll notice in the selfie video below, it was quite windy out there.
After that we headed down to the Bushi dam. Instead of pointing my camera at the dam – it looked pretty much like a regular dam – I decided to steal a few snapshots of the jolly teenagers playing around by the lakeshore:
We also visited a wax museum, a not too big establishment filled with wax versions of famous Indian people past and present. Most of them I didn’t recognise, but this one was an exception:
The day ended with early dinner at the Upper Deck restaurant, featuring a nice panorama of the surrounding valleys: